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Time for Meaning: Crafting Literate Lives in Middle & High School 0th Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of many of my go-to books for ELA instruction. Great analogies and observations.Published 18 months ago by Alyssa Shepherd Moore
I truly enjoy Mr. Bomer's writing style. His passion for the craft of writing is clear. Reading this book is like sitting with a patient friend who's an expert in teaching writing... Read morePublished 23 months ago by K. L. Smith-Carrington
I am currently a college student and had to select a book for to review for my literacy class. This book has been one of the most informational and influential books I have read in... Read morePublished on December 8, 2011 by Ashley1018
Randy Bomer's book Time for Meaning explores strategies that will help middle and high school English teachers teach writing in a way that is effective and meaningful. Read morePublished on April 28, 2007 by A. Sherwood
"Crafting literate lives..." is part of the subtitle to Randy Bomer's "Time for Meaning"; by the end of the book the reader knows exactly what is meant by this. Read morePublished on April 25, 2007 by Kristina