In this sequel to In the Middle, the award-winning best-seller about her experiences as a teacher of writing and reading, Nancie Atwell explores the conditions that make it possible for children-and their teachers-to become writers and readers. In two key chapters she reconsiders In the Middle itself, in light of the experiences of other teachers and their correspondence with her, and she proposes some intriguing revisions of the workshop mode. Other topics address in Side by Side include the teaching of poetry, contexts for teaching critical thinking skills, making a place for special education students in writing and reading workshop, the significance of teacher research, and implications of reader response theory for literature-based approaches, and the parallels between the literate behaviors of Nancie's adolescent students and those of her young daughter.
“[The] book is very valuable to me because it reminds me of the importance of continually questioning how and why we do what we do, of making connections between our own processes as readers and writers and what we teach our students.”–Merlyn's Pen
Nancie Atwell is one of the most highly respected educators in the U.S. Her classic In the Middle has inspired generations of teachers, and her new DVDs Writing in the Middle and Reading in the Middle give us a seat in her writing and reading workshops so that we can see firsthand how she helps students become independent, sophisticated readers and writers. She is also the author of classroom materials through Firsthand. Lessons that Change Writers is a year's worth of instruction straight from Nancie's file cabinets, while Naming the World helps teachers jumpstart their literacy teaching each day the way Nancie does - with poetry, the mother genre. Nancie teaches seventh- and eighth-grade writing, reading, and history at the Center for Teaching and Learning, a K - 8 demonstration school she founded in Edgecomb, Maine, in 1990. Nancie was the first classroom teacher to receive the NCTE David H. Russell Award and the MLA Mina P. Shaughnessy Prize for distinguished research in the teaching of English. Nancie was recently named 2010 Teacher of the Year by River of Words; a California-based non-profit educational organization and also received an honorary degree from the University of New Hampshire during its 2011 commencement ceremony. Read Nancie's Education Week article in which she makes the case for literature in the core standards. To see and hear Nancie's response to the NY Times article on the place of student choice in reading, click here. Read the Article »