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Time for Meaning: Crafting Literate Lives in Middle & High School 0th Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0435088491
ISBN-10: 0435088491
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“What a refreshing treat of a book! This is an honest, personal, and very enlightening view of one teacher and his students. Time for Meaning reads like a novel, a poem, a short story, an autobiography - all that is good in literature - while providing examples of how to teach writing effectively . . . Read Time for Meaning, become a student, and graduate from the school of reading and writing instruction with honors.”–Writing Teacher

About the Author

Randy Bomer, author of Building Adolescent Literacy in Today's English Classrooms, is a leader in secondary English/Language Arts teaching whose goals have always been to connect research to classroom practice and to make a literate life possible for every student. As a teacher of first-year college students, he helps young people develop habits of mind that prepare them for further college work. He shares his passion with individual preservice and in-service teachers as a professor at the University of Texas and as the Director of the Heart of Texas Writing Project. As a literacy consultant and former Co-director of the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project, he has shared his vision with large groups of teachers nationwide. He has also brought his experience to the entire field as past president of the National Council of Teachers of English, and as the author or coauthor of Time for Meaning, For a Better World, and The Handbook of Adolescent Literacy Research.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 17 years
  • Grade Level: 6 - 12
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Heinemann (July 3, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0435088491
  • ISBN-13: 978-0435088491
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #890,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Time for Meaning is a good book to read once you are familiar with the writing and reading workshop techniques of Linda Rief, Nancy Atwell, and Lucy Calkins, for Bomer pitches much of his book as a variation on their techniques and refers back to their work throughout. His book is a thoughtful supplement to and expansion of the standard texts on workshops and portfolio-based teaching.
Bomer's honesty is refreshing -- he admits that many of the standard techniques he tried to put to use in his classroom didn't work well, and he tells us how he came to adapt and revise other teachers' tools to fit the needs of his students. Especially helpful is his understanding of older adolescents, a group which is frequently not addressed by writers such as Rief and Atwell, who are middle school teachers.
Bomer's chapter on writers' notebooks, and how to get students to use them productively, is worth the price of the book alone. How many teachers have tried to implement journals and notebooks, only to find them awkward and frustrating for the students? Bomer has a number of useful ideas on how to integrate them into a full curriculum, how to motivate students to use them as valuable tools, and how to encourage students to write in a variety of styles.
Also helpful are the chapters at the end which discuss the teaching of genres, both for reading and writing. Bomer covers the major genres in depth, offering a number of helpful ideas and practices.
The biggest weakness of the book is that it doesn't offer enough discussion of assessment. So many authors of books about teaching writing forget that one of the greatest hurdles any teacher faces is how to turn all the fascinating projects you do in a term into letter and number grades to please the administration and parents. Bomer discusses assessment briefly, but a more in-depth and practical discussion would have made his book not merely valuable, but indispensible.
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Format: Paperback
Randy Bomer's Time for Meaning is an important resource for all middle and high school teachers, new teachers as well as experienced teachers, and English teachers as well as teachers of all other subjects.

New teachers will find Bomer's book at once comforting and informative. He not only gives teaching strategies, but he also understands, and writes eloquently, about how new teachers will feel, including a chapter called, "the extracurricular life of an English teacher," in which he focuses on teacher's fears and the need to balance a personal life with your teaching career. Bomer dedicates pages to explaining the nerves he felt on his first days of teaching, in such a way that it will not only comfort future teachers, but also help them to avoid making the same mistakes. In the very first line Bomer writes, "I lean against the chalk rail and watch [the students] come in. I know it's a mistake to lean this way" (3), it is a mistake, of course, because he will be covered with chalk; being covered with chalk is a small problem, but this opening line is representative of how Bomer addresses all the problems in the classroom in a warm and personal way.

For new teachers and experienced teachers alike Bomer offers interesting strategies to teach writing, including exercises to bend genre, and semester long projects, like a writer's notebook. He also includes strategies to help students write stories and their own memoirs. Most importantly, as the title suggests, Bomer offers ways to give student

writing meaning, through sharing and classroom publication, which is perhaps the most important way to help students make quality work.

Although English teachers will find much to work with, this book is not only for English teachers.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book during my student teaching experience and found it very helpful and informative. Not only did it deal with the process of learning and how students deal with this, it also gave some excellent ideas for developing lessons and thematic units. Interesting and a quick read!
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Format: Paperback
This book's subtitle is "Crafting Literate Lives in Middle & High School" and the book is the perfect guide for precisely that. Randy Bomer's years of teaching writing shine through, yet he makes it clear that through following his advice, it is possible for any of us, whether a new teacher or old, to be a successful writing teacher. The book thoroughly covers the experience of teaching writing and creating a writing workshop; it covers building a successful writing environment, using writers' notebooks as a key tool in the classroom, working with different genres, learning to be a skilled teacher, and managing your interactions with people other than students. There is a chapter for almost every concern a teacher might have about their students. However, the book does not overwhelm the reader: each chapter is concise and plainly written, and there is a helpful and informative table of contents that even has chapter summaries to help out readers looking for specific subjects.

Someone hoping to learn to be a better writing teacher needs to look no farther than Randy Bomer. There is no doubt that Bomer has several years of experience teaching writing, considering the examples he uses, and no doubt that he is a great teacher. On every page, there are examples from his teaching career that illustrate his points. He states on page 164, "When students are looking for notebook entries that might be important in a memoir, I frequently ask them, 'If you were to pick just one entry that really showed who you were, showed what your life is like, which one would it be?'" Then he goes into detail about a conversation he had with a student, Ellie, whom he asked that exact question. The conversation leads Ellie to figure out exactly what she wants to write for her memoir.
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