About Me

My Teacher Pathway:


2004-2008: Attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and received a degree in Secondary English Education for grades 5-12

2008-2012: Taught 8th grade Language Arts at Rice Lake Middle School in my hometown of Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

2010-2012: Completed my degree to become a Middle School Literacy Coordinator/Coach through Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.  This program is overseen by Irene Fountas of Fountas & Pinnell's Literacy Collaborative and the creators of Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI).  To be trained with this intensity and expertise was by far the most precious educational gift I have ever been given.

2013-2015: Completed my 316 Reading Teacher Certification through Viterbo University which has prepared me to provide reading interventions to small groups of students or individual students K-12.

2012-Present: Literacy Coach for Rice Lake Middle School.  My job responsibilities include (but are definitely not limited to): teaching one section of LA each year (I teach a different grade level each year to collaborate with different teachers and learn about students at different stages of the middle school reading/writing process), coaching teachers one-on-one in their classrooms with a focus on strengthening reading and writing instruction, writing curriculum and helping teachers develop lessons, providing professional development to staff on best practices in reading/writing instruction, facilitating our middle school literacy leadership team, and maintaining literacy resources in our school including our amazing book room, classroom libraries, literature circle supplies, and intervention resources for literacy.

Currently: I am working toward attaining my Master's Degree in education with a reading emphasis.

Consulting: In addition to my job as literacy coach, I am also an Educational Consultant.  I provide professional development to teachers in other school districts in middle school literacy, I have facilitated writing workshop experiences for Gifted & Talented students through our CESA, and I've also helped districts implement reading interventions for literacy.

Blogging and TpT: When I was trained as a literacy coach, I developed an immense passion for not only teaching literacy but sharing best practices with other teachers.  Blogging was the first time I felt my words having an impact on anyone besides the people I'm in immediate contact with.  When I started coaching other teachers, I realized that some teachers don't share the same love that I do of creating new lessons and sometimes want at least a starting point or a practical example of a reading/writing best practice for teaching.  My goal in creating the products in my store is to give teachers the tools to teach using a balanced literacy framework.  I heard many people say they agreed with the theory of it but had no idea how to put it into action.  If sharing my thoughts about teaching and resources I create can shift the way others view teaching reading and writing, then my time spent blogging and creating products for middle school ELA teachers all over the world is totally worth it.

Who I Am:


Wife: I married my husband, a kind, genuine soul, in July of 2015.  He owns a personal training studio where he not only helps his clients transform physically but also mentally and spiritually.  Tony is my life partner, and we both believe in the phrase "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not enough."  It's crazy how once you're married the dreams I had for myself, and the dreams he had for himself became one, and we also created new family dreams that I could have never imagined without him.  To have his support and encouragement is everything to me.



Dog/Cat Mom:  I am an intense animal lover.  My cat, Tiko and dog, Sulley mean the world to me.




Daughter/Sister: I have the best parents (Tim & Linda) and brother (Trevor).  My brother is five years younger than me and is a high school math teacher in the same district.  It's awesome to have him as a co-worker!  We are fans of summers on the lake, the Packers, Badgers, and Brewers, and having fun as a family.





10 comments :

  1. Hi Kasey!
    I love your blog! I was googling middle school blogs and yours came up. I am the PreK-5 Literacy Coach at the Newman School in New Orleans and am also traveling back and forth to Lesley this fall. I am in desperate need of resources of short passages of fiction and non-fiction for 6-8th graders. Do you have any resources, sites, or books you love? Thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi Chelsea! That is awesome that you're getting LC trained at Lesley, too! In the rush of school and training and everything else, I didn't know at the time just how rich of an experience I was getting. It completely transformed who I am as an educator. I hope you're loving it! NewsELA and ThinkCERCA are my favorite websites for finding short articles for students. As far as passages go, we don't use just passages too often at our middle school. Great to connect with you. Thanks so much for reaching out!

      Kasey

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  2. Hi Kasey!
    So glad I came across your blog and store. It seems as though there is always so much out there for elementary students 3-5 and not as much for middle school. So thank you! I was wondering what your go to Read Aloud books are. We just finished Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate which we all really enjoyed. I also noticed you were reading The Tiger Rising. Any others you might recommend? Thanks for all you do!
    Jill

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    1. Hi Jill! I'm so glad you came across my blog as well. I agree that middle school seems to be like the forgotten middle child in some ways, and I'm so happy that I can bring more attention and teaching strategies to these crucial middle years. I've done a few blog posts on my favorite interactive read alouds for middle school. Check out the link below:

      http://middleschoolteachertoliteracycoach.blogspot.com/search/label/Interactive%20Read%20Aloud

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  3. Hi Kasey,

    I am an aspiring literacy specialist and I love your blog! I am currently writing a research paper in order to finish my CAS degree in Literacy Education at the University of Southern Maine and would love your help! My thesis seeks to answer the question- “What makes a successful literacy specialist?” I am comparing the International Reading Associations Literacy Specialist Standards to current research, to survey results from active literacy specialists. Please fill out the attached survey- I will be thrilled to share the results of my research and thesis with you! If you know any other willing literacy specialists- please forward them this e-mail.

    Thank you!
    Heidi

    LINK: http://goo.gl/forms/oa8zFAK0HZ

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    1. Hi Heidi,

      It has been a crazy month, and I am getting back to blog comments today. I tried to go to the link, and it was no longer active. If you have any more questions or do any follow up surveys, please let me know! I wish you the best of luck in your career as a literacy specialist!

      Kasey

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  4. Hi Kasey,

    I am a new Reading Intervention teacher just down the road in Edgar, WI. I am so happy I came across your blog. You have some very useful resources. I am wondering if I could get some advice. I also use the LLI program and am finding it very useful, except I only have 30-40 minutes to work with my students, so I don't have the time to complete the entire lesson plan, and they take a little more time to process, which makes it slower. I also have 2 different groups at the same time. Any suggestions on how to keep both groups motivated and engaged, especially while I am working with the other group? Do you have any issues with your students not reading the book assigned for the day? Many of mine don't read, which makes it difficult to move on and progress.

    Thanks so much!!
    Emily from Edgar :)

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    1. Hi Emily,

      It's great to hear from you! I'm glad you found my blog as well! It's always fun to hear from other educators in Wisconsin. As far as LLI goes, at the back of the System Guide, there is a recommendation for how to adapt the lessons into 30 minute segments and spread two lessons over the course of three days. I am in the same boat as you with our intervention period being 40 minutes long, so this adaptation has been a lifesaver for me. As far as working with two groups at the same time, that is a tricky one! That is definitely not the recommended way for doing the intervention. As my students are reading, I am cycling through each student listening to him or her read out loud and asking quick comprehension conversations to check understanding. I think this is the part that keeps my students on track and reading the book. I have rarely had a student not read. Only having one group allows me to continuously interact with the students throughout the lesson, even when they're reading independently. If having two groups is something that is not going to change for you (I would honestly talk to administration and talk about the fidelity of the intervention), one trick that also works nicely for me is I have a "Writing about Reading" question on a mini white board that is kept by our guided reading table and have students go directly into that writing response once they're done reading the book. The questions I ask always require textual evidence to support critical thinking about the text. It would be hard to answer them without reading the text, and it's a great way to bridge into conversation about the book. Ultimately, I would evaluate if your students think reading the book is important based on how they're required the interact with the text through writing and discussion (during the text introduction and revisiting the text). If being pulled between two groups doesn't allow you the time to properly interact with your students about the text, they may not see the importance of reading it. I really hope something there was helpful to you, and if there's anything else you're wondering about, feel free to ask!

      Have a great school week!

      Kasey

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  5. Can I have your permission to share photos of some of your charts with my students via a digital folder? I am a traveling teacher and have found that it is easiest to share things digitally with my students because I am teaching in multiple rooms and don't have wall space of my own to showcase information. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Amy,

      Of course! That isn't an issue for me at all! Thanks for asking for permission.

      Kasey

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