A “Jennie Story” – On YouTube

This has been a whirlwind of a week.  Each of the past five days I have posted a video of me reading aloud a picture book, and an episode of chapter reading, every day on my new YouTube channel. It is very popular.  Children and their older siblings, parents, and people who heard through the grapevine about Jennie and her reading aloud, are fans.  More importantly, they are listening to the words of great stories.

McKinley asked for a “Jennie Story.”  I tell one every day at lunchtime at school, so of course she is missing hearing this.  We’re trying to keep consistency and familiarity for children in our online distance learning through YouTube, so I posted a story.

“The Spider Story”  It happened like this…

As the weeks go by, reading aloud and also telling “Jennie Stories” on YouTube will be a constant.  Technology is giving me a way to reach children and give them what I do in school.  Words and stories will carry them as we go through this pandemic.


P.S.  The YouTube channel is open to anyone.  Go to YouTube, click on channel, and then type in Aqua Room.  You won’t believe the great books I’m reading next week!  I have so many Jennie Stories to tell, too!

About Jennie

I have been teaching preschool for over thirty-five 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 was a live guest on the Kelly Clarkson Show. I am highlighted in the seventh edition of Jim Trelease's million-copy bestselling book, "The Read-Aloud Handbook" because of my reading to children. My class has designed quilts that hang as permanent displays at the National Liberty Museum in Philadelphia, the Fisher House at the Boston VA Hospital, and the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
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95 Responses to A “Jennie Story” – On YouTube

  1. Opher says:

    Great stuff Jennie. That matches my giant hairy spider story!

  2. Darlene says:

    How wonderful. I´ve passed this on to moms I know.

  3. beth says:

    love this story, jennie

  4. quiall says:

    You are a bright light in these dusky days!

  5. beetleypete says:

    Well done, Jennie. I love The Spider Story! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  6. That is a scary story! (Poor Steve . . . ) Having lived in Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Portsmouth–and then on to Florida, I can attest to the fact that the further south you go, the bigger the bugs get.

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  8. Bravo, Jennie! I’m so pleased your kids and their families can continue to learn from and enjoy your readings and stories!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    What a great story. Steve must be related to my husband, he of the running outside in his underwear when we had an earthquake. (Instead of helping us!)

    • Jennie says:

      That is sooo funny! They are definitely cut from the same cloth, because my Steve was chased by a raccoon outside while wearing only his underwear. At least this was at night. I hope your earthquake wasn’t in broad daylight. 🤣

  10. Keep up the good work, Jennie.

  11. Ritu says:

    You are amazing, Jennie 💜💜💜

    • Jennie says:

      That’s so nice, Ritu. ❤️ If you close school totally and want to do this with your students on YouTube, let me know. Many thanks, and keep me posted on what’s happening. This week has been so busy and life changing- I have lots of fellow bloggers’ posts I need to catch up on reading. Stay well! 😍

  12. Love it! I will be reaching out to my Kindergarteners after spring break on March 30th. Already their parents are emailing me, saying they miss their classmates and their teacher. I am also thankful that technology will enable us to continue learning together. It will be an adventure. 🙂

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad to hear you’ll be reaching out, too. Yes, thank goodness for technology. I’m the teacher who always resists it and think children don’t need it – and here I am leading the way with technology. Who knew!

  13. Dan Antion says:

    Love the story, Jennie. I subscribed to the channel and I will tune in when I can. This is a very good thing you’re doing.

  14. petespringerauthor says:

    I love this story and your animated expressions. No wonder the kids love to hear “Jennie stories.” So do I! You’ll have to introduce us to Steve at some point.

    • Jennie says:

      Glad you liked it, Pete! Yes, I’m quite animated telling stories at school. I’ll tell another story on Tuesday. 😀 Steve really should be introduced at some point, too. 🙂

  15. Congrats on your YouTube channel.

    Stay safe and well

  16. What a fabulous way to keep kids engaged in stories, reading, and books, Jennie. Teachers are being so wonderful through this tough time and that includes you. ❤

  17. Wonderful, Jennie! I’m heading over to Aqua Room… Now i’m listening to “Chopsticks” too!
    Love it and sharing everywhere! ❤ xo

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Bette! ❤️ There are so many wonderful books I want to read aloud to children on YouTube. I hope to read a great mix, new and old. Do you remember the book “Millions of Cats” when you were a little girl? I love that book. It taught me math placement with the chanting, “Hundreds of cats, thousands of cats, millions and billions and trillions of cats,” I might read that one aloud. I don’t want the old books that are classics to be forgotten. Just thinking out loud… 🙂

  18. I’m finally an official Aqua roomer! I loved hearing you tell this story. You make it so in the moment that we feel like we are there watching you and Steve. Scary for me too. I do not like spiders because I’ve been bitten by one I didn’t see in the yard. It came out of a tree so I was in his territory. The bite hurt for months so I’m with Steve. I don’t like them but not terribly fearful.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m so glad you’re an Aqua Roomer, Marlene! Imagine every day at lunchtime at school hearing one of these true stories, told with great fanfare. Children look at the clock, and they know when the big hand is on the 6 (12:30), it’s time for a Jennie Story. Steve is still scared of spiders. Sometimes I tell children about the time we were in the pool and a big water spider crawled onto his arm. I have never been bitten by one, that would have been a terrible and vivid memory, like you have. I will not tell Steve your story! 🙂 For me it is bats. That’s my childhood trauma. My next Jennie story is Tuesday, and I might tell that one… or maybe the raccoon story when he was in our kitchen. All true stories, just too many choices. 🙂

  19. Norah says:

    That’s wonderful that you’ve set up a YouTube Channel for your Aqua Roomers, Jennie. I loved listening to your spider story. I’m sure the children did too. I remember reading it here some time ago.

    • Jennie says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it, Norah. The children are loving it!

      • Norah says:

        I’m sure they are, Jennie. Can you do Face Time with more than one? With Zoom, you can invite large numbers to the party. I’m sure the children and their parent would love Zoom sessions with Jennie too. 🙂

      • Jennie says:

        I had to learn Zoom this week, and I have to say I I don’t like it. It’s hard for children when the image on the screen keeps changing from teacher to different children. I sat in on a fellow teacher’s Zoom, and some people were blurry, even the co-teacher. The other issue is that it is done at a scheduled time. What if that doesn’t work for the families? With YouTube they can go on whenever it works for them. Parents are very stressed out right now. I also use Instant Messenger with the video component activated. That is clear and easy to follow, with everyone there at the same time.

        All that being said (apologies for the ramble), our school really wants teachers to use Zoom. Sigh!

      • Norah says:

        Those are interesting comments, Jennie. I know what you mean about screen changes. I wonder could you have it so that they only see you. I’m fairly new to zoom too and haven’t used it with large groups. I haven’t used messenger with large groups either. I didn’t know you could. Wouldn’t that be similar? Let’s hope we don’t all become expert at teaching remotely. It won’t be much fun without that person-to-person contact. It would be great if we can knock this thing on it’s head soon. Take care.

      • Jennie says:

        I think Zoom works well for adults or older children. It is choppy when using it for young children. I like being able to see everyone at once. With Instant Messenger on FB, there is a video component so all are present. It may just be me, Norah, as other teachers in my school are using it and like it. I would much rather be back in the classroom instead of becoming an ‘expert’ at teaching remotely. As of yesterday, schools are closed until May 4th. 🙁 Stay well, Norah.

      • Norah says:

        I know what you mean, Jennie, but these are uncommon times. May 4th is weeks away. I hope they go quickly and everything has settled down by then. Best wishes for your remote teaching experience.

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you, Norah. We’ll get through this together. We still have more than a month ahead of us. I just want to feel that I’m reaching the children and really teaching. Uncommon times, indeed!

      • Norah says:

        You’re doing a grand job, Jennie.

      • Jennie says:

        Thank you, Norah! I’m adding Zoom on Friday’s 😳 and calling it ‘Let’s Connect’.

      • Norah says:

        I wish you a Zooming success. 🙂

      • Jennie says:

        Thanks, Norah. Tomorrow is a practice with my teammates. 😀

      • Jennie says:

        Fingers crossed. 🙂

  20. misschristinas says:

    So nice and inspiring!

  21. Steve Fitzkee says:

    This is Steve here – yes, that Steve! Unfortunately the story is true – I hate spiders. This dates back to when I had just started Navy Flight School in Pensacola, Florida (Jennie is right about the southern US has big bugs and they get bigger the further south you go, and Florida is the epitome.) Anyway, one of the guys in the barracks was apparently sleeping with his arm dangling to the floor and awoke with his arm swollen almost the size of a man’s thigh – he screamed and we all awoke and ever since then I have a real fear of spiders. I’ll end with the fact that this is just one of many stories she tells about me and you should see the looks on the children’s faces when they meet me for the first time – classic with BIG EYES!

  22. Mary Bond says:

    Way to go Jennie! Your audience is expanding proving the point that in every bad situation there is a positive. Mary Kay

  23. L. Marie says:

    Jennie, how wonderful that you have a YouTube channel! I see that you read one of my favorite books: EXTRA YARN! 😀

  24. Eek! If I have a spider nightmare tonight, it’s on you Jennie! You are a wonderful storyteller! Tell Steve I said my husband would have had exactly the same reaction!

  25. srbottch says:

    Terrific, Jennie. Keep up the great work! By the way, this Steve would have froze, too. 🙀

  26. frenchc1955 says:

    This is wonderful, Jennie, and I am finally a subscriber!

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Charles! I read aloud the book I pledged to the ULS, The Story of Little Babaji. Then I followed through with a blog post today. 🙂

  27. Jennie, that was a brilliant story…. Loved listening, and what a wonderful thing you are doing to help keep in touch and help your students and others who watch get through this… I used to have a fear of them, still no not like them.. LOL… but I can now catch them in a glass with card slid underneath and place them back outside when I found one in my home…
    I must go subscribe to your channel.. and send the link to my granddaughter… I am sure she would love your stories too…
    Lots of love your way..
    Sue ❤ and take care my friend ❤

    • Jennie says:

      Thanks so much, Sue. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. 🙂 I think your granddaughter would enjoy hearing me read books. How old is she? I post a picture book and also an episode in our chapter reading book, “Little House in the Big Woods” every day. I might finish the book this week and will move on to “Little House on the Prairie” – she may want to start a book from the beginning.

  28. At first i have to excuse for the delay, Jennie! Sorry! Thank you for another great story. Seems you are preparing the whole country for online teaching. 😉 I adore your work, for education with fun. Best wishes, and stay save! Michael

    • Jennie says:

      Thank you, Michael. No apologies necessary. Online teaching has been a big change. Stay safe. 🙂

      • Thank you, Jennie! So true, and here too. But i am actually wondering about the way it should be done in Germany. The deny using Google Classrooms, and i can not understand, why this could be a problem. Sta save too. Michael

      • Jennie says:

        How unfortunate that it is denied! It’s such a good resource for children

      • Here its something like a “culture clash”. Its depending on the RomanCatholicChurch what ressources can be used. Most publication firms are owned by them, too. But as i heared some minutes ago, our teachers are denying the official system, themselves. Now we can await a very big discussion, after the crisis. 😉

      • Jennie says:

        I am looking forward to hearing the decision.

  29. Veena S. says:

    WOW! you’ve got a YOU TUBE channel too, I was contemplating of starting one for self, to tell stories for my grandchildren and other friends etc. As a primary school retired teacher, I’m now doing ZOOM story telling sessions, at times, in this COVID lockdown….I miss the classroom noise and real challenges though. See… (FB page Katha&krafts) I told a Nature story on Monday. (skip the first 5-6 mins of intro)..get into the story bit. Will check your Jennie stories meanwhile.

    • Jennie says:

      I liked doing the YouTube stories much better than Zoom, because the children could go and listen to them, anytime they wanted. Some liked to hear me read at breakfast, others at bedtime. I googled how to set up a YouTube channel, and they guy who did it was great. Easy! Our channel is under our classroom name, Aqua Room, because my two fellow teachers posted things for children, too. When school ended, we stopped. We’ll probably pick it back up again in September.

      The main reason I started this was to continue our daily chapter reading (Little House series) and picture book reading that we did at school. COVID hit, and I picked up where I left off at school, on YouTube.

      I think it is wonderful that you’re reading for your grandchildren and friends!! I will look for you, too. Thank you, Veena!

  30. john binford says:

    yes mam…..john jr

    been hunting forever to see how you and steve are doing. I hope all is well. Email is johnbinford@comcast.net. I hope Steve is doing well.


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