I am so excited to make my first blog post on our brand new upper elementary collaborative blog!! I have enjoyed reading about each of the amazing collaborators that have posted before me…what a group! Let me begin by introducing myself. My name is Jen Bengel and I am the mom of three amazing children, Sophie(13), Malaya (11), and Greyson (9). I am married to my high school sweetheart!
Some fun facts about me:A. I am an extreme couponer…it’s a total addiction to save big bucks at the grocery store! Check out all the coupons I cut just this Sunday. You would NOT want to be behind me at the checkout line tomorrow morning for double coupon Saturday!!
B. I love to run
C. I love to travel…any chance I get I am either watching House Hunters International or planning a trip!
And here is the shortest version I can think of to explain my professional experience. I am currently an Intermediate Literacy Collaborative Coordinator. I spend the majority of my days planning and teaching professional development in literacy. I also observe and coach classroom teachers in grades 3-5. Coaching is my absolute favorite part of my job. I just love collaborating with teachers and reaching deeper understandings as to best practice in literacy instruction.
Before becoming a coach I taught in grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 in both Wisconsin and Alabama. I received my master’s degree in reading education from the University of South Alabama. I completed an 18-month training course at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, where I learned the framework for the Literacy Collaborative. I flew to Boston on five separate week-long training sessions. Now, I travel to Boston once a year for a week of professional development. I am actually leaving for a week this Sunday! The best part about the training is that I get to meet and talk about literacy with Irene Fountas, a co-author of many professional development resources, including, The Continuum of Literacy Learning.
I love teaching all areas of literacy but I have to say writing is my favorite. I absolutely love teaching students to see themselves as writers who have something important to share with the world. There is nothing more magical than when every student in the room (even those reluctant writers) groan and beg for more time when I tell them we need to stop writing. I learn the most from my students by listening to what they have to say in their writing; and I think they learn the most about themselves when they realize they actually have something worth saying!
I have several freebies available at my Teachers pay Teachers store. Here are a few of my favorites!
These printable comprehension questions work great for responding to reading!
My students love using these bookmarks to show their thinking about making inferences!
Stop by and visit me at these places: