Archive for Projects

Project Idea……… The End

I love to read.  To be honest “love” is an understatement……

I adore reading……
There is always a book in my purse, a book on my ipad, a book in my bathroom, a book next to my bed, a book in my car…….etc etc.

Books are my friends!

And I LOVE great last lines.

One of my favorite last lines is from “Charlotte’s Web” by E B White:

charlotteAnd another favorite is from “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee:


So, I am hosting a project…..where I am inviting YOU to share the last line from a favorite book (or perhaps just a book you enjoyed!) — and invite your students to share their favorite “last lines” as well.

If you could take a picture of the last page of the book and email it to me…that would be great as well.  I will be posting them to my pinterest board.

You can POST your last lines here!

Thank you for being a part of this project – I will be posting the results here!

Enjoy Reading!



The Last Project of 2012/2013

It has been a wonderful school year of hosting projects

and this last project has become truly memorable and great fun!

The Picture It project debuted last year with a salute to Monet and this year I decided to host the same project and salute Mondrian!

The premise of the project is to group classrooms together that will collaborate to create 1 unique piece of artwork — the original artwork has has been divided into 24 sections — each classroom responsible for 1 section each!

We ended up with 192 classrooms joining in the fun!

We had a few hiccups with printers NOT printing the pdf images the same size (hence we now know about “scaling” with PDFs.)
We had a few hiccups with teachers addresses being incorrect (but fixed that quickly by sharing lists out by Google Docs and giving teachers the ability to edit! — keeper tool!)
We had a few hiccups with “micromanaging” but then watched as teachers stepped back to allow student creativity — and saw ideas BLOOM!
We had a puzzle placement issue that was 100% my fault with switching 2 sections – but students/teachers overcame!!

Sections do NOT need to be mailed out until May 9 — but I am already receiving pictures back from growing boards.




and teachers are sharing ideas….

Such as adding Post-it notes to show where the sections will be sent from:

number3and one of my favorites — coloring the map (to indicate where sections will be sent from) in Mondrian colors:

number4I am soooo pleased with this project and all the opportunities it allows for teachers/classrooms to connect, collaborate, and create.

Such a FUN PROJECT to end the 2012/2013 school year with.

And if you wish to see more images — please visit the pinterest page at:



Who Would Have Thought?

I have been hemming and hawing about posting this blog post — because it could be perceived as being 100% boast boast boast — and that makes me cringe — yet, there is an importance of acknowledging accomplishment — so after 1 week of yes/no/yes/perhaps/okay/no — just push submit —  (grins) — here we go.

Backtrack to December 9, 1999:










To be honest — it took me about 3 minutes to write that email — without any thoughts ahead except just to see if I could collect information online, from a variety of areas.

Jump ahead to February 26, 2013 — Projects by Jen just had its 1,000,000 — that is ONE MILLION — participant in my projects.

Now, I know Know KNOW that 1,000,000 in this day of connectivity is a daily number for some — but for me — it has been a slow and steady climb…..persistence, creativity, frustration (at times), joy, and most of all creative learning!

Over the last 13+ years there have been some steady projects:
O.R.E.O. will be in its 15th year this September
St. Patrick’s Day Project is celebrating #10 this year!

There have been some MEMORABLE projects!
Words will never be able to express the joy of hosting DC Ducks!
Receiving over 900 Holiday Cards at work!!
Learning so so much about Lewis & Clark for the Shoeless & Bark project!

There has been a DISASTER too!
Smiles, the Starburst project kinda failed due to NOT checking the starburst packaging before hosting the project!

It has been my supreme joy to host simple ideas for teachers to use within their classrooms to include fun and creativity in their lesson plans.

~~When sending the email out in 1999, I had no idea that 14 years later I would still be hosting projects (6+ a year — STILL FREE — new ideas each year)
~~When sending the email out in 1999, I had no idea that PBJ would have a banner year in 2006 and win 5 awards for creativity!!
~~When sending the email out in 1999, I had no idea that I would make so MANY good friends (great educators) that have trusted my simple ideas with their students!

As I type this post — there is a nagging thought of …. I need to do more!!   I need to expand Projects By Jen to be more than just stacking cookies or counting cereal — I do not mean something that people have to pay for, or something that gives you a badge (etc) — but something more…. However, I am still mulling over what exactly that is.

Projects By Jen has evolved from Technospud to Jenuinetech to ProjectsByJen — and though I am totally happy with the name now — we will be evolving soon.  Perhaps just a new webpage look — definitely more in-depth projects — and as always, finding more and more ways for teachers to connect WITH other teachers.

But for now — this moment, this past week — I am, in a way, patting myself on the back saying “good job, Jen” —

But more than that — I am screaming THANK YOU — as loud as I can — to all the educators and students who joined a project hosted by jen………….

it means a lot — very very much!

It has been my pleasure to help you!!

2012 — In Review

It has been an interesting year —
Personally, I have moved, lost 42 lbs, paid off student loans, irs, and my car, and almost all credit cards are nearing the zero balance.

And it has been a good year for projects by jen as well.

The Newsletter (written since 1999) went bye bye but was replaced by my new chat called The Back Channel at

Guess the Wordle had over 113,000 visitors this year.   Plus, I offered a monthly subscription of the Wordles for teachers to use all year round in their classrooms (pdf, png, and powerpoint format).

Projects By Jen started a Pinterest page, Edmodo Group, and really publicized the facebook page.   I also started a mailing list through Mail Chimp.

PICTURE IT was our first project in 2012.
Picture a piece of art divided into 24 sections….each section sent out to 24 different classrooms — who then share their drawings with each other — to equal one unique art creation.   My friend, Deborah Craven,  created the artwork!
5,760 students were involved!

Next we had the ST. PATRICK’S DAY PROJECT – well, the St. Patrick’s Week Project!
Take a box of Lucky Charms and let the math opportunities begin.
This project is for PreSchool to Third Grade!
6,706 students were involved!

Many people had requested the return of THE GREAT EGG ROLL….so I hosted it again!
It is a easy, effective, and creative way to teach distance, averaging, and estimation to students!
We had 3,434 students involved and my favorite part of this project is the Fashion Show!!

During the summer, I decided to rehost the SHOELESS AND BARK PROJECT.
A project to help students learn about Lewis and Clark via a traveling buddy project!
We have 3,090 student involved!

And then we have O.R.E.O. 2012.
Now in its 14th year, this project just keeps getting better and better.
Participants have 2 opportunities to stack their cookie (one at a time) until the stack tumbles and they record their highest stack.  This count is averaged with all the other high stacks in the classroom and submitted as a class average.   PLUS, what to do with all the left over cookies — we have a sculpture opportunity!
Total number of participants:  20,416

Onward to the Pumpkin Seed Project.
A project just for PreSchool to Third Grade which helps counting by 2, 5, 10, estimation, comparison, and more.   Because of Hurricane Sandy — this project lingered for a few weeks to allow everyone to post results!
Total number of  participants:  4,369.

And we ended up the year with the Holiday Card Exchange 2012!
Such a FUN holiday project which is so much more than just exchanging greeting cards.   And this year has been the best, in regards to teacher communication.  The facebook page is busy with sharing, as is the edmodo group, and emails are flying between groups!   This year’s theme was snowglobes!!
Total number of participants:  35,100

Total number of partipants in 2012 (not counting Guess the Wordle):  78,875

And we are already getting ready for 2013.   Picture It will return as well as a BRAND NEW PROJECT called “Weather or Not”.

Be sure to check the calendar page at projects by jen to learn more!.

And thank you to all who have been encouraging, supporting, and enthusiastic about being a part of projects by jen.

Smiles, I would not want to do this without you!