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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.

'Tis the season, again!

December 16, 2008

Was it really a year ago that I wrote this post about feeling frenzied and guilty about the lack of quality reading and writing time at our house? Because it's happening again! And once again I realize that my girls ARE engaged in reading and writing. It just looks different this time of year.

Here what we're doing, language arts style, to get ready for the holidays:

Molly used Audacity to record herself reading 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. And because my Mom will be in SC for Christmas, we'll send her the .WAV file so she can enjoy that traditional retelling as much as we do. If you have a microphone on your computer, it's a pretty easy program to use.

Anna's been hard at work typing her list for Santa. New this year is her interest in learning more word processing features. Her (numbered!) list is complete with alternating fonts and a fancy Word Art title.

Our copy of The Elf on the Shelf gets read and read and read and read. This set is new to us this year, and Anna's very concerned that Santa takes the Elf when he comes (as the illustrations suggest). For anyone else out there who has one….does Santa take the Elf until next year?! Help!

Both girls have spent lots of time making Christmas cards for their friends. After filling our art area with holiday-oriented supplies, both girls happily design snowmen on skateboards (item 4 on Anna's wish list) and beautiful glittery snowflakes. Their handwritten greetings always bring a smile: We hope you have a great Christmas and have you got your tree?

And so it goes. What are your kids doing (language arts style) to get ready for the holidays?


Hi Cindy: Well, the elf stayed, mostly because our Christmas Eve night was too busy with our own scurrying around to remember about the Elf. Much to Anna's relief, the Elf remained firmly in place until he was packed away for next year.

We received The Elf on the Shelf as a gift this year. As my daughter is still quite young (20 months), I am amused to read that your daughter's worries over the elf! Can't wait until my little one can understand it!

Wow--nothing as inspiring as that! Maybe I need to teach my 6 year old about fonts....! I think I need an art area too!

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"When I say to a parent, "read to a child", I don't want it to sound like medicine. I want it to sound like chocolate. " — Mem Fox