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    Welcome!  Having previously served as the Language Arts Department Chairperson for ten of my twenty-five teaching years in the Muhlenberg School District, it was my responsibility to further the following departmental objectives for all students: lifelong readership, effective communication, and independent learning.  These goals continue to be achieved by students in my eighth grade English classes at Muhlenberg Middle School.  Working within a curriculum built upon the framework of the Pennsylvania Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, I employ a wide variety of student-centered instructional methods and authentic assessments to engage student learning and promote student literacy. 
     
     
    LIFELONG READERSHIP - Between the Lines is an independent student reading program I conceived and developed based upon prevailing adolescent literacy research and successful classroom practices.  It is fully integrated within the eighth grade English curriculum.  Between the Lines promotes the development of independent and critical reading skills through engaging activities and continuous written dialogue between student and teacher.  Empowered by reading choice and a wealth of award-winning and relevant young adult fiction and nonfiction, students transform the classroom into a community of readers.  
     
    EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION - Strong communication skills are vital to success in the twenty-first century.  Within my classroom, there is a commitment toward improving student verbal and written communication skills, as well as active listening abilities. Students write for authentic purposes and real audiences.  They are guided through the writing process, working through generative prewriting strategies, employing drafting approaches, applying revision techniques, following focus editing procedures, and embracing publication opportunities ranging from competitive writing competitions to classroom produced literary anthologies.
     
    INDEPENDENT LEARNING - At the eighth grade level, students are no longer expected to be passive learners or recipients of teacher-directed information exclusively.  Rather, my student-centered English classroom invites learners to become fully engaged, initiating and responding as vital contributors to daily classroom conversations.  Reader response approaches to literature advocate both the sharing of individualized interpretations of literary texts and the active development of student writing.  Students make meaning as contributors to the classroom learning environment.