Christian Educator’s Journal Vol. 55 No. 4 April 2016

2 EDITORIAL: reading good books and learning about the world
by Gary VtmArragon

4 The Top Six Lists of the Best Books
Bill Boerman-Cornell

10 Beyond Control reviewed by Christina Belcher

12 The Reason You Walk
reviewed by Jonathan Boone

15 Bible-Shaped Teaching
reviewed by Christina Belcher

17 Beyond Measure
reviewed by Dan Beerens

22 A Compact Guide to the Whole Bible
reviewed by Gary VtmArragon

24 The Good and Beautiful Community
reviewed by Mark Brink

26 The Temple Curtain
reviewed by Joan Stob

27 LGBTQ and You: It’s Time to Read Different Books
by Jeanette Romkema

29 COLUMN: The Long and Short of CliffsNotes
by Gary L. Riggins

Hollyhocks, Books, and Comebacks
by Jane Reitsma-Hoogendam

33 SLOUCHING TOWARD BEDLAM: I Can’t Define Art, But I Know It When I See It
by Jan Kaarsvlam

Christian Educator’s Journal Vol. 55 No. 1 October 2015

2 Living in Faith and Hope
Gary VtmArragon

4 Resisting Homework as Solitary Confinement
David I. Smith

8 Speaking Students’ Language: Teaching from Your Heart to Theirs
Elizabeth Clark

12 Work, Play, Love, and Learn
Matthew Beimers and Darryl DeBoer

17 Stepping through the Door: What Makes Books Easy for Kids to Fall Into?
Andrew Blok and Bill Boerman-Cornel

24 Journey Toward Justice
reviewed by Gideon Strauss

27 Life-Affirming Books
Wes Wikkerink

29 Thinking Inside the Box: My Piece of Your Professional Development
Gary L. Riggins

31 Setting Goals and
Facing Challenges

34 How to Succeed in School Without Really Trying, or And Then There Was One
Jan Kaarsvlam

English Journal Vol.104 No.4 March 2015

7      Call for Manuscripts
11    From the Editors – Julie Gorlewski and David Gorlewski
12    High School Matters: Why Teach Poetry? – Tara Seale
15    EJ in Focus: Poetry and Emotional Intelligence: A Radical Call – Kyle Vaughn
110  Speaking My Mind: Vincent: Timeless Poet, Fearless Voice – Reflections on the Centennial of Renasence – Megan Morgans Ainsworth

Poetry: Rhyme and Reason
21    Creating Space for Poetry – Julie E. Schrauben
26    Sappho through Mimesis, a Pedagogical Approach to Teaching Poetry – Catherine Louise Kennedy
32    Peer Response, Reminds: Authentic Peer Response through Audio Technology – Michael Hoffman
37    Behind the Curtain: A Teacher’s Quest to Better Understand, Write, and Model Poetry – Tanya J. Hannaford
43    Connecting Students with Shakespeare’s Poetry: Digital Creations of Close Reading – Joan Lange, Patrick Connolly, and Devin Lintzenich
50    “When It Rains a Puddle Is Made”: Fostering Academic Literacy in English Learners through Poetry and Translation – Jie Y. Park, Lori Simpson, Jesse Bicknell, and Sarah Michaels
59    Pairing Poetry and Technology: Teaching from the “Outside Inward” – Toby Emert
65    What the Whiteness Project Should Have Been: Poetry as a Collaborative Vehicle for Inquiry – Samuel Jaye Tanner
71    Galvanizing Empathy Through Poetry – Daniel Xerri and Stephanie Xerri Agius
77    Every Voice Matters: Spoken Word Poetry in and outside of School – Wendy R. Williams
83    Mindful Poetry: Making the Strange Familiar – Candence Robillar, Jacqeline Bach, and Melissa Gulden

90    Speaking Truth to Power – P.L. Thomas
93    Lingua Angila: Bridging Language and Learners – Kathleen M. Lord and Pamela J. Hickey
96    Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book – Pauline Skowron-Schmidt
98    Continuous Becoming: Moving toward Mystery – Rose Cherie Reissman
100  Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom – Tom Liam Lynch
103  Disabling Assumptions – Jacob Stratman

106  As I Walk from my Classroom – Mark DeFoe
107  Clarification 0 Matthew Phillips
108  Proper Etiquette – Kathy Judge
109  Close Reading – Sandra Kurtti Pylvainen

Christian Educators Journal Vol.54 No.4 April 2015

04    The Top Ten Books for Adolescents and Young Adults that You Need to Read Now – Bill Boerman-Cornell
10    Deepening Colors – reviewed by Gloria Goris Stronks
12    Future Wise – reviewed by Dan Beerens
15    Leaders of Their Own Learning – reviewed by Darryl DeBoer
20    Death Before the Fall – reviewed by John Schneider
23    Nuts and Bolts of Inclusive Education – reviewed by Kathleen VanTol
25    The Cross and Gendercide – reviewed by Rebecca Warren
27    Teaching to Justice, Citizenship, and Civic Virtue – reviewed by Robert J. Keeley

02    Organized Reading – Gary VanArragon
30    A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing – Gary L. Riggins
32    Watching Cardinals, Tasting Words, and Savoring Slowness – Jane Hoogendam-Reitsma
34    So Little Time for So Many Books – Jan Kaarsvlam

Christian Educators Journal Vol.54 No.3 February 2015

4     Cultivating Grace-Shaped Communities – Syd Hielema
7     So You Want to Work in a Healthy Workplace? – Anne Martin
12   Decreasing Stress in the Classroom – Leslie Visser
15   When the Unthinkable Happens – Bob VandePol
20   Teacher Self-Care – Jean Holthaus
24   Understanding and Overcoming Self-Harm by Michelle DeBoer

2    Healthy Workplaces – Gary VamArragon
28   I Hear the Chickadee Calling – Jane Hoogendam-Reitsma
30   Songs Sung Blue – Gary L. Riggins
31   Managing Stress
33     Of Meatballs and Moustaches – Jan Kaarsvlam


English Journal Vol.104 No.3 January 2015

7      Call for Manuscripts
11    From the Editors – Julie Gorlewski and David Gorlewski
13    EJ in Focus:  
How  Re-thinking Adolescence Helps Re-imagine  the Teaching of English – Sophia Tatiana Sarigianides, Mark A. Lewis, and Robert Petrone
In this framing article, the guest editors provide the theoretical framework for conceptualizing adolescence and adolescents driving this special issue of English Journal. They also describe what they call a youth lens, an approach for reading and analyzing young adult literature that honors the idea of adolescence as a construct.
19    Speaking My Mind: 
Dating  Ben Franklin: Investigating the Early Years of Historical Figures and Classic Authors – Sharon Kane

22    Precocious Knowledge: Using Banned Books to Engage in a Youth Lens – Alyssa D. Niccolini  This piece looks at how banned books can offer an illuminating glimpse into social constructions of “healthy” and “normal” adolescent development. Unease with certain materials and topics in the secondary classroom can offer productive points of inquiry for both teachers and students.
29    Reading Pop Culture and Young Adult Literature through the Youth Lens – Carlin Borsheim-Biack  This article describes activities and assignments  for using a youth lens to critique dominant images of adolescents/ce in young adult literature and pop culture texts.
35    Disrupting and Dismantling the Dominant Vision of Youth of Color – Susan L. Groenke, Marcelle Haddix, Wendy J. Glenn, David E. Kirkland, Detra Price-Dennis, and Chonika Coleman-King  In this article, ELA and urban teacher educators  who have been long-time advocates for and users of young adult  literature in their work with beginning English teachers re-think the cultural constructs of “black and brown” adolescence that undergird the genre and guide their work.
41    Social Media and “Kids Today”: A Counter-Narrative from a US High School – William Kist, Kristen Srsen, and Beatriz Fontanive Bishop  An incident of bullying via Twitter in a Midwestern US high school problematizes traditional  stereotypes about adolescents and social media, as witnessed by two English teachers at the school who write about their own experiences and implications for English curriculum and instruction.
47    Illuminating Discourses of Youth through the Study of First-Person Narration in Young Adult Literature – Amanda Haertling Thein and Mark A. Sulzer  Grounded in the three-part literary concept of the narrator, the narratee, and the implied reader, this article provides teachers and students  with a heuristic for uncovering, attending to, and critiquing assumptions about youth found in the first­person narrative form that predominates in young adult literature.
54   Using a Youth Lens to Facilitate literary Interpretation  for “Struggling” Readers – Alison Heron-Hruby, Brandie Trent, Samantha Haas, and Zachary Cole Allen  This article details the authors’ success in using youth as a construct to facilitate literary analysis skills among high school students  who claimed not to like reading and who demonstrated difficulty with reading comprehension.  The authors provide descriptions of the analysis activities in which the students  participated.
61   Sex in the English Classroom: Text, Counter Text, and Social Text – Elisabeth Johnson  In this article, the author is concerned with the ways conceptions of adolescence and sexuality take hold in and beyond the English curriculum. Through a classroom vignette, she considers some of the ways teachers might make more of moments when sex comes up and when planning interactions about sex with youth.
68   Re-constructing and Re-presenting Teenagers: Using Media Literacy to Examine Cultural Constructions of Adolescents – David L. Bruce  This article describes a class in which media  literacy was used as a means for student inquiry into cultural  constructedness of adolescents. Students read and critiqued media portrayals of teenagers, then used digital video to re-construct  their own complex re-presentations of their adolescent selves.
75   Youth as Cosmopolitan Intellectuals – Tiffany DeJaynes and Christopher Curmi  Two high school teachers examine  classroom moments that position youth as cosmopolitan intellectuals  and invested community members as opposed to disengaged and disaffected adolescents.

12   Claiming Spaces – Kjersti VanSiyke-Briggs
60   Hymn Sung at the Completion of the Lesson Plan, 11/12/13 – Maria Fischer
67   Sonnet for My First-Period, Ninth-Grade  Class – J.P. Murphy
84   Teachable Moment – Maria Sanchez

81   A Thousand Writers: Voices of the NWP:  The Serious Work  of Writing – Anna Smith
85   Carpe Librum: Seize the (VA) Book:  Will You Go Out with Me?  Why First Loves Are Painfully Important  to YA Lit – Emilee Hussack and Pauline Skowron Schmidt
88   Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom  Reassessing How  We “See”  Students: The Blessing and Blight of Rubrics (and Software) in Education – Tom Liam Lynch
91   Speaking Truth to Power  Speaking Out  in the Public Sphere: Why, What, Where, and How Teachers Can Enter the Fray – Peter Smagorinsky
97   Under Discussion: Teaching Speaking and Listening  Care to Elaborate: Encouraging Students to Build on Others’  Ideas – Lisa M. Barker

Christian Educators Journal Vol.54. No.2 December 2014


4    The Cultural Mandate – Mark Glanville

7    The Spiritual Lessons of Emerging Adulthood – Julie Yonker

12  A Teacher Wish List for the New Year – Gary L. Riggins

15  Teaching Young Offenders – Mary Inkster

20  Psalm 23 for the Elementary Teacher – Jenine Fryling

21  What Happened in Aslan’s Classroom? – HeeKap Lee

25  English as a Stressful Language – Kendra Potgeter



2    Hope in a Troubles World – Gary VanArragon

33  Current Events in Our Classrooms



30  Shepherding a Child’s Heart – reviewed by Christine Webb

32  Making Stories – reviewed by Tim Baldwin


English Journal Vol. 104 No. 2 November 2014

7      Call for Manuscripts

11     From the Editors by Julie Gorlewski and David Gorlewski

13     High School Matters – Curiouser and Curiouser: A Brief Reflection on Standards by Jocelyn A. Chadwick


17     El in Focus – The Common Core Memorandum of Understanding: What a Story by Mercedes K. Schneider

22     The End of Innovation by Stephen Heller

Exploring questions about the ability for an assessment-driven approach toward education to foster creative, vibrant classrooms.

27     A Call for Subterfuge: Shielding the ELA Classroom from the Restrictive Sway of the Common Core by Chris Gilbert

This author discusses how ELA instructors must practice subterfuge and resist standardization by using Personal Standards.

34     Opportunity Costs of the Common Core in High School ELA by Eamon Cunningham

Strategies for adjusting in-class curriculum to align with the cess, and how to increase fluency with the demands of standardized tests.

41     Rewriting the Common Core State Standards for Tomorrow’s Literacies by Jessica Van Cleave and Sarah Bridges-Rhoads

Authors highlight the push for reading the cess as a living document like any other, open to interpretation and creative implementation.

48     Teacher Perspectives and Classroom Changes during the Standards Movement by Marci Glaus

Restoring a voice to those teachers who do the important work of educating students in classrooms, highlighting the changes taking place during standardization.

54     From English Language Arts Teacher to Literacy Expert: Reimagining Our Role by Amy Lannin, Angela Kohnen, Katie Kline, Nancy Singer, Valerie Stokes, and Amy Knowles

Chronicling work that is focused on content-area writing, as stressed in the CESS, and partnered language arts teachers with career/technical educators.

61     Metaphors, Frames, and Fact (Checks) about the Common Core by Anne Whitney and Patrick Shannon

The interrogation of some metaphors that CESS proponents have used as arguments to characterize cess, and then checks the facts that others have amassed around the issue.

72     Revisiting Dewey in the Age of Common Core: Confessions of an Unwilling Deconstructivist by Anne Peel

Author argues that NCLB has pressured writing teachers to underserve developing writers by replacing inquiry with an emphasis on product.

80     How Have We Been Standardized? Let Me Count the Ways by Susan Arpajian Jolley

Article examines, both personally and historically, the deleterious effects of the decades-old movement toward standardization of both students and teachers.

86     Teaching Equity through Gatsby in the Age of CCSS by Allisyn Mills and Seungho Moon

Authors provide options for teachers who share the need to design curriculum to incorporate more perspectives in the classroom.

93     Coming Full Circle: A Young Teacher’s Journey with the Standards Movement by Monique Cherry-McDaniel

A teacher’s journey from having an unhealthy relationship with the standards to redefining herself as a professional and using the standards to support sound instruction.

99     Enacting Problem-Posing Education through Project-Based Learning by Nadia Behizadeh

Promoting project-based learning in English education as a way to combat the loss of cultural relevancy under the pressures of standardization.

105     The 2013 Honor List: Fiction Filled with Real Information by Don L. F. Nilsen, James Blasingame Jr., and Aileen Pace Nilsen

Can deep reading into fictional worlds provide insight into our real-life experiences? Texts selected for the 2013 Honor List indicate that the answer is resoundingly affirmative.


16     My Kind of Slo(w) by Patricia O’Connor

26     A Problem, Solution Pape by Greg Overman

40     The archaeology of white people by P. L. Thomas

71     The kindness school (beyond the archaeology of white people, pt. 2) by P. L. Thomas

92     Write It! (Like Disaster) by Lynn Doyle


113     Speaking Truth to Power – “Not the Time … to Follow the Line of Least Resistance” by P. L. Thomas

115     Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom – Education Reform and Potemkin Villages: Expanding Conceptions of “Data” by Noah Asher Golden

118     Disabling Assumptions – Differentiating Writing, Reading, and How We Respond to Writing by Patricia A. Dunn

121     Lingua Anglia: Bridging Language and Learners – Vir Bonus Dicendi Peritus: The Art of Oral Argumentation by Tim W. Watson and Pamela J. Hickey

124     Carpe Librum: Seize the (VA) Book – LGBTQ Stories We Need to Hear Now by Laura Renzi

Christian Educators Journal Vol. 54 No. 1 October 2014

4     The Task of Christian Education in Creating an Inclusive Worldview by David W. Anderson

11     Karl Barth’s Mozart by John Macinnis

15 Learning in the Courtyard of the Gentiles by justin Cook

23 Teachers Matter by Mary Kooy

29     Love, Creation, Virtue as Models for Environmental Education by jeff Ploegstra

33     In Defense of Reading by Bill Boerman-Cornell

English Journal Vol. 104 No. 1 September 2014

7     Call for Manuscripts

11     From the Guest Editors Alan Brown and Chris Crowe


13     The Redemptive Power of Sports in the Writing Classroom by Cherie Parsons

One teacher has realized that students do their best work when writing about topics that matter most to them; sports is one of those topics.

19     My Year of Sports by Jennifer Rossuck

The author describes a successful yearlong course, The Games People Play: Sports in Society and Literature, that engages students in a variety of interdisciplinary learning opportunities.

25     Teaming Up: Teaching Analysis and Research through Sports Controversies by Lisa Beckelhimer

Writing assignments focused on sports controversies provide students with opportunities to read, write, research, and debate in ways that feel authentic and meaningful.

31     Teaching with and about Sports-Based Documentary Films to Address Core Standards by Luke Rodesiler

Sports documentaries capture student interest and provide opportunities for activities and assignments that connect to popular culture, develop ELA literacies, and meet Common Core State Standards.

37     The Highlight with a Thousand Faces: Sports and Our Yearning for Hero and Myth by Clayton M. Gahan

Using Joseph Campbell’s notions of archetypes and the hero’s journey, students can examine current sports stories to help them understand modern society and myth creation.

42     Sports Stories and Critical Media Literacy by Mark A. Fabrizi and Robert D. Ford

A popular one-semester elective, Sports Stories relies on student knowledge of and interest in sports to teach critical media literacy and rhetorical analysis.

48     Three-Point Shot: Basketball, Poetry, and Critical Literacy by Elizabeth G. Dinkins

The poetry of three prominent contemporary authors provides students with opportunities to practice literary interpretation from a variety of perspectives.

54     Out of the Closet and onto the Playing Field: Two Decades of Lesbian Athletes in VA Literature by Katherine Mason

Using the Identity Formation Model, the author examines the representation of lesbian athletes in young adult literature and suggests that students benefit from reading about characters with a range of sexual and gender identities.

62     Writing: An Athletic Performance by Marisa Sandoval Lamb

An English teacher and competitive runner explains the parallels that exist between academic and athletic performance and provides activities to improve student writing.

68     Learning from Athletes’ Writing: Creating Activity Journals by Richard Kent

Students-and athletes-can benefit from writing activities that take place outside the classroom walls; these activities often lead to better thinking, writing, and performance.


67     Pearls of Wisdom during a Losing Streak by Matthew J. Spireng

74     Adding Some Color by Matthew J. Spireng

81     Hot Sauce’s Guide to Expository Writing for High School Students by Dante Di Stefano


75     Speaking Truth to Power Invisible Young Men: African American Males, Academics, and Athletics by P. L. Thomas

79     Lingua Anglia: Bridging Language and Learners Multilingualism and Sports: Home Language, Cross-Training, and the Resource of Bilingualism by Pamela J. Hickey

82     Carpe Librum: Seize the (VA) Book

Where Is the Girl Power? The Search for Authentic Portrayals of Female Athletes in YA Lit by Emilee Hussack and Pauline Skowron Schmidt

86     Continuous Becoming: Moving toward Mastery Teach Me, Coach! by Victoria P. Hankey

89     Soft(a)ware in the English Classroom Bards at Bat: The Sport of Quantitative Literary Analysis by Tom Liam Lynch

92     Speaking My Mind – Sports Lit by Chris Crutcher

94     Speaking My Mind – Sports Books: The Four Questions by Robert Lipsyte