Text Complexity’s Impact on Successful CCRS

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, text complexity
Length: 8 hours or .5 Graduate Credit Hours

Most state standards as well as the Common Core State Standards for Literacy emphasizes the importance of text complexity.  In this course, participants will familiarize themselves with their Standards’ approach to text complexity and a three-part model for measuring text complexity. In addition, they learn how to measure text complexity utilizing a variety text analyzer tools.

 

Integrating 5 Essential Reading Skills with the Standards

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, fluency, vocabulary
Length: 15 hours or 1 graduate credit hour

Reading is one of the most important skills a student will learn in his or her academic career. Having the tools to be a successful reader has been linked to increased self-confidence, a greater motivation to learn, and increased success across all academic subjects. While there is no quick and easy path to achieve reading proficiency, research indicates that there are five core areas that teachers should focus on for effective reading instruction: phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. In this course, participants will explore how all of these core areas function together, with a particular emphasis on assessment and how the Common Core State Standards support these skills. As a final project for this course, participants will develop a multidisciplinary, integrated reading unit aligned with the Common Core Standards and complete with plans for incorporating technology.

 

Supporting Phonemic Awareness While Implementing CCSS

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, phonemic awareness, technology
Length: 8 hours or .5 Graduate Credit Hours

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate sounds in spoken words as well as the understanding that spoken words and syllables are made up of sequences of speech sounds. A phoneme is a speech sound, the smallest unit of language, and although there are 26 letters in the English language, there are approximately 44 phonemes. This course focuses on what the standards expect in regards to phonemic awareness. More specifically it provides a background on phonemic awareness and the connection between phonemic awareness and early reading skills in relation to how it aligns with the ELA State Standards. Participants will create teaching strategies and activities that align with the standards addressed in the Reading Foundational skills: phonemic awareness skills.

 

Gaining Phonics Knowledge in the Time of Standards

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, phonics, technology
Length: 15 hours or 1 graduate credit hour

Along with phonemic awareness, phonics is a key component in reading success. While phonemic awareness is the understanding that the sounds of spoken language work together to make words, phonics is the understanding that there is a systematic and predictable relationship between phonemes and graphemes, the letters that represent those sounds in written language. “That direct instruction in alphabet coding facilitates early reading acquisition is one of the most well-established conclusions in all of behavioral science” (Stanovich, 1993). When explicit phonics instruction is incorporated into a student’s reading program, that student is much more likely to comprehend what they read, especially if that student is a struggling reader.  In this course teachers will learn about the importance of direct phonics instruction as a part of a complete literacy program for all students.  Participants will be introduced to various approaches to phonics instruction, Web 2.0 tools to help them teach phonics effectively, and strategies to remediate phonics instruction for struggling readers.  Throughout the course teachers will engage in a series of quizzes on phonics and spelling instruction.

 

Developing Comprehension by Implementing the Standards

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, comprehension, technology
Length: 8 hours or .5 graduate credit hours

The ultimate goal of any reading program is for students to not only read fluently, but also comprehend what they are reading. The State Standards have set up a staircase of standards from kindergarten through 12th grade to prepare students for college and the workforce. The standards have reexamined the way teachers approach comprehension instruction and text selection, and aligned the new approach with what teachers need to achieve for their K-12 students in terms of benchmarks and background knowledge. In this course, participants will be introduced to some new approaches for comprehension instruction and assessment, as well as some technology tools to help with teaching. By the end of the course, participants will have completed two lessons for comprehension instruction in their K-12 classroom.

 

Academic and Domain Specific Vocabulary: Tier 2 and Tier 3

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, vocabulary, technology
Length: 15 hours or 1 graduate credit hour

The Common Core State Standards have set up a staircase of standards from kindergarten through 12th grade to prepare students for college and the workforce. The standards have reexamined the way schools address vocabulary instruction, and aligned the new approach with what teachers need to achieve for their K-12 students in terms of benchmarks and background knowledge. In this course, participants will be introduced to how the CCSS addresses vocabulary instruction. Specifically Academic and Domain Specific Tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.  By the end of the course, participants will have completed a vocabulary program plan with experience creating a vocabulary assessment and discriminating Tier 1 from Tier 2 from Tier 3 words.

 

Increasing Fluency Reflecting the Standards

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, fluency, technology
Length: 8 hours or .5 graduate credit hours

Fluency is as an essential element of every reading program (National Reading Panel, 2000) along with phonemic awareness, phonics, and vocabulary instruction. In order to comprehend fully what they read, children must be able to read fluently whether they are reading silently or aloud. Fluent reading, a characteristic of a good reader, is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.  Without accurate reading, students will not have access to the author’s intended meaning and could misinterpret text, while slow reading impairs a student’s capacity to construct an ongoing interpretation of the passage.  Poor prosody (or the appropriate use of phrasing and expression[1]) can lead to confusion through inappropriate applications of expression or grouping of words.  In this course, you will review the CCSS perspective on fluency, assess student fluency, be introduced to strategies to teach students to read more fluently, and complete a fluency activity.

 

Balancing Literacy and Informational Text

Topics Covered: Reading, Standards, Genre, text types, technology
Length: 8 hours or .5 graduate credit hours

The Common Core State Standards have set up a staircase of standards from kindergarten through 12th grade to prepare students for college and the workforce. The standards have reexamined the way schools address informational and literature text, and aligned the new approach with what teachers need to achieve for their K-12 students in terms of benchmarks and background knowledge. In this course, participants will be introduced to the balanced approach to text: Informational and Literature. Shift 1 in the CCSS addresses the importance of students reading and learning through informational text. By the end of the course, participants will have completed a lesson or unit applying the knowledge of balanced text approach coupled with aligning specific standards to the lesson or unit.

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