Spotlight on Jennifer Blevins of JB Creations!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hi! Thank you for stopping by the Lesson Deli! I am excited to be part of such a creative and motivated group of collaborating teachers! We love to share tips and ideas that we have collected & created to help organize, inspire, and guide other teachers in the upper elementary grades! Here’s a little more about me….
I live along the beautiful shoreline of Lake Erie in northern Ohio. We enjoy many warm sunny days walking along the beach looking for beach glass and playing in the waves. Right now, the lake is quickly icing over with the cold winter we are having which makes for a beautiful, but very frosty view! It is very fitting for my school’s mascot….the Polar Bears!
I am in my 20th year of teaching which hardly seems possible! Although I spent several years in Kindergarten, the majority of my time has been spent in 4th grade….which I love! I may be a tad biased, but I truly feel that this is the best possible grade to teach! I love that the kids at this level love and respect their teacher and generally enjoy learning, while at the same time being developmentally ready to enjoy more challenging learning experiences. I have so much fun with my fourth grade Polar Bears!
I teach an integrated class of Social Studies and Language Arts. A few years ago, I felt myself becoming stressed over the ability to cover all of the standards in both of these classes each day. I decided to try and use my social studies curriculum to guide my language arts standard with a unit on the American Revolution. What a game changer that turned out to be! Instead of trying to cover a traditional “reading basal”, I found a rich historical fiction book to springboard my language arts skills while providing constant references to the period of time we were covering in social studies. Since then, I have taken every unit that I cover in Social Studies and combined it with engaging literature and informational texts to drive my instruction in both areas. It works like a charm and the kids love it! It makes their learning so much more meaningful and connected. I feel like they really retain the information and leave with such a solid base of knowledge and skills. This was the book that I used to jumpstart this integrated approach:
With this new approach to teaching, I found that many traditional methods and activities just didn’t fit the bill anymore. That’s when I really became excited about creating my own teaching materials. I had always enjoyed making my own games and activities to supplement my lessons, but my passion for creating whole units and texts really blossomed with this integrated atmosphere. Some of my favorite items to create include leveled reader’s theater scripts to provide differentiation in my classroom and my group scoot games and activities. Here are some of my favorites!
I saved the best for last - my family!! They are the inspiration for everything I do and I love spending time with all of themI I will be celebrating my 20th anniversary with my husband this summer (hard to believe!) He is a high school Biology teacher and I love helping him each year when he takes a group of students on an outdoor education adventureI We have traveled with students to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, the Tetons, and the Florida Keys to name just a few. Students spend a week learning about science in these new environments.
This year’s trip will be even more special as our oldest daughter is a freshmen this year and a member of the group we’re taking this summer! Our other 2 children (a 6th and 4th grader) will be patiently waiting with grandma for our return so that we can enjoy the peaceful, easy living that a 2 teacher family summer provides! Like most families, we are constantly on the go, and we look forward to the special times we share together!
Thanks for stopping by and reading all about me! If this is your first time here, be sure to check out the other members of our the Lesson Deli by clicking on the links under our "Blog Archive" on the right of your screen. Now, it's time to grab my freebies, a 4 Corners Grammar Review game and a sample of a brand new PARCC prep packet. While you're there, please check out my store, and follow me to be the first to know about my new discounts, freebies, and product launches!

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