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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.

Resolutions and readers

January 11, 2011

While teachers experience their "real" New Year every August when they meet their new class, the mid-point of January also marks a chance to revisit, reflect, and ramp up efforts in the calendar New Year.

As a teacher or parent to a developing reader, I encourage you to think about and develop some resolutions for the New Year that will further the reading skills of the readers you work with. Sometimes that starts with a little more information.

Maybe your resolution includes making your classroom or home library more inviting for readers. Books displayed with covers showing often entice readers with their colorful colors or fun illustrations. Rain gutter book shelves (a tutorial) will help get you started towards your goal.

Maybe your resolution is to figure out ways to get your students (or child) more motivated to read outside of school. Raising Readers and Writers thought that through with her students, and sent home a list of the kids' suggestions to parents. Maybe something on that list will work for you?

Maybe you'd like see your children engaged in more real play, the kind that isn't directed by adults and doesn't involve screen time. It appears as though efforts to restore childhood play are being supported by both parents and researchers. According to Hilary Stout's New York Times article,

Educators and others who are part of the play movement say that most of the social and intellectual skills one needs to succeed in life and work are first developed through childhood play. Children learn to control their impulses through games like Simon Says, play advocates believe, and they learn to solve problems, negotiate, think creatively and work as a team when they dig together in a sandbox or build a fort with sofa cushions.

Whatever your resolution or commitment, stick with it! And comment in to let us know how it's going.


Thanks so much for the great ideas. As a parent of a preschooler and a reading teacher I am always looking for new ways to encourage my child, and students to get excited about reading. Getting the parents involved is always a tough one for me...and this idea is creative and easy!

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"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges