Bringing Story into Classrooms

I spent yesterday afternoon at the Monadnock Regional Middle-High School in Swanzey, New Hampshire meeting with teachers and students who are working on a nature-related Story Preservation Learning Lab project. Talk about fun! They’re creating THE COOLEST nature journals that include daily observations, written reflections, and drawings. Lots of good learning going on.

Jennie Calnan, the lead teacher, whose bio you’ll find below, has coordinated learning opportunities with other teachers and specialists in the school, including those from the biology and art departments. MRMH is also supporting the project by offering library resources and tech support.


Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.28.32 AM As part of the project, later this winter the students will be creating their own oral history of Rick Libbey a/k/a MOOSEMAN! (my friend, happy to say), who has volunteered his time for this project.  Rick has spent the past 35 years observing and photographing moose and other northern New England wildlife. Going back to the same places year after year, Rick knows his moose individually – yes, he’s named them – and has watched many grow from baby to adult.




Screen Shot 2015-01-14 at 6.28.18 AM


This moose looks a little scary to me! – hoping it’s a long lens – but it’s all in a day’s work for Rick.









(I can’t help but to post this!)






DSC_0045 copyMeet Jennie Calnan, the teacher responsible for bringing Story to her students:

Jennie Dearani Calnan is a reading specialist and literacy coach at Monadnock Regional Middle High School in Swanzey, NH. She graduated from The College of New Rochelle in New York with a B.A. in Psychology, and received a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Keene State College. Her 31-year career as an educator has included positions as a special educator, Coordinator of Special Educational Services, elementary classroom teacher, reading specialist (K-12), lead teacher, adjunct professor, and District Literacy Plan Coordinator. Mrs. Calnan’s diverse background began in CT and continued in Washington, DC, NM, MA and NH, where she has been teaching for the past 13 years. She has extensive experience providing professional development to educators in Co-Teaching practices, Balanced Literacy, Reading and Writing in the Content Areas, Differentiated Instruction, as well as developing lessons and assessments that meet the rigor of the National Common Core State Standards. In 2014, Mrs. Calnan was a finalist for NH Teacher of the Year. She is currently enrolled in the University of New England where she is pursuing a Doctorate in Transformative Leadership in Education.


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