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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 to read and write

December 5, 2007

Like everyone, we're in for a busy couple of weeks. Our homework and storytime routines sometimes get pushed aside, and at first I was feeling guilty about that. But when I think about how the girls are spending their time, there's plenty of reading, writing, and math going just looks different! Here's how Anna spent her afternoon yesterday on the computer:

Dear Santa,

I have ben a very good girl this yere I wood like moor jump rope and
Samatha and Emily a pegwin that is cold and cuot my onn bitty baby and
My onn jres up close a nothr cabich pach sum moor books that are
Little bear sum moor bitty baby close sum moor crittrs
My onn safty bag that hooks on to my bike
My onn aret araya

While she was doing that, Molly and I were writing our grocery list for chocolate mint wafer cookies. Things got complicated when we decided to double the recipe! A quick tutorial on fractions kept things on track. Between our grocery list and the directions for putting together our Advent calendar (like this one, but I didn't pay that price!) Molly got her share of reading and writing too.

And there's more in our future — reading our Christmas cards and letters, sending out our own (at some point...), writing our letter with Santa's cookies and also thank you notes. So, if your schedule is like ours, it's okay! Step back and see where literacy is really taking place. I'll bet it's there.


I love it! Good luck with your hamster...we've got a gerbil. "Lucky" may be the smallest pet in the house, but he's the messiest! Let me know if you come up with a good system for keeping the bedding in the cage! (PS: I'd love to see your son's ideas for hamster care. Very sweet!)

Reading and writing have been creeping into our holiday preparations in most unique ways this year. My first grader asked for a hamster and in anticipation has read three books about their care and written a detailed list of what's needed for hamster comfort. He's also made a welcome sign to make her feel right at home!

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"So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away. And in its place you can install, a lovely bookshelf on the wall." — Roald Dahl