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Jen Strange
Nashville, TN
Mama. College grad. Literacy Tutor. Phonics Enthusiast. Piano teacher. Voracious reader. Scrapbooker. Writer. Dork. It's all good.
Interests: classical music, npr, emily dickinson, jane austen, child development, scrapbooking, photoshop, anne lamott, the office, princess bride, rent, powerpuff girls, Monty Python, phonics
Recent Activity
Yesterday I posted about a new product I made, which focuses on spelling with digraphs. I thought I'd share some things I learned while developing the product! Digraphs are the hardest part about learning to read and write the English language. We expect sounds and letters to have a one-to-one... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Reading with Jen Strange
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I just finished probably the most complicated teaching resource that I've ever attempted. It took MONTHS to finish this thing, print it, test it, make adjustments, figure out how to write an "about" file . . . wow, guys. (But when you go to use it? It's totally self-explanatory.) The... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Reading with Jen Strange
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This morning on Facebook, I saw this picture, with the comment: 1st grade sight words are no joke! Listen, everyone. This is a big deal. We CANNOT go around telling 6 and 7 year olds to MEMORIZE BY SIGHT words like consequently and spectacular. For two reasons: 1. These words... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
Who's up for more Edward Dolch quotes? (from Problems in reading, 1948.) Somehow they are poor spellers without knowing why . . . they have given up. All their efforts have proved vain, and they think they just cannot learn to spell. These are the students who need our special... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
Last Friday my husband's father passed away quite suddenly. We rushed into Nashville at midnight to be with his mother, thankful that we live only a half hour away. It was a somber drive as we rushed in the rain toward a destination we didn't actually want to arrive at... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Last Friday I spent the morning doing an observation in a 1st grade classroom in Nashville, and in the afternoon I was a visiting reading specialist at my best friend's Montessori enrichment program. I had a good time reading with the students, and then testing out some of my Teachers... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Once your child starts reading independently, you might be unsure where to start with choosing books - especially where chapter books are concerned. Well I was at Barnes & Noble the other day (oh, how I love that place . . . ) and they make it pretty easy to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
I was just re-reading through some of my old blog entries, and I found this from a few years ago: [I was playing a game with a tutoring student.] When we landed on a space, if we read the word, we could have the M&M (if she wasn't sure how... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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I just finished up a Rimes set that I've been working on for two weeks. The materials are all designed to be printed as photos, for cheaper and easier material assembly. I ended up writing about pros and cons to using onsets and rimes when teaching reading and spelling, so... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
The teacher of the education class I'm taking this semester has a fascinating perspective on how we interact with children. Last week she said: Education shouldn't be something we DO to children. That really struck a chord with me - how often do we look at kids and think ok... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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One of my hometown friends, who is now a speech teacher, posted this image to Facebook with the caption "Anyone else see the problem here?!?" The teachers in the crowd expressed a collective facepalm, but one of her friends replied "I feel so stupid...What's the problem?" For the non-phonics nerds... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
ah, interesting point on pricing. Yeah, I can see how someone would just dismiss looking into a product because of a high price point - unless the product description states that its a bundle. My best selling item is my Reading Practice Sentences bundle - its 3 $5 products bundled for $12. (The fact that they seamlessly work together helps too LOL.)
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So for Valentine's Day, I made a digital scrapbook page to post to my mother-in-law's Facebook wall, because she always sends us cards in the mail - for every holiday! She is just lovely. I worked hard to make a really pretty design, and was quite proud of it! The... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Another thing we worked on yesterday was inflectional endings. I adore my Wednesday student - he's very energetic like my son, loves baseball, and always has something very interesting to tell me. But he has this habit of skipping over inflectional endings! (What's an inflectional ending? When we add letters... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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And I especially love working one on one with struggling readers, and being able to take the time after reading a new book to talk about a word that tripped him up. (How many words do students struggle with every day, but just have to ignore them to rush forward?)... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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I've talked about my original Reading Practice Sentences before - they're an easy, step by step way for kids to practice sight words and reading sentences. The jump between reading sentences and reading books is a hard one. Some kids make the transition pretty easily, and some really struggle. With... Continue reading
Posted Jan 31, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Hiding another freebie in an old post! The current freebie is going up May 6th, 2014 - I'll leave it up for 2 weeks. This freebie is a sample of my Rhyming Riddles Set, perfect to use to work on rhyming practice, as well as teaching about schema. The clues... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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The wife of a high school friend knows me through Facebook as someone who likes spelling and grammar just a little too much. She sent me a message asking me to explain when to add an apostrophe and when it goes before or after the letter S, because she was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Those of us who love poetry can get a little over-anxious to expose kids to it - and we can make it go right over their heads by introducing the WRONG poetry. I found another great quote from Edward Dolch: The truth is, we are far too anxious to bring... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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Ok, so I print all my file folder games in color, on cardstock-weight paper. Here's what the prints look like before trimming. One side of the file folder is shorter, and you'll notice on the left that I always make one side of my pages a little shorter. You'll need... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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In my quest to help kids learn to read, I also want to make sure that I empower parents - and even teachers - to better understand exactly what happens in a child's brain as they learn to read. In addition, common educational practices are fascinating to me. To that... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
Most teachers are familiar with Edward Dolch's list of sight-words, but many aren't familiar with the book he wrote: Problems in reading, 1948. I've been reading it online, and came across this gem: Literature does not really mean books. It means re-living the author's experience. If it be travel, we... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
Reading has been the most important thing in my life since I was 4 years old. I don't know how I learned to read, I just could one day. I'm guessing the hundreds of books in our house and two highly literate parents had something to do with it. Growing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2014 at Reading with Jen Strange
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I strongly believe that CVC words are the first words we should teach young readers. Why? - there are a LOT of CVC words that are familiar objects / concepts to kids: mom, dad, dog, cat, hat, box, leg, fan, rug, etc. - most CVC words are pure as far... Continue reading
Posted Dec 31, 2013 at Reading with Jen Strange
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P humored me yesterday and tried out my new Preschool Learning Set. She was very concerned about the mud on the boot she's pointing to. And yes, I contort down in weird positions without realizing it when I'm in teacher mode LOL. Yesterday we spent the day with my darling... Continue reading
Posted Dec 26, 2013 at Reading with Jen Strange