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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

5 ways to appreciate a teacher AND build literacy skills

May 7, 2008

Teacher Appreciation week is May 4-10, and parents all over are scrambling to find something that expresses their gratitude.

Below are five quick ways to say thanks to a teacher and help build literacy skills at the same time. Each idea is intentionally fairly easy and inexpensive — just pick your favorite!

1. Donate a copy of your favorite read aloud to the class. Teachers are always looking for tried and true read alouds. If a book worked for you, it might work for the class too!

2. Offer to read aloud to the class. Email or call your teacher and ask when you can come in this week to read to the class. Bring books with you (so she doesn't have to prepare). As your teacher is walking out the door for an unprecedented break in the middle of the day, hand her a mug with a tea bag in it. What a treat!

3. Gather a few kids from the class. Have them look through old magazines and newspapers for words and pictures that remind them of their teacher. Cut and paste to make a gorgeous collage.

4. Have your child write a card. It sounds simple, right? Handmade cards with love notes from little ones are some of the most treasured items teachers receive.

5. Have your child use an online puzzle making tool (Discovery School has several good choices) and make puzzle all about her teacher. Clues could be related to a memorable field trip or class experience they've taken, teacher's favorite food or color, or other fun facts.

And one more great idea (but doesn't necessary build literacy skills) is to write your own card. It's easy to get too busy to remember to thank a teacher for all the things they do, large and small.

In our family, I wanted to thank Anna's teacher for letting the kids go out and catch snowflakes on their tongue when it started to snow in January. I wanted to be sure to let Molly's teacher know how much it meant to us when she wrote a card when Lucky (our adventurous gerbil) got away one morning. Those small acts of kindness on our teachers’ part mean SO much.

Teachers, I really appreciate you!

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