In the first of two articles, the authors, two girls that “Just Want to Have Fun,” reminisce about educational literacy practices of the past, specifically one nostalgic writing practice, dialogue journaling. Using the analogy of a familiar toy from the 1980s, the View Master, they aim to revitalize an antiquated practice using modern theoretical frameworks (reels) that make current classroom practices more inclusive for today’s students. Looking to “reels” of academic (using current state standards), culturally relevant pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1995), social emotional learning (Mussey, 2019), and humanizing instruction (Freire, 1968), we support current teachers in analyzing their practices to foster inclusivity.

Readers can walk away having both revisited the 1980s with us and also reviewed a nostalgic writing practice turned best practice that still holds merit and promotes inclusion today. The next article will feature an additional literacy practice, readers theatre. We will close out this series with steps to use these reels in your own classroom lesson planning.

Author Bio

Rebecca Witte is a doctoral candidate in the Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University. Before coming to MSU, she taught in elementary grades for 18 years. She is interested in literacy practices and pedagogy that expand connections and broaden experiences of community in elementary classrooms. She can be reached at wittereb@ msu.edu.

Darreth R. Rice, Ph.D. is an assistant professor of teacher education at Michigan State University. Her research centers around literacy policies and family engagement to support student reading joy and achievement. Prior to her doctoral studies, Darreth taught middle school ELA for eight years and spent four years as a traveling literacy specialist. She can be reached at ricedar1@msu.edu.



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