Welcome to Jennie’s Blog.

I am excited to share with all of you my insights into teaching young children.    There are so many good things that I have written about, from reading aloud to music, art, ‘traveling’ across the world, eating in our Chinese restaurant, quilting, play performances, and so on.  Each time something great happens in my classroom I write about it.  Often the most important things are the little things, as they become the foundation for learning.  It’s all those little things that are really the big things, and that’s what I write about.  Let me give you an example:  Music is a big part of my program, and a few years ago the children were particularly excited about singing “God Bless America”.  I’m not sure why, as we sing many types of songs at school.  I paid attention and realized they needed more.  They had begun to sing together on their own and even stage themselves on the playground to sing for other classes.  In November I invited soldiers into the classroom so we could sing to them and thank them.  It was wonderful, but still not enough for the children.  In December we made our own book, based on the song, for our families.  This was an enormous and collaborative effort.  Don’t ask me why, but I could sense that I needed to do more for the children.  I contacted a master quilter who had been a frequent guest in my class.  She is a grandmother figure who adores the children.  With her help, the children designed a quilt based on the song “God Bless America”.  They did everything except the actual sewing, which they watched the quilter do.  That quilt traveled to the Intrepid Museum in New York City, and is at the Fisher House at Boston’s VA Hospital.  What if I had not paid attention to children singing a favorite song?  Nothing would have happened beyond singing. 

Parents and teachers have been reading my work for years, and begging me to share what I know with ‘the world’.  So, I am doing just that.  I’ll post on my blog every week, from ‘soup to nuts’.  Look for my next post in a few days.  I hope you enjoy reading.  



About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty years. This is my passion. I believe that children have a voice, and that is the catalyst to enhance or even change the learning experience. Emergent curriculum opens young minds. It's the little things that happen in the classroom that are most important and exciting. That's what I write about. I am highlighted in the the new edition of Jim Trelease's bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at both the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, and the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital.
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28 Responses to Welcome to Jennie’s Blog.

  1. Terri Martin says:

    Jennie, You did it! I am so proud of you and more proud to say you are my colleague and friend.
    Can’t wait for the next one! Terri

  2. liss besse says:

    Nice job Jennie! I am so glad you are doing this! You hsve enriched so many kids lives for so many years! I hope you do more on Read aloud WVa.
    Love you!

  3. Tracey Smith says:

    This is so wonderful! I am so proud of you and will be a “follower”. You have inspired both of our children throughout their academic years … you have a gift. Thank you for sharing it!

  4. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience and excitement with us! I can’t wait to keep reading. You inspire me!

  5. Lorrie Morgan says:

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, experience and excitement! I can’t wait to read more of your blog. You inspire me!

  6. Noreen Keras says:

    Your a true inspiration Jennie! Keep on sharing!

  7. Sarah Belcher says:

    I am so impressed and inspired Jennie! Looking forward to following you! Great job!

  8. Kerry Cusick says:

    Jennie, I love your first entry and can’t wait to read more. Your “voice” is so evident and displays your dedication to all children and their “gifts.” Thank you!!

  9. Em Daigle says:

    Great work, Jennie! You are an inspiration to all, and I’m already excited to read the next entry!

  10. Lisa Stafford says:

    Congratulations, Jennie on your blog, and thank you for the words of wisdom and inspiration!!

  11. Deb McLean says:

    Hi Jennie!
    Thanks for sharing! You are a true inspirations:). Looking forward to updates.
    Deb McLean

  12. Shelley Grove says:

    Let’s look outside the box even more and we will see that someday, there will be a Jennie version of “Teaching in the Key of Life” !!

  13. Kerry says:

    Jennie: Thank you for sharing and starting this blog. You are such an inspiration to our children and the next generation. Some people never find their passion in life…You define the word PASSION through all your teachings and we are so blessed to have you in our Circle of Life. Looking forward to future post!! Kerry McKennon

  14. Marie Forst says:

    Jennie, I am so happy I found you through a wordpress tag! We are similar in our love and respect for an emergent curriculum and the desire to help others understand what is happening in our classrooms. I’m looking forward to reading more about your class in the future.

  15. jlfatgcs says:

    Marie, your blog is wonderful! We both know what matters most with young children. I have so much to share, and so do you.

  16. Jyothi says:

    I love your spirit and your genuine love for your students. You are so right that children need a voice and it takes truly gifted teachers to encourage and foster that voice through creative classrooms. Your students are blessed.

  17. Liz says:

    Hello, I so glad I “found” you. I’ve been teaching early childhood for more than a decade. I often wondered how to share my work with others, now here you are. My question is how do you share the process of heartfelt projects the children are involved in. Do you get parental permission for photos. I let the children lead me. This prevents burn out, or simple boredom. I how myself back from sharing pics of my kids outside the classroom for fear I may be overstepping.

    • Jennie says:

      Hello, Liz! I know exactly where you’re coming from. I think it was about the 15 year mark in teaching that I realized I needed to share all the great moments and things that were happening in the classroom with families. Teaching parents was as important as teaching the children. That was a big revelation. So, I began to write newsletters and email them to all the families. This grew (understatement), and I started this blog years later at the urging and encouragement of others. I now find that I don’t send as many detailed newsletters to families as I used to. I encourage them to follow my blog, but I’m not so sure everyone does. That’s a problem I might need to fix.

      I do get parental permission for photos. I just verbally ask, and they are thrilled to have their child featured. After more than one blog post photo, I tell them, and again they are thrilled. Never an issue. If I use a name, it is only the first name, and I ask permission. Always happy, grateful parents.

      Like you, I let the children lead me. Emergent curriculum at it’s best! And it definitely prevents burnout or boredom. Here’s the thing – when there is a great moment, even on a terrible day, I go home and write about it, because it is all those little, great moments that are the most important. I never want to forget that. And, I want to share those moments with parents and teachers, like you. Some days might only have five awesome minutes, but they’re the best.

      So, that’s what I write about. I think most of the parents in my class read my blog. Sometimes if it is really important I will email families with a few quick sentences and a link to the post.

      Does this help? Let me know if I there is anything else. Best to you, Liz! -Jennie-

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