An interview with Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer: Her books and upcoming webinar by Dr. Sam Bommarito

This week I had a chance to interview Dr. Heide Anne Mesmer. We talked briefly about two of her books and her upcoming webinar for the International Literacy Association LINK. This session is being sponsored by Curriculum Associates, please do drop by their website LINK. I will be the host for the webinar, which is being held online on October 13th, 5-6 pm E.T. Here is Heidi’s bio.


As you can see, Heidi is a classroom teacher turned professor and researcher. As a researcher, she has published in many prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including the Reading Research Quarterly. Her background gives her a unique perspective on things. She sees things as a classroom teacher, reading professor and reading researcher. Nell Duke is the editor of one of her books. Like Dr. Duke, she is a researcher who goes where the research takes her, even if that means challenging some long-held favorite beliefs.  In the upcoming webinar, she will give us ideas on how to make our instruction in decoding stronger. What I like most is that she is talking to us both as researcher and as a classroom teacher during the interview. As a former classroom teacher, she promises her webinar will give us specifics on things we can “use next Monday morning.”  That is something I always look for when picking PD sessions. More importantly, what she suggests is well-grounded in current research. 

What follows next is a link to the YouTube version of the video, a time-stamped list of the questions asked during the interview and a link to two of her books about teaching decoding, one of which is literally “hot off the press.” I also included a link to Phonics Faux Pas, an article Heidi co-authored with Nell K. Duke. That article talks gives a good overview of missteps to avoid when teaching phonics. The two books are a treasure trove of resources and ideas. They include links to videos that demonstrate the teaching methods she discusses being carried out in actual classroom settings. Here are the questions we covered in the interview:

  1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? (1:12)
  2. Why do you want to talk about Accelerating? (2.55)
  3. Tell us aboutDecoding and Letter Instruction? (3:00)
  4. What do you mean by “Accelerate?” (6.24)
  5. What can teachers expect to get from your session? (11.23)
  6. What do you think needs more focus?in this area? (14.32)





I’ll end by saying I’ve been working with some Kg and 1st-grade teachers and their students this year. Heidi’s book Letter Lessons and First Words has been an invaluable resource for me. I can’t wait for my copy of her newest book Alphabetics for Emerging Readers, to arrive. I also can’t wait for Heidi’s webinar. Since I am hosting that event (I’m sooooooooo excited about that!), I’ll have a front-row seat. Hope to see all of you there on October 13th, 5-6 pm E.T. Until next time:

Happy Reading and Writing

Dr. Sam Bommarito (the guy who just got to add “webinar host” to his resume!)

Copyright 2021 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

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1 thought on “An interview with Dr. Heidi Anne Mesmer: Her books and upcoming webinar by Dr. Sam Bommarito

  1. Pingback: The Weaponization of Research and its Implications for Reports on the Efficacy of Reading Recovery & other Constructivist-based programs- by Dr. Sam Bommarito | doctorsam7

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