Promoting reading comprehension skills in the middle school classroom: Online course syllabus
Syllabus for the online course "Promoting Reading Comprehension Skills in the Middle School Classroom," which enables participants to help students develop concrete reading strategies that will improve their reading comprehension.
This workshop will help middle school teachers learn about comprehension strategies that students need to apply in order to comprehend a variety of text types. Participants will explore the challenges students commonly experience with different types of text, strategies employed by successful readers, and instructional approaches to support students in developing reading comprehension strategies. Throughout the workshop, participants will gather ideas about designing a lesson plan that focuses on developing students’ use of comprehension strategies. Participants will leave this workshop with many new strategies and resources for fostering the reading comprehension of their students.
This is an introductory workshop for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.
This workshop will enable participants to:
- Deepen their understanding of the middle school students’ reading development and effective literacy instruction in grades 6-8
- Deepen their understanding of strategies students use to comprehend text
- Identify students’ use of specific comprehension strategies
- Identify effective methods for teaching students comprehension strategies
- Deepen their understanding of the demands of diverse genres
- Develop lesson plans for teaching strategies for strategies-based instruction and for comprehending expository text
- Deepen their understanding of the demands of online text
- Analyze the ways in which technology can be used to foster students’ reading comprehension
Content and Technology Standards
This workshop will help participants meet the following NCTE standards:
Standard 1: Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
Standard 2: Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.
Standard 3: Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
Standard 11: Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
Standard 12: Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).
In addition, this workshop will help participants meet the following ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers:
II. PLANNING AND DESIGNING LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS AND EXPERIENCES.
Teachers plan and design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology.
- Identify and locate technology resources and evaluate them for accuracy and suitability.
V. PRODUCTIVITY AND PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE.
Teachers use technology to enhance their productivity and professional practice.
- Use technology resources to engage in ongoing professional development and lifelong learning.
This workshop is divided into six one-week sessions, each of which includes readings, an activity, and an online discussion among workshop participants. The time for completing each session is estimated to be four to six hours. The outline for the workshop is as follows:
|Session One:||Understanding Middle School Readers|
|Session Two:||Comprehension Strategies Successful Students Use|
|Session Three||Providing Direct Instruction in Reading Strategies|
|Session Four||Exploring the Demands of Diverse Texts|
|Session Five||Using Technology to Enhance Reading Comprehension|
|Session Six||Putting It All Together|
Participants are expected to respond to the online discussion prompt in each of the workshop sessions with an original posting. Participants are also expected to respond to the postings of other course participants in each workshop session.
Guidelines for original discussion postings and responses
Participants are expected to complete the required course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Participants are expected to post reflections about the assigned readings and the completed activities in the online course discussion.
As a final project, participants will consider the many concepts and strategies covered in this workshop—direct instruction of strategies, teaching with diverse text types, and using technology to support instruction—and develop a lesson plan that will best address their students’ reading comprehension needs
Participants are expected to complete and submit the final product during the final workshop session. Participants who are completing team products are expected to work collaboratively with their team on the product and include the names of all team members on the final product posting with in the course. Here is the final project description and here are the suggested criteria for evaluating the final product.
Final workshop survey
Participants are expected to complete the final workshop survey within one week of the end of the last workshop session.
About this workshop
This workshop was developed by EdTech Leaders Online at Education Development Center, in partnership with Alabama Public Television, and the e-Learning for Educators project, funded by a US Department of Education Ready to Teach grant. EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building training and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities. Alabama Public Television is the nation’s first educational television network and is the lead agency coordinating the eight state E-Learning for Educators collaboration, comprised of state departments of education and public television stations in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. The contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.