After 30+ years as an English educator, I retired from active classroom teaching a few years ago. I spent my last 25 years in the Fairfax County Virginia public school system, where I taught English 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12, Journalism 1,2,3, and 4 and Creative Writing 1, 2, and 3. For over a dozen years, I also sponsored two of the school's award winning publications: the literary magazine and the monthly newspaper. As a result of the Teacher Performance Evaluation instituted by the county, I was awarded the prestigious Career Two Exemplary level for every evaluation period. Besides the public high school venue, my teaching background includes an alternative secondary school for behaviorally disadvantaged adolescents, an adolescent psychiatric hospital, and a boys' reform school. Proud of being an educator, I have always hated the negative cliches tied to this most honorable profession. Through my writing and my classroom role modeling, I showed that not only did I teach, but I also practiced what I preached. Now, as I continue to develop curriculum for those still leading classrooms, I follow all that I learned in college and post-graduate studies but mostly as an educator passionate to create lifelong learners. My book, The House of Comprehension, published by Compass, an imprint of Brigantine Media is based on Common Core Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy. The program and accompanying activities, each with Teacher Notes, encourage students to construct durable learning homes by combining the study of the elements of literature with any text. This teacher resource is available in my TpT store: The House of Comprehension. I have also published, A FINE LINE, my Young Adult book about teen dating abuse, ConnieCasserly, and a number of articles in various NCTE publications. Veteran teachers and those new to the field can utilize the hands-on units and activities in my store while honing their skills on how to pace a lesson, meet their students needs as well as Common Core Standards and/or their state's standards of learning and Bloom's Taxonomy.
My lessons are both structured and open-ended as I understand adolescents need academic organization as well as open discussions where they share their thinking and analytic skills. Whether learners are discussing the elements of literature, a book's nuances, figurative language, and subtext, or utilizing their grammar and writing skills as they revise their pieces or strengthen their cognitive skills, they are guided by lessons and activities that engage, inspire and challenge them. All of my products follow my goal "Empower students to choose lifelong learning," and follow my "Show Them, Help Them" teaching pedagogy. Creative writing and journalism students are encouraged to think outside the box to come up with original stories,poems or journalism articles that stretch their minds and writing skills. Every lesson and activity in my TpT store invites students to explore ways to provoke their minds, to assess others' viewpoints, and to believe in the merit of their own thoughts, interpretations and ideas, verbally and in writing. For my classroom colleagues, I offer the Gift of Time with flexible lessons and activities that address students' skills and abilities, tie together the objectives and the material they will study, and propose a variety of learning styles and teaching methods. All of my products promote my teaching philosophy: Show Them! Help Them! Let Them! Build Powerful Learning Homes. As always, all of my products are PDF versions,and may be downloaded and printed for classroom use. Also, I am working on creating digital versions of specific lesson and activity pages to be used for Google Classroom. Look for Digitally Enhanced in the product title. Also, teachers may choose to add an interactive layer of their own for digital use by clicking on the red "Create Digital Activity" rectangle on the product's page - a HUGE plus for virtual classroom distance Learning!
Six times during my career I have been included in the Who's Who Among America's Teachers yearly annuals. These tributes mean a great deal to me since students nominated me. This shows that I have touched the minds and hearts of my charges. I have also been honored with inclusions in Marquis Who's Who of American Women three times.
BS.ED: Indiana University of Pennsylvania Graduate Work: Multiple credits from the University of Virginia and George Mason University.
For blog updates, stop in at my site's Facebook page: TeachitWriteLessonPlans My blogs about Secondary English lessons and activities and educational issues can be found on TEACHITWRITE I'd love to read your feedback. Find me on Pinterest conniecass and on Twitter TeachitNow. Enjoy a Teach It Write Day Every Day! Connie
English Language Arts, Creative Writing, Writing-Expository, Reading, Grammar, Vocabulary, Specialty, Science, Social Studies - History, U.S. History, Arts & Music, Visual Arts, Computer Science - Technology, Drama, Other (Specialty), Other (ELA), Critical Thinking, For All Subject Areas, Literature, Classroom Management, Professional Development, Psychology, Study Skills, Problem Solving, Short Stories, Writing, Writing-Essays, Holidays/Seasonal, Back to School, Christmas/ Chanukah/ Kwanzaa, Poetry, Valentine's Day, Martin Luther King Day, St. Patrick's Day, Tools for Common Core, For All Subjects, Informational Text