Friday, January 11, 2013

Hello from Jen at out of This World Literacy!

Hello Friends!

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!
                                                  
Because of my extensive training, I began creating units of study for the reading and writing workshops so that the teachers at my school could have practical resources that follow best practice for literacy instruction. The units I create are all month-long genre studies. I link the Common Core State Standards to each of the 40 lessons. There are units for grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 in several genres. I love helping teachers organize their reading and writing workshops to be interdisciplinary and also ensure the Common Core is being covered. Visit my Teachers pay Teachers store to receive 10% off these units and all my other resources today only (January 11)! I look forward to sharing literacy resources with intermediate teachers on this blog!

Stop by and visit me at these places:

19 comments:

  1. Howdy!
    So pleased to learn more about you. My sister is a total couponer. She has a website business about it. I love your resources.
    Thanks for sharing. This is awesome to work with so many wonderful people!

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    1. Thanks John! That's so awesome your sister has her own business couponing!! I am super excited to start this blogging journey with you!!

      Jen

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  2. I love learning about all of you! I think I am an extreme couponer wanna-be. I try but it never seems to work for me, I can never find the right ones for the stuff we buy. Once I did get $100 in baby food for free with coupons though, so that's my couponing claim! Your products are amazing! :)

    Karen
    Mrs. Jones’s Kindergarten

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    1. I know exactly what you are saying Karen. It is hard at first. And if you don't live in an are where grocery stores offer coupon deals, it is even harder! Thanks for the compliment:) I'm so excited about this blog!

      Jen

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  3. Great post! It's always fun to find out the "unusual" things about all our bloggers!!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I think so too. It makes it feel like we know each other even though we've never actually met in person:)

      Jen

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  4. Loved reading more about your background! I am jealous you get to go to those literacy trainings! You must have so much knowledge from attending those! Looking forward to seeing some of those ideas in your blog and here :)

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  5. Thanks Heather...it has been quite the adventure! I can't wait to share more and also learn from all of the collaborators on here:)

    Jen

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  6. Hey Jen~

    Nice job creating your blog page. Fun facts were great...I didn't know John was your high school sweetheart!
    I was thrilled to read that you were having a sale on TpT on Jan. 11th (my b-day). I snapped up your two new reading and writing units for 4th grade and a few other goodies. I LOVE your resources!

    Remember to take your AirBorne and stay healthy. You're too busy to get sick...lol!

    Love,
    Your #1 Fan

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    1. Haha yeah John and I go way back:) Of course the sale was in honor of my #1 fan's bday!! I am glad you reminded me about the AirBorne...I'm adding it to my grocery list last minute before I leave. I really don't want to catch that flu in Boston! I'll miss seeing you this week but we'll keep in touch via email...have a fun week and get some rest!!!

      Love and blessings to my #1 fan :)

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  7. Ooh, I did my MA at Lesley! And I thought a 3 hour commute from Springfield, MA was brutal, haha. Great school (though I did a different program from you). I'll definitely follow your TPT store, and I'm off to download your freebies!

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    1. Hi Amber! It's fun to hear from someone who went to Lesley too. It really is an amazing school! Thanks for your support and I hope my freebies will be helpful for you!

      Jen

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  8. Nice meeting you, Jen. I look forward to blogging with you. Great freebies!

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    1. It's great to meet you too and I am so excited to be blogging together:)

      Jen

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  9. Could you please send me an email with some couponing tips? I clip them when I see things that we actually use, but that is usually about as far as I get. It sounds like you have it down to a science. I loved reading your introduction, and I am excited to be on this journey with you!

    Andrea

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    1. Hi Andrea! Here are my best couponing tips: I too only purchase what we need and I try to stick to all healthy foods as well. The trick really is matching the coupons with the sales at your grocery store. There is a store in my town that offers double coupons on Wednesdays and Saturdays. I basically match my coupons with what is on sale that I need for deep discounts (if not free). When I find a deal, I stock up! It's great to have loads of body wash, toothpaste, mouthwash, tp, cleaning supplies, etc. that we all need right in my own mini store downstairs. I would suggest finding out what coupons policies your local grocery stores offer and go from there.

      Good luck!

      Jen

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  10. You have a beautiful family, Jen! I love your daughters' curls! That photo of your three kiddos is priceless. It looks like it could be in a magazine!

    Thanks for sharing these great resources. I love your ideas and creativity! :)

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  11. Ha, when I do HAPPEN to clip a coupon, I cut it out, shove it in my wallet and then forget about it until it expires. I admire those who have the coupon system down.

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