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Rain, Steam, and Speed: Building Fluency in Adolescent Writers

reviewed by Diane L. Olson - 2005

coverTitle: Rain, Steam, and Speed: Building Fluency in Adolescent Writers
Author(s): Gerald J. Fleming and Meredith Pike-Baky
Publisher: Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco
ISBN: 0787974560, Pages: 219, Year: 2005
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In the thirty-one years I have taught English language arts to adolescents (twenty-eight at junior high level), journals have always been a major writing tool in the development of fluency. This book adds a stunning new element to the normal “write on anything you want” direction my students (and those of many other teachers) are used to. Rain, Steam, and Speed is a triple-whammy manual on journaling for the teacher of young adolescent writers. Author-teachers Gerald Fleming and Meredith Pike-Baky have a unique idea here, and we weary veterans who are a bit skeptical of journals’ usefulness will find this a refreshing idea- sparker. Fleming’s description of the program intrigues me: “a system of accountability that directs improvement and simplifies evaluation” (p. 12). The book’s title is not attractive initially. Its three words are based on a mid-nineteenth-century English painting by J. M. W. Turner depicting a steam locomotive moving... (preview truncated at 150 words.)

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 7, 2005, p. 1457-1460
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11790, Date Accessed: 8/10/2020 8:39:04 PM

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About the Author
  • Diane Olson
    Wayne Community Schools
    E-mail Author
    DIANE OLSON is a full-time junior high English and leadership teacher at Wayne Community Schools, Corydon, Iowa. She is a National Board Certified Teacher (2000) as well as an adjunct instructor for Morningside University, Sioux City, and Southern Prairie Area Education Agency, Ottumwa. She is also a contributor to Iowa Language News newsletter and is currently working on a Western novel titled "The Outrageous Saga of Sweet Maddie Sweet."
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