Kurkjian, Catherine, New England Reading Association Journal
As we "bundle up" and brace ourselves for the long New England winter we have lots of "food for thought" to sustain us in this first issue of the new year. The special topic "from writing to reading and reading to writing" provides us with a diversity of perspectives on the writing/reading classroom, yet the power of literature to touch our lives is a common thread woven throughout all of the pieces presented.
Starting with Siu-Runyan's provocative article entitled, Where has all the "real" reading and writing gone: Reawakening to what we already know, we are reminded of the political nature of literacy within a democratic society. In this framework Siu-Runyan supplies us with a range of teaching strategies and books to use to support reading and writing. Whether we agree or disagree with the positions taken, we are challenged to take a critical stance toward our own work.
Linda Rief invites us into her classroom at Oyster River Middle School in Durham, New Hampshire in Passionate teaching, passionate reading: Excerpts from Voices from the Middle (NOTE, December, 2000). Rief discovers the power of literature as she explores her students' writing in response to read alouds, read alongs and to her students' independent reading. Rief's compelling story of her work helps our brains to do "backflips."
Next we find ourselves in a college classroom with teachers enrolled in graduate class on Reading and Writing Connections. In Marcia Bahgban's Teachers reading and writing together: What we learned from authors' lives she shares how the study of literature and the lives of authors fuel teachers' writing and teaching. In this piece we see how stories, our own and those of other writers, can be an important resource for our teaching. …