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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.

New school year resolutions

August 17, 2011

I recently had dinner with some teacher friends who are preparing for the new school year. The conversation turned to "New School Year Resolutions." With their permission, I thought I'd share three of the resolutions with you and also find out what sorts of teaching (or parenting) resolutions you're making at the start of this school year.

1. Choose read alouds from multiple genres. We all shared our favorite read alouds, and the large majority of them were realistic fiction or fantasy. My friend Judy has it as her goal to read from a different genre each month, and she's starting off with biographies. What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? will kick off her unit "getting to know you."

2. Be really thoughtful about homework assignments. The research on homework is somewhat mixed, but it's a fact of life in most elementary schools. My friend Anne has a goal to ask herself three questions before she sends something home as homework. Have I taught this material already? Does this provide sound practice with the skill? Are the directions clear enough?

3. Establish and maintain good parent communication. Here at Reading Rockets we've got some great resources in our Families and Schools section, including a weekly classroom newsletter template and some tips for building parent-teacher relationships

What about you? Have you made any new school year resolutions? Please share below!

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"Writing is thinking on paper. " — William Zinsser