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In the Middle, Third Edition

A Lifetime of Learning About Writing, Reading, and Adolescents

By Nancie Atwell

With 80 percent new material, In the Middle, Third Edition brings Nancie Atwell’s methods up to date. Nancie guides newcomers to a rich, satisfying practice while sharing her latest innovations and refinements with those who have made In the Middle their teaching touchstone.

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“The third edition of In the Middle is my invitation to English teachers, both veterans and novices, to understand writing and reading from the inside and recognize our potential to influence our students’ literacy for a lifetime. Like the two that preceded it, this edition represents my current best set of blueprints for how I build and maintain a writing-reading workshop—the expectations, demonstrations, models, choices, resources, rules and rituals, pieces of advice, words of caution, and ways of thinking, planning, looking, and talking that make it possible for every student to read with understanding and pleasure and aspire to and produce effective writing.”

—Nancie Atwell

With 80 percent new material, In the Middle, Third Edition brings Nancie Atwell’s methods up to date. Nancie guides newcomers to a rich, satisfying practice while sharing her latest innovations and refinements with those who have made In the Middle their teaching touchstone.

Grounded in her classroom practice and in response to questions and requests from twenty years of professional development workshops, Nancie provides:

  • detailed procedures for organizing the classroom for workshop teaching and a first-week launch sequence
  • hundreds of minilessons and reproducibles that make workshop teaching inviting and doable
  • hundreds of new pieces of student writing to use as mentor texts—many are national prize winners
  • new, detailed genre studies of poetry, memoirs, reviews, essays, reportage, humor and homage, and short fiction
  • a new look at writing conferences, including red flags to notice and strategies for responding to them
  • techniques for conferring with individuals about the books they're reading
  • a revamping of her widely-adopted literary letters as letter-essays that more than satisfy today’s standards for critical reading

This is the chronicle of Nancie Atwell’s courageous, compelling journey. Just as the second edition documented her evolution from 1987, this book shows how she continues to shape and refine her teaching, based on her perceptions of what students need and her growing knowledge of literature and the craft of writing. As Nancie describes it, “The third edition of In the Middle is everything I’ve learned over the past three decades that makes writing-reading workshop the only logical way to teach English.”

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