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Early Childhood Read Aloud Strategies and Practices
 
Course Description
    

Reading books aloud in the early childhood classroom is not only one of the most important practices for building later reading success, but it is probably one of the more enjoyable experiences for both teachers and children. In this course, early childhood educators will explore quality children's literature and best book read-aloud strategies and practices. They will learn the importance of multiple re-readings, strategies to foster children's vocabulary knowledge, and practices to deepen reading comprehension during large and small group readings. Participants will learn ways to share various genres of books in the classroom in support of both literacy and curricular content. Course assignments will invite participants to research quality children's literature, develop book reading planners with specific goals for children's learning, and think about the design of their classroom book areas.

 
Course Syllabus
    

Reading books aloud in the early childhood classroom is not only one of the most important practices for building later reading success, but it is probably one of the more enjoyable experiences for both teachers and children. In this course, early childhood educators will explore quality children's literature and best book read-aloud strategies and practices. They will learn the importance of multiple re-readings, strategies to foster children's vocabulary knowledge, and practices to deepen reading comprehension during large and small group readings. Participants will learn ways to share various genres of books in the classroom in support of both literacy and curricular content. Course assignments will invite participants to research quality children's literature, develop book reading planners with specific goals for children's learning, and think about the design of their classroom book areas.

By the end of this course, participants will: 

  • recognize and practice effective techniques for reading aloud to children,
  • be able to evaluate a child's oral reading and literacy,
  • understand how book reading impacts children's language and literacy development,
  • learn ways to support vocabulary development through read-alouds,
  • understand the concept of text talk practices for vocabulary planning and implementation,
  • be able to select words, define words, and use reinforcement strategies to develop and expand children's vocabulary,
  • understand how multiple readings of the same book can enhance children's cognitive and literacy skills,
  • be able to use re-reading as a strategy for students to interact with read-alouds,
  • learn strategies to plan repeat readings of a book for in depth discussion and vocabulary development,
  • understand informational text support vocabulary development,
  • be able to utilize informational text to aid in the understanding of narratives,
  • realize informational text supports the acquisition of content knowledge,  
  • learn ways to integrate books and book reading into classroom curriculum activities,
  • learn how to connect read-alouds into content areas,
  • be able to connect books to experiences,
  • realize the benefits of surrounding children with a book rich environment,
  • understand the role of a book area in developing literacy, and
  • be able to inventory and evaluate classroom book areas for multiple opportunities for children’s literacy development.
Course Organization
This course includes several different activity components, all of which are described below. During each session, you will participate in a unique collection of these activity components, depending on the particular focus of that session.

Read
When you see this icon you will be reading relevant articles, resources, and instructional materials that will help inform your online course development process.

Activities
When you see this icon you will be completing activity-based curriculum and inputting various components of your course content into course project.

Discuss
When you see this icon you will be using the online discussion board to share ideas, resources, and thoughtful conversation with your fellow course participants and facilitator.
Prerequisites

Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and be able to download and upload files. Although not a requirement, high speed Internet access definitely enhances the online experience. Participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet and navigating through computer files. 

Microsoft Word is required in order to read, edit and/or create documents for this course. If you have a WVDE k12.wv.us email account, you have access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive, etc. as part of Microsoft Office 365. You should see your school/county technology support person if you need help in using/installing Word and/or other Office applications. 

If you do not have a k12.wv.us email account, Word must be acquired through other means.  One way to get access to Word Online at no charge is by Creating a Microsoft Outlook Account with Access to FREE Office Online.

Format and Requirements

This course is divided into seven one-week sessions: an Orientation and six content-based sessions. Each content session includes readings, activities and an online discussion among participants. The time for completing each content session is estimated to be between 6.5 to 7 hours.

The outline for the course is as follows:

Session One Effective Read-Aloud Practices
Session Two Building Vocabulary through Read-Alouds
Session Three The Importance of Multiple Readings 
Session Four Getting the Most Out of Informational Text
Session Five Integrating Read-Alouds into Curriculum
Session Six The Classroom Book Area  
 
Assignments and Project Assessment

Participants are expected to complete the required course readings, activities and projects as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Optional readings may also be completed, but are not mandatory. There will be a pre-course survey and a post-course survey.  A Quiz takes place during the Orientation. Participants are expected to score a minimum of 90% on the quiz. Participants will complete session projects in Sessions One through Six. 

Session One Project Session One Project Rubric Session One Peer-Review Rubric
Session Two Project Session Two Project Rubric Session Two Peer-Review Rubric
Session Three Project Session Three Project Rubric Session Three Peer-Review Rubric
Session Four Project Session Four Project Rubric Session Four Peer-Review Rubric
Session Five Project Session Five Project Rubric Session Five Peer-Review Rubric
Session Six Project Session Six Project Rubric Session Six Peer-Review Rubric

Participants will be evaluated weekly on the frequency and quality of their participation in the discussion forum. This course has dual discussion posting for each session, one of which is a peer-review forum in which participants review a colleague's project.

Participants are required to post a minimum of one substantial original posting Discussion #1 of each session in response to the discussion prompt for that session. They are to read all original messages by course participants and enough additional responses to make a total of 50% of the messages posted for that session. Participants are to respond thoughtfully to a minimum of two colleagues' original postings each session. Postings will be evaluated on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, and overall quality.

The guidelines for the discussions and how they will be evaluated are located in the Discussion Guidelines and the Checklist for Evaluating Discussion Postings. In certain discussions, participants will be asked to peer review others' projects.

Participants are also required to post their session project to Discussion #2 of each session for peer-review.  Each session will have a peer-review rubric which is a modified version of the project rubric that the facilitator will use to evaluate the participants' projects. Read the Rubric Review Help Guide for guidelines about conducting a peer-review. Participants will Highlight the items in the "Satisfactory" column on the peer-review rubric that meet expectations. Make remarks in the "Comments" column about items that need improvement. Also, add any areas that are exemplary in the "Comments" column. These rubric reviews will be posted in the Discussion #2 and participants will have the opportunity to revise the project before submitting it for facilitator grading.

Course Grading Expectations

All grades in the course gradebook must be a "C" for successful course completion.  A grade of "C" indicates that all work has been completed and the work meets the expectations for that assignment.

Copyright and Plagiarism Information

All resources referenced during the course will be properly documented. 

Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities.  All work associated with course projects, course assignments and course discussions will be original to each course participant. Fair use does not apply to the course project. 
 
Plagiarism, the reproduction of all or any part of another individual’s or organization’s work, by a course participant of work associated with the course project or other course assignments at any point during the course will result in no credit being awarded for the course  

Course projects are to be the work of an individual course participant. Group projects require special permission of the program coordinator, Donna Landin (dlandin@k12.wv.us).

Software Disclaimer
Participants are to seek assistance regarding the appropriate software programs to be downloaded when updating or installing new programs on their computers. Inappropriate downloads of software may result in malicious programs being installed on your computer.
Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this course, Early Childhood Read-Aloud Strategies and Practices, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via email and by attachment to the course feedback in the Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.
Content and Technology Standards

This course, Early Childhood Read-Aloud Strategies and Practices, will help participants meet the ISTE Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for All Teachers (http://edtechleaders.org/documents/NETSAdminTeachers.pdf), especially Standards II, III, IV, and V.For more information about Technology Integration visit: http://www.iste.org

In addition, participants will identify specific WV Standards (http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies/) as associated with English Language Arts as they engage in course content.

About this Course

This course was developed by the West Virginia Department of Education (http://wvde.state.wv.us).

Original design (before format modifications) by EdTech Leaders Online (http://www.edtechleaders.org), a project of Education Development Center, Inc, © 2007.  All rights reserved.