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Write in the Middle: A Workshop for Middle School Teachers

Listen to the Experts

Linda Rief

Linda Rief teaches eighth-grade language arts at Oyster River Middle School in Durham, New Hampshire. She also is an instructor in the Summer Reading and Writing Program at the University of New Hampshire and has taught graduate courses for Northeastern University and Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.

Linda’s publications include Seeking Diversity: Language Arts With Adolescents (1992) and a 1999 book and companion CD, Vision and Voice: Extending the Literacy Spectrum. In addition, she co-edited All That Matters: What Is It We Value in School and Beyond? (1995) and Workshop 6: The Teacher as Writer (1994) with Maureen Barbieri. All four books were published by Heinemann. Linda also has written several chapters and articles for professional books and journals.

Workshop 1: Creating a Community of Writers
Essential components of building a writing community

The importance of teacher as part of the community of writers

The benefits to writing with your students

The importance of routine in a writing workshop classroom

The reading-writing connection

Workshop 2: Making Writing Meaningful
Helping students find meaningful reasons to write (mp3)

Knowing your students (mp3)

Workshop 6: Responding to Writing: Teacher to Student
Content before conventions (mp3)

Responses that help move the writer forward (mp3)

Workshop 7: Responding to Writing: Peer to Peer
Teachers using their writing as models for student response (mp3)

Making time for informal talk and responding to one another’s thinking and writing (mp3)

Allowing time for informal sharing (mp3)

Peer responses to final drafts (mp3)

Tom Romano

Tom Romano teaches writing and language arts methods in the Department of Teacher Education at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. He is the author of Clearing the Way: Working With Teenage Writers (Heinemann, 1987); Writing With Passion: Life Stories, Multiple Genres (Boynton/Cook, 1995); and Blending Genre, Altering Style: Writing Multigenre Papers (Boynton/Cook, 2000).

Tom taught high school English for 17 years and has been a faculty member at Miami since 1995. Tom is in demand nationwide as a consultant because of his unique combination of scholarly expertise, his specialized knowledge in teaching multigenre writing, and his experience in high school classrooms, writing workshops, and in teacher development.

Tom’s undergraduate and master’s degrees are from Miami, and his doctorate is from the University of New Hampshire.
Workshop 1: Creating a Community of Writers
Giving students time to write (mp3)

Getting ideas on paper, then crafting the writing (mp3)

Reading-writing connection (mp3)

Workshop 5: Teaching Multigenre Writing
Defining multigenre writing (mp3)

Opportunities to write narratives (mp3)

Including the arts in multigenre projects (mp3)

The importance of and types of support students need (mp3)

Unifying themes in multigenre papers (mp3)

Providing students with models, practice, and support (mp3)

Different approaches to mulitgenre (mp3)

Sue Swaim

Sue Swaim is a passionate advocate for middle-level students, educators, and developmentally responsive schools. She began her teaching career in elementary schools, but taught sixth- and seventh-grade language arts, social studies and reading at the University Middle School in Colorado for ten years. She served as a principal before becoming executive director of the National Middle School Association. Under her guidance, NMSA has grown to its present level—more than 31,000 members and 58 affiliate organizations throughout the nation and world. NMSA focuses on the education and well-being of young adolescents.

Workshop 1: Creating a Community of Writers
Understanding the physiological and emotional growth during adolescence (mp3)

Designing a curriculum with middle-level students in mind (mp3)

Importance of active, engaging, relevant curriculum (mp3)

Adolescents and reflective thinking (mp3)

Integrated reading and writing instruction (mp3)