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Volume 21, Number 2, May 2010
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From the Editors
Edie Lanphar and Phil Fitzsimmons
“Where I’m From”: One Poem, Many Journeys
Susan S. Till and Erin T. Miller
Abstract: Two college professors in different settings and with dissimilar groups of students explored “the place of language” in homes and communities as their students wrote poems modeled on George Ella Lyon’s “Where I’m From.” The simple format and familiar experiences of Lyon’s poem created an accessible model for students to think deeply and write authentically about their cultural backgrounds.
Official and Unofficial Portraits
Richard J. Meyer
Abstract: The official portrait of the students at Mesa Vista Elementary School (MVE) is the one composed of test scores, socioeconomic levels, and violence. Many of the teachers and students at the school, district administrators, and members of the community have appropriated this official portrait. In this article, I present some of the details of the official portrait and then introduce the idea of counterportraits as they were composed by some of the sixth-grade students, their teacher, and me. I conclude this article by considering ways in which counterportraits may influence how we consider students at risk.
Popular Culture as Possibilities, Paradigms, and Prerogatives for Literacy Learning: Giving Voice to Middle School Students
Barbra McKenzie, Edie Lanphar, and Phil Fitzsimmons
Abstract: This article argues that young children are rapidly becoming the “new rich” in regard to engaging with, understanding and exploiting the many forms of popular culture. Children are tending to ignore school-based texts, engaging instead in reading texts that represent internalization of cultural understanding and require a new set of associated reading skills. In this presentation we aim to demonstrate and discuss the nature and elements of the new “societal literacy” and the nature of the engagement with popular culture and community- based texts.
Writing from a Whole Language Workshop: Student Voices
WLU on the Move!
Abstract: President’s Message, 2010 WLU Elections, and Summer Institute Information and Registration.