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A New Blog Name

Hello teacher friends!

Many of you know that two years ago my husband got a job in Seattle and we moved from Texas to Washington. I've been staying at home with my daughter since then and while I'm very attached to the Rowdy in First Grade name, it just doesn't accurately describe my current situation.

Years ago when I started my blog I started it because I wanted to share my ideas and things that worked for me in my first grade classroom. First grade is still my absolute favorite grade, but when I go back into the classroom I want my blog to reflect ideas I have for several grades and not just first grade. 


I have gone back and forth about changing my name for months and months. I searched and searched for clever names and anything I came up with just wasn't me or was already taken. I finally settled on Teaching with Jennifer. 

I hope you will continue to follow me. I have many great ideas and I'm ready to share! Over the next couple of weeks I will continue to make some minor changes to my blog design to help you navigate the information I have. Until then...

Enjoy your holiday weekend!


Smart Phone Marketing School is AWESOME!

Hey, teacher friends!

I've been using skills I've learned from this FABULOUS course and I can't say enough about it!  I'm using to take amazing photos, videos, and graphic designs with just my iPhone. It's one of my goals to increase sales through better marketing and I needed some serious help!



This membership has been a game-changer for my social media presence and my business. It's self-paced, gives you lifetime access, and I take it right from my phone whenever I have a free moment.

If you're interested, make sure you sign up by Nov. 17th and use promo code SPMS20OFF to save $20 -http://bit.ly/2ejvOQy

You'll get instant, lifetime access to easy-to-follow lessons on:
* product photography
* graphic design
* sales graphic creation
* lighting and setup
* script writing
* video production & editing
* iPhone productivity
* & all of it from your iPhone - learn on the go!

You'll also get access to a private Facebook group that yours truly is in, learning all the latest tips on iPhone visual marketing.

Why NOW is the most important time to be a teacher

Oh teacher friends, my heart is heavy with worry. I know your is too. Regardless of who you may have voted for you likely have students of different religions, race, or students whose parents may be part of our LGBT community. They fear they may have to leave the country, even though their parents are here legally. They fear too many people hate them because of their skin color. They fear people will attack them or their families because of their religion. They fear their parents legal marriage will somehow be dissolved and they will no longer be a family according to the law. These fears are real. I cannot imagine what they feel like. I cannot understand the hate I have seen either. It makes my heart ache.

I tell you, teacher friends, NOW is the most important time to be a teacher. Our job is already incredibly difficult, I know. It's especially hard when we hear politicians and legislators, who know nothing about what we ACTUALLY do,  belittle our hardwork and efforts. This stings more when already we are making up for extreme budget cuts with our small salaries by spending big parts of our paychecks on our kids. But, I feel, in this uncertain time one of the best things we can do is model kindness and understanding. That happens to be a skill that teachers specialize in! It comes easily to us! It's part of why we followed the calling to become a teacher (because that's what it is- a calling!). We LOVE our kids. We invest in our students success with our whole heart. We want them to succeed and we want them to be leaders. We want them to treat others well and with kindness. We want them to be team players and we want them to include those students who may be different from them in some way.

On Monday, if you don't already do it, greet every student at your door. Every single one. Smile, "I'm SO glad you are here today!" Give hugs freely. Hug your former students as they make their way to class. When you see a colleague do something you know was outside their comfort zone give them praise in front of their class and yours! Smile at your staff members as you pass them in the hallway. At the end of the day hug or high five your students as they leave your classroom and head for the bus. Tell them they are IMPORTANT. Find more activities that require your students to work as a team. Thank them for their hard work. Tell them on Monday how much you missed them. Because not only are they our future...but among them are future leaders of this country.



We have the opportunity and privilege to be a person that makes a profound impact on how they feel about others and especially how they feel about themselves! XO

Writers Making Lists

Making lists seems like such a simple task doesn't it?  I'm at a point in my life where 1) I can't remember stuff and 2) I get great satisfaction from crossing off something on my to-do list. When I started creating my writing journals I wanted my students to be a part of the process of creating examples to refer back to. One of the first items we work on is creating lists. Why work on something that is seemingly so simple? Lists are the basis of all of our planning and pre-writing!

Making lists piece in interactive portion of writing journal. 

Young writers need lots of practice writing lists and thinking of ideas quickly. It's hard when you're a first grader to get your ideas onto your paper and to do it quickly. The first example students put into their writing journals is a list. (I also created a few other lists for them to add into their journal. These could be placed into their journals behind my original list or be placed in your writing center as a quick option for them.) I want them to be able to think of simple ideas like farm animals and be able to write a list for them. Then we can practice how to make sentences from our list.

One fun way to practice making lists is with this list making SCOOT activity. Of course you could laminate these lists and allow students to write on them with dry erase markers so that you get several years of use out of them. I copied mine onto Astrobrights Double Color cardstock. (If you haven't seen the Double Color cardstock it is so worth the money! You get twice the colors in one small pack. It's awesome!)

Split your class into groups of four or five students. Each student gets their own list. It may help to print them on different colors. Students write one item on their list. Then SCOOT to the next list in the group and try to list something not already written. You only have four or five students in each group so the SCOOT game goes pretty quickly. Come back together as a whole class to begin comparing lists. If you have space in your room post all your lists up. This is a great tool for your ESL, ELL, and low readers. It's ok for them to copy the lists into their journals. They are still practicing writing!

Lists Freebie. Click on the picture above to download.


This would also be a great small group activity! Many students do better verbalizing what they want on their list before they write it down. Pair up students and have them orally lists items for their list before writing it down. Two heads are better than one, right? So even your shy kiddos will feel successful.

When I first start literacy station rotations and journal writing is a station I may tell me students to write a list this time. They have an example to refer back to and this helps them practice using their journal as a tool. We want our students to know exactly where to get the information they need!


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