About Colette Bennett

Colette Marie Bennett is the Curriculum Coordinator for English Language Arts, Social Studies, Library Media, and Testing for the West Haven Public School System in West Haven, Connecticut. Previous to this position, she served as the Chief Academic Officer (7-12) for Regional School System #6 in Litchfield, Connecticut. She has 23 years of teaching experience in English Language Arts from grades 6-12, including electives in journalism, drama, and film studies. A graduate of the Alternate Route to Certification, Bennett also has a Masters in English from Western Connecticut State University a 6th year in Advanced Teaching and an 092 Administrative Certificate from Sacred Heart University, and graduate credits from the GLSP in Social Studies at Wesleyan University. She holds a Literacy Certification (102) from Sacred Heart University for grades K-12. She has presented how technology is incorporated in classrooms at the Connecticut Computers in Education Conference (2010, 2012, 2014), the National Council of Teachers Annual Conference (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015), and the Advanced Placement Annual Conference (2011) the Literacy for All Conference (2012), and the ICT for Language Learning in Florence, Italy (2014). She blogs about education at Used Books in Class: http://usedbookclassroom.wordpress.com/ She tweets at Teachcmb56@twitter.com

And then, the Plot Mountain Blows its Lid Off!

You probably have encountered the plot mountain diagram: Exposition. Rising action. Climax. Falling action. Resolution.                   The plot mountain diagram is taught with short stories in English Language Arts at different grade levels, but I suspect that like most graphic organizers, the plot mountain diagram is over-taught, especially in [...]

By | October 6th, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

A Paul Bunyan Story Map Becomes a Lesson in Racism

As it often happens, I was looking for one thing (Google's expansion into creating maps and navigation tools) when I came upon another. I had clicked my way to a story map of the folk tale hero Paul Bunyan. I had followed a link to the Osher Library Map Cartographic Southern Maine University website and soon was down an [...]

Relearning and Unlearning Writing in Grades 6-12

To relearn is to "learn something again, as after having forgotten or neglected it," and after the five-seven weeks of summer break, students may have a fair amount of forgetting. That means teachers will begin each school year focused on student relearning. The German psychologist Hermann Ebbinghaus was a pioneer in the study of memory and learning which led to his discovery [...]

By | September 22nd, 2016|High School, Instruction&Curriculum, Literacy|0 Comments

Classroom Organization: When “Q” was the Only Beautiful Thing in the Room

It is summer, and most elementary classroom walls have been laid bare for repainting or for cleaning. Their empty exposure reminds me of a classroom from an earlier age, from my own elementary school. At the risk of dating myself, from grade 3 on up I could count on one singular decorative element....the cursive alphabet that hung over the [...]

Skilled Writers Get Editors: Student Writers Get ________?

On occasion, I hear a statement that captures how much the classroom differs from the real world. Such was the case at the International Reading Association Conference in Boston (July 9-11, 2016) when literacy consultant Mark Overmeyer noted that in the real world: “Our most skilled writers have editors…the more skilled the writer, the more editors” [...]

By | July 14th, 2016|Literacy|0 Comments