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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.

Estar aqui, estar listo

March 31, 2011

I had the good fortune to spend a few days in a classroom outside of Chicago. I spent lots of time watching one of those teachers you just hope your child gets. You'll get a chance to see Cathy in action when we add our clips to the classroom strategies section of our website. Until then, trust me when I say that this is a teacher who has created and nurtured a real community of learners. The kids treat each other with respect, they function independently within the classroom, and the lessons the teacher plans are ones the kids don't want to miss.

It's the climate of the school too. As a visitor, I was greeted by a large sign in the front hall: Estar Aqui, Estar Listo. It's been while since my high school Spanish class, but Cathy helped: Be here, be ready. We talked about what it meant, and I've thought about it since. It's great advice to give kids. It's also great advice for teachers.

"Being here, and being ready" as a kid means pretty tangible things. Come to school, eat breakfast, and have a sharp pencil for the day's activities. For teachers, I think it's more about the intangibles: being 'present' with your kids, and seeing them as humans, as individuals. Being ready to change what isn't working, being willing to try something new, or going back to something old. What matters is what works, for each child.

What about you? What does 'being here' and 'being ready' mean to you as a teacher or a parent?


Hello Ms. Meier, My name is Leticia, and I am a teacher at District 202. I read your article on classroom strategies and I really like it. In your strategies, do you use the methodos such as the SIOP Model or CRISS strategies? I am looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Ms. Meier,Do you have articles on reading comprehension strategies?

Hi Leticia,,Thanks for writing! Our sister site dedicated to the teaching of English Language Learners, Colorin Colorado ( has several good resources on SIOP. Another sister site, dedicated to Adolescent Literacy ( also has a strategy library you might find useful. But before you go, be sure to look at our own library of comprehension strategies: Good luck to you!

Hi Ms. Meier,Thank you so much for the information. I will check the websites that you recommended. Again, thank you for writing such a great article on comprehension strategies.

This website is great. I am currently integrating the Reciprocal Teaching and Paragraph Shrinking to help build reading comprehension in my ELL students. These strategies do work.

This website is great. I am currently integrating the Reciprocal Teaching and Paragraph Shrinking to help build reading comprehension in my ELL students. These strategies do work.

I love this school's reminder for parents! This would be great to use at our school.

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