How do you teach a child to read and comprehend what they’re reading, whether it’s a poem or a mathematical word problem? Reading instruction is complex, but it also is critical to students’ overall academic achievement. This course explores the psychology behind learning to read and covers the basics of cross-curricular reading instruction in grades K-8. Learn how to strengthen your teaching practice to help every student master the core literacy skills they need for future success. In this course, you will:
• Unpack the critical developmental stages of literacy learning and the research-based instructional strategies best-suited for each
• Master best practices for teaching phonemic awareness, phonics, and word recognition to build students’ vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency skills
• Learn to provide personalized instruction by reviewing the unique literacy needs of English learners, students with learning disabilities, and other struggling readers
At the end of this course, learners will understand:
- The role of research and English Language Arts standards in making decisions about effective literacy instruction.
- How to use strategies for meeting the needs of students who have diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds (such as special education students, English Language Learners (ELL), and students from low-income environments) and students who struggle to become proficient readers.
- Concepts related to phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, fluency, spelling, writing, vocabulary development, and comprehension.
- Developmental stages of phonemic awareness and phonological awareness.
- The relationship between phonological awareness and fluency.
- Research-based comprehension strategies.
- Concepts related to motivation and learning to read and write.
- Concepts related to self-regulation of literacy skills.
Learners completing this course will be able to:
- Discuss and explain the role of research in making decisions about effective literacy instruction for students in Grades Pre K-8.
- Design phonics, phonemic-awareness, or concept-of-print instructional activities for a specific group of students. Cite research to justify choice of activities.
- Discuss the possible causes of fluency problems, evaluate the effectiveness of activities to increase fluency, and identify adaptations to these activities to meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles.
- Describe a multidimensional developmental view of reading comprehension and create a multidimensional vocabulary lesson that includes active processing.
- Discuss instructional approaches that combine direct instruction with student-centered activities for the purpose of developing self-regulated, motivated students.
- Articulate transformations in your teaching practices by creating a two-week literacy plan.
- Define professional goals and expectations for this course.
- Explain prior knowledge about how federal legislation and standards impact literacy education.
- Use course readings to discuss and explain the role of research in making decisions about effective literacy instruction for students in grades Pre K–8.
- Given an example of standards-based instruction, discuss whether or not the standards are appropriate for students in grades Pre K-8 and the differences that need to be addressed relative to the students' ages and developmental backgrounds.
- Formulate specific changes they would make to their teaching practice when applying English Language Arts standards and research-based reading instruction criteria and methods.
- Discuss the implications of federal legislation on literacy education and their role in achieving federal literacy goals.
- Reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of inventive spelling in reading and writing development.
- Identify and discuss adaptations to the Making Words - Word Patterns Interactive to meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles.
- Design a phonics, phonemic-awareness, or concept-of-print instructional activity for a specific group of students, using activity models provided in this session.
- Develop a list of expectations for student knowledge of phonemic awareness and phonics for a specific group of students and provide a rationale from research justifying their expectations (Alternative Project 1).
- Discuss the possible causes for fluency problems in K-8 students and describe intervention strategies to improve fluency.
- Given examples of fluency instruction, discuss the effectiveness of the activities and identify adaptations necessary to meet the needs of students with diverse learning styles.
- Reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of encouraging students to read at a faster rate and which students might benefit from fluency instruction.
- Implement a reading fluency technique with a student and reflect on the experience.
- Explain and reflect on the development of reading comprehension and the use of critical thinking discussions across grade levels.
- Use course readings to discuss and assess the multidimensional, developmental view of comprehension and its application to classroom instruction.
- Evaluate and discuss the roles of: vocabulary instruction in developing comprehension; the instructional approaches for developing comprehension; and vocabulary instruction using information provided in course readings.
- Create a file of vocabulary activities, each of which uses an active processing approach.
- Analyze state and national standards and describe the instructional implications of meeting the standards (Alternative Project2).
- Use course readings to identify and discuss instructional approaches that combine direct instruction with student-centered activities for the purpose of developing self-regulated, motivated learners.
- Reflect on how educators can turn reluctant readers and writers into self-driven, intrinsically motivated students and what suggestions from course readings may assist in the process.
- Using the knowledge gained through course readings, interactives, discussions, and videos, design a two-week literacy plan appropriate for the needs of classroom students.
- Articulate a rationale for instructional changes incorporated into their two-week lesson plan.
- Provide feedback on two literacy plans by engaging in a peer review activity on the discussion board.
- Access learning in this course by comparing prior knowledge and acquired knowledge.
- Analyze the learning experience in this course by reflecting on their professional goals and expectations.
- Envision and create an ideal school day for a student who is participating in a research-based literacy program (Alternative Project3).
National graduate credit providers offer graduate credit based on the following hours of course time:
15-hour PBS TeacherLine course = 1 credit hour
30-hour PBS TeacherLine course = 2 credit hours
45-hour PBS TeacherLine course = 3 credit hours
Graduate credit is an additional cost that Learners pay directly to graduate credit providers at the time of registration for graduate credits. Learners must wait until the course begins before registering for graduate credit. Detailed information on how to register is provided in the first Announcement for each course. Cost varies by institution. Please see the list of providers below for more information about credit costs.
Learners who register for graduate credit can obtain a transcript from the credit provider registered with during the course.
Learners who successfully complete PBS TeacherLine courses may be eligible for CEU credits from their state or school district. Learners should check with their district or state professional development office to determine eligibility before enrolling in a PBS TeacherLine course.
PBS TeacherLine provides Learners with:
- The opportunity to print a course certificate of completion which includes a letter grade and course hours of the course.
- A PDF copy of the course syllabus.
PBS TeacherLine does not offer CEUs directly and is not authorized to grant CEU credits. This is typically done by state and district professional development offices.
The facilitator brings the course to life by being present in the learning, keeping the learners on track, giving feedback on assignments, nudging the discussion forums and giving meaningful comments on journals. When learners feel the presence of their peers and the facilitator, they become more accountable and obliged to remain engaged. PBS TeacherLine facilitators are highly qualified teachers who have been peer-selected and hold master’s degrees. They are available for overall support and guidance throughout the six-week session so that even novice computer users feel comfortable taking an online course.
Each PBS TeacherLine facilitated course section has no more than 30 total learners, allowing our experienced facilitators to ensure a manageable course size for discussion and collaboration.
The design and structure of the PBS TeacherLine course is based on best practices and research that highlight the importance of online learning communities. The instructional content is a blend of multimedia resources delivered to improve participant attitudes and practices through weekly assignments, readings, model teaching video, discussion boards, and opportunities for reflection.
A course is divided into Six Sessions. The facilitator will guide learners through one session per week for a six-week term.
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Learners who drop a course before 12:00 AM Eastern Time on the start date, will receive a full refund of their paid course price. This will show as 'Dropped' on the Learner's profile and no grade will be displayed.
Learners who drop a course on the start date, or within the first seven days of the course (before midnight Eastern Time on the 7th day of the course), will receive a refund of 80% of their paid course price. This will show as 'Dropped Late' on the Learner's profile and no grade will be displayed.
Learners who drop a course after 12:00 AM Eastern Time on the seventh (7th) day of the course will not receive any refund. This will show as ‘Withdrawn’ on the Learner's profile and no grade will be displayed.
Learners who cannot continue a course after the 7th day of the course should withdraw from the course so the 'earned letter grade' does not display on the Learner's profile.
PBS TeacherLine will process refunds due to Learners approximately five business days after the drop date. Learners will receive a confirmation email when dropping a course, and another, once the refund has been processed.
Please allow up to 2 business days for response.
Cindy is a 2nd grade teacher with over 29 years of teaching experience. She loves variety and has taught ELA, Science, Gifted and Talented, and Computers in a variety of grades from K-8.Cindy received her Bachelor of Science from the College of Charleston and her Masters from the Citadel in Elementary Administration and Supervision. Technology has a particular appeal to Cindy because it is constantly evolving. Currently, she is teaching a computer class to K-2 students. She finds ways to incorporate new technology into her curriculum and demonstrates these techniques with her online learners. In her free time, you can find Cindy scrapbooking, at the beach, enjoying a BBQ, or with her family watching the kids play sports.