reading/writing connection

Bridging the Disconnect: A Layered Approach to Jump-Starting Engagement

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Authors: Nanci Werner-Burke, Jane Spohn, Jessica Spencer, Bobbi Button, and Missie Morral

Summary: This article describes how middle school teachers looked closely at their own practice with the goal of increasing student engagement. As they explored digital tools and multimodal¬†texts and publishing, they came to recognize the need to interweave attention to the social aspects of students’ learning with their own teaching. In the process, four key ideas rose to the forefront: the use of writing as a tool for engagement and learning, the importance of preparing students to compete in an increasingly digitized world, the motivational appeal of the graphic novel genre, and the importance of interweaving social aspects of learning with teaching. The results of their inquiry may serve as an example of how teachers can examine their own writing and classroom practices to develop new strategies to engage their students.