Vol 60, No 1 (2018)

Table of Contents

Editor’s Introduction

John Pruitt, University of Wisconsin-Rock County

What the Wisconsin DPI Can Do for You
Marci Glaus, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction


“We Are Not All the Same”: Strengthening Teacher-Student Relationships through Online Classroom Dialogue
Abstract. The authors look at how teachers and students can guide change from within classrooms by using digital tools to recontextualize the cultural experiences and relationships at the core of learning and growth in public schools.
Robyn Seglem, Illinois State University
Antero Garcia, Stanford Graduate School of Education

Fostering Persistence Through Relevant Writing Assignments
Abstract. Broad access institutions, such as community colleges, struggle with losing nearly half of their students in the first two years. Composition courses are among the first-year courses uniquely positioned to help students persist. This article suggests three types of writing assignments that may help learners–particularly online learners–persist in their academic studies.
Jeff Bergin, Macmillan Learning

Teaching English Online: Challenges and Successes
Abstract. Teaching English–or any subject–online requires industrious, hard working teachers who keep current on technology trends and learning management systems (LMS). Resilience and professional development aid teachers navigating this ever-changing landscape. Without Wisconsin state requirements for online teacher professional development, quality instruction falls solely on teachers and administrators.
Elizabeth Jorgensen, Arrowhead Union High School

Redefining the Culture: Understanding Nontraditional College Students
Abstract. This essay argues that creating a more active learning environment by incorporating more than pedagogy in the classroom, utilizing electronics for multiple reasons and uses, and creating positive student/instructor relationships may diminish the chances of nontraditional college students transferring or dropping out.
Dolores Greenawalt, Bryant & Stratton College

Reading Aloud to Older Students: Benefits and Tips
Abstract. The research is clear that reading aloud to students is sound educational practice for many reasons including building vocabulary and increasing fluency. At the middle and high school levels the literacy demands on students increase exponentially, yet teachers are less likely to take the time to read aloud. This article shares some of the research supporting reading aloud to secondary students as well as benefits, tips, and links to book lists for your classroom.
Lisa Hollihan Allen, West De Pere Middle School

Poetry Unveiled
Abstract. This paper introduces the UnVEIL approach to understanding poetry, a step-by-step consideration of UNderstanding language, Voice, Events, Interpretation of techniques, and Look/Listen/Lesson, serving to take some of the mystery out of poetry while maintaining all the magic of the language.
Dan Hansen and Becky Hansen, The Poetry Professors

Carroll University’s Pre-College Programs Aim to Build Emotional, Social, and Academic Aptitude of High School Students
Abstract. Carroll University’s Pre-College Programs aim to nurture high school students academically, personally and socially. Through mini lessons, field trips, cultural experiences and volunteering, students from underserved communities learn about themselves and their role in the world. As English skills are integral to academic success, in addition to reviewing the scope of Carroll University Pre-College Programs, specific strategies for building career and college readiness are explored.
Elizabeth Jorgensen, Arrowhead Union High School
Maria Ramirez, Carroll University

Poetry in Motion
Abstract. The author partnered with Wisconsin’s Ice Age Trail Alliance in order to provide community-based learning skills to the pre-service teachers enrolled in her Children’s Literature course.
Kelly L Hatch, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

Symposium: ELA in Charter Schools

The Evolution of the English Classroom: From Brick and Mortar to Virtual
. This article highlights best practices in online teaching, as well as some of the benefits a student may have from choosing to attend a virtual high school. Specific anecdotes and references pertain to the author’s experiences teaching in a Wausau School District brick and mortar high school using a traditional delivery method as contrasted to teaching in Wausau Area Virtual Education (WAVE), also part of the Wausau School District.
Jennifer A Seymour, Wausau Area Virtual Education

Corner Rock–The Phoenix of Park Falls: A Social Justice Action Venture for Project-Based Learners
Abstract. This action project demonstrates teaching in an alternative educational setting using an interdisciplinary, learner-led experience that engages students in social change.
Paula A Zwicke, Class ACT Charter School

Student-Led Literature Circles in an Interdisciplinary High School Classroom
Abstract. This essay looks at reading in a high school interdisciplinary English/Social Studies classroom, focusing on student book choice to help inspire, engage, and get students to read.

Erin Jensen, Rock University High School

Documentation as an English Language Arts Tool in a Project-Based Learning Environment
Abstract. Charter schools often use project-based learning time to teach students how to be accountable for their own educations. To make sure they are reaching goals and making the most out of their learning experiences, Northern Lakes Regional Academy started using a documentation process to teach summarizing and reflecting skills to students of all grade levels. Those who document can keep track of their mistakes, successes, and the steps of the project.
Megan Raether, Northern Lakes Regional Academy

Spotlight on Student Writing:
Mimicking Gertrude Stein

This inaugural section spotlighting student writing came to me when those enrolled in my Modernism course asked about showcasing their in-class creative writing. Following a number of instructors who argue that imaginative writing can complement and enrich formal literary analysis, I challenged my students to imitate Gertrude Stein’s elusive style in Tender Buttons (what the heck is “A Piece of Coffee” anyway?!), whose effect and meaning making are achieved through stream of consciousness, the repetition of words and concepts, and the ephemerality of sound.

Enjoy their writing, and contact me if you’d like to showcase the work of your own students!

John Pruitt, WEJ Editor, University of Wisconsin-Rock County

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