About Joanna

Photo of Mush Mush Readers author Joanna MeredithThank you for visiting!! It is a true blessing that I get to share with you how I created my ‘Mush Mush Readers!’

The first thing I did (as all Kindergarten teachers do) in the beginning of the school year was assess each child’s reading level. I assessed them on letter names, letter sounds, and sight words. I also had them try to read a few words and a little story passage. After I collected the data, I then placed the children into 1 of 3 ‘Reading Groups:’ BEGINNING/LOW, AVERAGE/ON, or ABOVE.

When I went to gather reading materials for each group, I noticed a lack of developmentally appropriate materials for the children placed in my ‘very beginning/low’ group. Since these children could not recognize letters, say letter-sounds, or blend letters together to form words, I started them out on SIGHT WORDS! Sight Words are memorized and read by ‘sight’ because they do not follow traditional English Language rules and are used frequently in reading materials, hence their name “sight words.”

I would make ‘Sight Word Readers’ on the computer and use them for the children placed in my BEGINNNG/LOW Reading Group. These children needed very simple reading material that had minimal instruction to lessen their frustration and anxiety. I continued to search online and in bookstores for developmentally appropriate, fun, child-riendly books, but never found books that the children could be successful with at the start of their reading journey. Also, these children noticed that the other children had REAL books and not just ‘printed and stapled paper.’

I thought to myself, well, I KNOW am not the only teacher who has divided ‘Reading Groups’ and I am surely not the only teacher who appreciates reading resources that make their children successful and feel confident! So, I started to use my ‘home-made’ sight word readers with a non-profit in Orlando called, Frontline Outreach. These children helped me discover what book ‘themes’ I would write about and what vocabulary words I would use. I then pitched, ‘Mush Mush Readers,’ (named after my friendly, fluffy cat) to A HigherLife Publishing company… and MEOW! I got my readers published!

Mush Mush and I would be honored if you used these 10 amazing early sight word readers as reading resources!!

With Mush Mush, Reading is PAW-SSIBLE! <><

  • Graduated from Florida State University
  • Has one son named, Oak. (Named after Isaiah 61:3 and the beautiful oak tree she got married under)
  • Dressed up at Walt Disney World for 10 years as various princesses
  • Travels to Malawi, Africa in the summer time with a wonderful organization, Children of the Nations
  • LOVES College Football! Saturdays in the fall you will find her watching the Seminoles or ‘Huskers!
  • Wishes that the smell of ‘back-to-school’ supplies would come in a perfume

Meet Mush Mush

mushmushphotoMush Mush is Joanna’s beloved, fat and fluffy cat that she and her husband, Kevin, adopted from a local pet store. Mush Mush always cuddles up with Joanna as she plans lessons for school or reads a book – Joanna quickly learned that he loved learning too! Mush Mush and Joanna hope to
make reading a PAW-ssible for your growing reader

Keep a look out for more ‘Mush Mush Readers’ to come!