Teaching Middle School Language Arts: Incorporating Twenty-first Century Literacies

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Overview

Teaching Middle School Language Arts is the first book on teaching middle school language arts for multiple intelligences and related 21st century literacies in technologically and ethnically diverse communities. More than 670,000 middle school teachers (grades six through eight) are responsible for educating nearly 13 million students in public and private schools. Thousands more teachers join these ranks annually, especially in the South and West, where ethnic populations are ballooning. Teachers and administrators seek practical, time-efficient ways of teaching language arts to 21st century adolescents in increasingly multicultural, technologically diverse, socially networked communities. They seek sound understanding, practical advice, and proven strategies for connecting diverse literature to 21st century societies while meeting state and professional standards. Teaching Middle School Language Arts provides strategies and resources that work. Roseboro's book provides an entire academic year of inspiring theory and instruction in multimedia reading, writing, and speaking for the 21st century literacies that are increasingly required in the United States and Canada. An appendix includes supplementary documents to adapt or adopt, and a companion web site is designed to continue communication with readers.
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Editorial Reviews

Carol Jago
If only I had had a mentor like Roseboro to ease my way into the classroom. If only someone had handed me Teaching Middle School Language Arts to help me plan a coherent year of learning for them. . . . Data on teacher attrition demonstrates that we are a profession that eats its young. Between 40 and 50 percent of teachers leave the profession in the first five years. Anna Roseboro's book can help to turn these numbers around by helping new teachers be successful right from the first year. It also provides a much-needed tonic for experienced teachers who may have lost their way and are wondering if there isn't an easier way to make a living.
Harold Foster
As a teacher educator, I look for any help that I can find for my future language arts middle school teachers. After reading Teaching Middle School Language Arts by Anna J. Roseboro, I realized that my search has ended. This book is everything I could possibly hope for in a text for future middle school language arts teachers as well as veterans. This is a comprehensive text. It covers almost everything a teacher could imagine as part of a language arts middle school curriculum. This book has a friendly personal voice. Roseboro's teaching experiences are documented throughout. You will find the author in this text.
Alison Taylor Fastov
The wisdom offered in these chapters builds the student's interest, comfort, and confidence concurrently with the elements of literature, writing, and speaking. Every astute teacher knows that before you can teach students, you must reach students. Then you can help them develop language skills and the art of communicating effectively through a wide variety of methods and technology to succeed in a global and diverse society. Anna J. Roseboro not only knows this firsthand but also understands how to convey this to teachers in the most practical and useful handbook for novice middle school language arts teachers or experienced teachers looking for more ideas.
Bob Infantino
In her latest book, Anna J. Roseboro has provided middle school English language arts teachers with a guide to the curriculum that everyone can use. Novice teachers will find the text easy to understand and adapt, and veteran teachers will be reminded of what they might need to add to enhance or alter what they are already are doing. Roseboro's text has appeal to all who work with middle schoolers looking for interesting and challenging English classes. This book—a worthy successor to Nancie Atwell's In the Middle—should be a staple of teacher preparation programs and staff development efforts for years to come.
Shayna Swafford
Teaching Middle School Language Arts was a joy to read. . . . Reading this book of instruction for teachers new at the work as well as veterans has my interest in the field of teaching, specifically children in middle school, perked. . . . [This is a] book of instruction to assist middle school language arts/ English teachers with lesson examples, stories, and assignments but . . . lays highest significance and emphasis on the importance of the students as individuals.
CHOICE
Roseboro provides a valuable map for traveling through the challenging world of middle school language arts. She includes descriptions of specific lessons aimed at helping students demonstrate their understandings through writing, speech, music, and art. These lessons develop language skills using library and online research while meeting language arts standards. They use both print and electronic forms. Of particular use to teachers who may not be as familiar with electronic formats as their students are suggestions for incorporating new options for language expression. For example, group or individual video journaling, podcasts, wiki sites, using digital photos to scan drawings, posting on the class or school Web site, etc. YouTube and other video posting Web sites can be a source for fan readings of poetry or literary excerpts that can be downloaded or played directly from the Internet in class. The author reminds readers of the need to establish rules for civil engagement while using electronic formats. Postings can be saved and shown later to provide a record of learning. A rich teacher resource appendix should prove an invaluable aid for implementing these suggestions. Roseboro has truly shown how to address 21st-century literacies. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
Choice
Roseboro provides a valuable map for traveling through the challenging world of middle school language arts. She includes descriptions of specific lessons aimed at helping students demonstrate their understandings through writing, speech, music, and art. These lessons develop language skills using library and online research while meeting language arts standards. They use both print and electronic forms. Of particular use to teachers who may not be as familiar with electronic formats as their students are suggestions for incorporating new options for language expression. For example, group or individual video journaling, podcasts, wiki sites, using digital photos to scan drawings, posting on the class or school Web site, etc. YouTube and other video posting Web sites can be a source for fan readings of poetry or literary excerpts that can be downloaded or played directly from the Internet in class. The author reminds readers of the need to establish rules for civil engagement while using electronic formats. Postings can be saved and shown later to provide a record of learning. A rich teacher resource appendix should prove an invaluable aid for implementing these suggestions. Roseboro has truly shown how to address 21st-century literacies. Summing Up: Highly recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781607096313
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/16/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 638,551
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna J. Small Roseboro is a former National Board Certified Teacher with forty years of experience. Anna has been a faculty leader at the NCTE Affiliates Leadership Conference and served as master teacher for the San Francisco Bay Area Teachers Center in an online teaching environment. In 2009, she was honored with the California Association of Teachers of English 2009 Distinguished Service Award.
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Table of Contents

Foreword: Amazing Grace
Preface: Teaching at the Intersection of Old and New Literacies
Introduction
Chapter 1 Networking Socially at the Start of a School Year
Chapter 2 Unpacking the Story and Understanding the Genre
Chapter 3 Exploring Traditional and Contemporary Grammars
Chapter 4Discussing and Writing Short Stories: Where Story Meets Genre
Chapter 5 Checking Out a Twentieth Century Novel
Chapter 6 Teaching Classical Fiction: Where the Ghosts of the Past Speak Today
Chapter 7 Taking T.I.M.E. to Teach Poetry
Chapter 8 Versing Life Together
Chapter 9 Opening the Past Imaginatively: Teaching Historical Fiction
Chapter 10 Playing It Right: Reading, Performing and Writing Drama
Chapter 11 Speaking of Grammars: Public Speaking and Media Arts
Chapter 12 Celebrating Names: A Unit about Community and Identity
Chapter 13 Congratulations and Bon Voyage!
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 15, 2010

    Finally - A Unit Planning Guide for Middle School Teachers

    Teaching Language Arts to Middle School Learners is a must-read for my future residents in training and a permanent fixture in my reference library. It's rare to find a professional development book that guides middle school teachers through whole units of study from the `launch' to the final assessment. In an era of specialization, Mrs. Roseboro presents a `comprehensive approach to literacy instruction' by covering all major standards - reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, media, and language (accountable talk). Abundant with teaching strategies, text suggestions, and differentiation techniques, one can prepare to take away from this book a wealth of ideas for future lesson planning.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 27, 2012

    A Gold Mine!

    "Teaching Middle School Language Arts" is a gold mine! As I read, I used those little colored sticky notes to indicate good ideas - and I ran out of sticky notes! Every page has practical, ready-to-use activities or suggestions that are sure winners. It has been a joy and an inspiration to read.

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  • Posted September 18, 2011

    Practical Ideas - Ready for the Classroom

    Because I am teaching two grade levels higher with a whole new curriculum, I found this book gave useful ideas and activities for active learning that I could implement right in my eighth grade classroom. Ms. Roseboro divides her book into subject areas which makes it easier to pull out ideas for specific areas of study. She seems to understand how to engage and challenge the middle school student, and I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2011

    A Useful Tool for All Teachers

    I recently completed my Single Subject Teaching Credential. Prior to completing my student teaching, I read Mrs. Roseboro's book, "Teaching Middle School Language Arts." Despite the fact that I completed my student teaching in science, I found this book to be very beneficial to my teaching experience and believe that teachers of all subjects can apply this book to the subjects they teach. For example, Chapter 1 discusses the importance of the in-person relationships between teachers and students. The chapter discussed an English project that is intended to be completed at the beginning of the school year that allows students to work together and show what they are capable of; in addition, it allows the teacher to learn about the students and how they work. I adapted this project to the subject I taught and found it very valuable as it allowed me to get to know my students better. In Chapter 5, "Checking Out a Twentieth-Century Novel," Mrs. Roseboro discusses the importance of preplanning a unit. This includes considering standards, homework, curricular goals, and the needs of the students. While I had considered preplanning units prior to teaching them, I had not considered all the different aspects of the unit that I should consider. Mrs. Roseboro's discussion helped me to clarify what I hoped to achieve prior to the unit and to plan more complete units. Throughout the book, Mrs. Roseboro presented ideas about how a teacher might help his or her students make connections between the books and assignments within English class to books they read outside of class and other real world experiences. These segments within the book inspired me to consider how I might help my students to see the connections between the projects we completed within class to their real life experiences.

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    A Good Investment

    Whether you are a new teacher, a teacher in training, an old pro or some one in between, you will find both inspiration and practical ideas in Anna Roseboro's thorough and thoughtful guide. Clearly written and carefully organized, this guide will provide you with intriguing projects you can use tomorrow as well as rekindle your love of teaching. Engaging students is her goal and her many years in the classroom enable her to show you how to do that more effectively than ever. You will be glad you bought it!

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  • Posted October 29, 2010

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Anna Roseboro is a teachers' teacher! Her book validates my accolade, and it reminded me when I became aware of her "powers" . I arrived as a seasoned teacher at the school l where Anna Roseboro was English Chair. Her use of T.I.M.E. saved me!!!!!!!!!!

    Anna gave me a new way for students to connect with poetry. I treasure her ideas and credit her for rescuing me from a temporary POETRY BLOCK. Reading her book reminded me of that time, and once again Anna Roseboro has just the right idea. A POEM A DAY FOR AMERICAN HIGH SCHOOLS is now also part of my curriculum.

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  • Posted October 21, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    In Teaching Middle School Language Arts, Anna Roseboro offers a comprehensive view of middle school education for beginning teachers. In each chapter she tackles a different component of the curriculum, such as teaching a short story or classical novel, and her goal is to guide young teachers through her thinking, assembling curricular units before their eyes. I especially like the way she designs the opening days of a unit. She moves middle-school students playfully into new literature, giving them time to sample a genre, hear its power through oral readings, and share personal connections. Her approaches are designed to generate interest and build from an extraordinarily positive view of teen learners. She sees them as capable, able to apply themselves in school once they understand expectations and the purposes of instruction. She also sees them as uniquely talented, willing to embrace projects that grow from their learning styles. Consequently, in every unit, she imagines ways to include music, art, and electronic media.

    One of the most powerful features of Roseboro's teaching is her focus on students. She encourages young teachers to become kid-watchers, gathering information about students' language skills and learning habits. As teachers circulate through classrooms during activities, they make anecdotal records: one student reads slowly, another enjoys a particular genre, a third worries about criticism. As teachers become more knowledgeable about students, they design lessons more effectively. They also develop teaching behaviors that are sensitive to students' needs. When should I respect a child's right to privacy, how should I respond to sub-standard language, and how can I convey my evaluations without burying students in criticism? Roseboro's final chapter on naming activities is a model of teacher sensitivity in the classroom. Another admirable feature of the book is her acknowledgment that teachers work in very different settings.In almost every teaching situation Roseboro reminds teachers to gather information about their schools and cultures. She ends every chapter with a set of resources and briefly includes her cautions about their use. While this book is clearly written for pre-service teachers, it is filled with clever teaching practices for all teachers. In teaching drama, for example, take time at the end of class to assign parts so that students may practice their oral performances for the next day. In poetry, sponsor multiple readings: silent readings, choral readings, partner readings, jump-in readings. In writing, create writing groups of six, each student reading some papers without comment and commenting on just two. In literature, develop reading schedules for students, provide some time in class for reading, and incorporate students' suggestions into the curriculum. And perhaps most of all, expand use of electronic media, using classroom websites to celebrate student learning, Wikis to promote student interaction, and blogs to publish student ideas. Practicing teachers will find much in this book to enhance their already fine pedagogy.

    In an era of negativity about schools, it is very nice to read a book that views students positively and invites teachers wholeheartedly into the profess

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  • Posted September 9, 2010

    Excellent Read!

    As always, Anna J. Roseboro provides teachers with what we need most: subtle reminders of how and why we entered our beloved profession. Teaching is a gift, and when it's done right, learning takes place in unforced, untamed ways. With the guidance and wisdom gleaned from decades in the trenches, this text provides new and veteran teachers with practical,innovative ways to help us remember and our students know that what we love most about teaching is them.

    That's why, as Roseboro affirms even in Chapter 1, relationships matter most. When our students know how much we care, they are eager to participate in their own growth as individuals because they recognize that they are not merely numbers and names on our rolls. They'll want to learn because the knowledge is served with love and humility. Teaching is a sacred journey, and when all is said and done, it's how we treated them while we had them that they will remember most. Thank you for reminding us of that, Anna.

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  • Posted July 19, 2010

    A Most Useful Tool

    I recently read "Teaching Middle School Language Arts" and found it to be extremely useful as I prepare to begin student teaching in the fall. The book was well written and easy to understand. While I plan to teach science, not language arts, I found that much of the book and many of the examples within the book will be applicable to my teaching experience, such as the preplanning of lessons and how to successfully engage students.

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