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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.

A reader's confession (AKA the need to read widely)

January 9, 2013

As I think about the Common Core State Standards and the recommendations for increased nonfiction reading, I must confess that my own reading choices (for pleasure reading) are quite narrow. I read fiction, and that's pretty much it. Sometimes an occasional piece of historical fiction creeps in, but by and large, my Kindle is full of regular 'ol fiction.

It's a different story during the day. Then, my reading is almost exclusively nonfiction. Newspaper articles, journal studies, press releases, and reports fill my screen. I know how to read each one with skill, and do so strategically. (Thank goodness for the grad school prof that taught me to read research studies from end to beginning to charts and then middle!)

It's important for kids to read widely — from lots of different genre — in order for them to gain experience and practice reading different types of text. Think about your students or your children. If given the choice, would they read the same type of book over and over and over again? If your answer is yes, maybe some sort of genre tracking chart would be helpful to encourage more variation in what they're reading. Something quick and easy to use, on which a child keeps track of the different types of books he's read that month.

I gathered a few examples on our Genre Pinterest Board. Check it out, and please comment in if you use one we should add!

Reading Genres


Similar to Joanne, I too need to read more non-fiction text. I reckon that I am not reading at all! It is alarming because I want to be a better reading model for my students. It is my goal this year to discuss my reading materials with my students, in order to boost their interest in reading. Additionally, non-fiction text provides information which enriches ones knowledge based and aid in maintaining conversation with others. I believe that knowing a little about most things is very favorable especially in improving ones writing. I am fond of the Genre Pinterest Boards displayed above. Honestly this did not occur to me and is a very good way for both my students and I to track the type of literature we are reading. This will help us to set reading targets for a specific type of non-fiction literature, to gain information for personal use and to share with friends weekly or monthly.Thank you so very much Joanne for helping me to channel my reading interest for this year.

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"Let us remember: one book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world." —

Malala Yousafzei