e-Learning for Educators
Course Information



Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Area
 
Course Description
    

In order to be successful in content area classes such as social studies, science, and mathematics, students must be able to read a variety of informational texts and produce written documents. This workshop will give teachers the tools they need to integrate literacy strategies into content area learning to help raise student achievement. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to locate web-based tools, strategies, and lessons that foster literacy skills in all content areas. It is the intent of this course  that participants will develop a plan for incorporating these tools and strategies into their classroom instruction.

*This course is open to all certified WV educators.
**This course is approved for one course of the three course Adolescent Literature bundle for Special Education teachers who are working toward becoming "Highly Qualified."

 
Course Syllabus
    

Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Area

Course Description

In order to be successful in content area classes such as social studies, science, and mathematics, students must be able to read a variety of informational texts and produce written documents. This workshop will give teachers the tools they need to integrate literacy strategies into content area learning to help raise student achievement. By the end of the workshop, participants will be able to locate web-based tools, strategies, and lessons that foster literacy skills in all content areas. They will also have developed a plan for incorporating these tools and strategies into their instruction.

 

Intended Audience

This workshop is designed for middle- and high-school content area teachers, English Language Arts teachers, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, and other school personnel.  Participants are expected to have regular access to computers and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.

Goals and Products

During this workshop, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Understand the benefits and challenges of teaching literacy skills in the content areas;
  • Apply specific strategies for teaching reading and writing in the content areas;
  • Develop an understanding of different types of text structures and how to teach students to recognize them; and
  • Develop literacy activities to support curricular goals in different content areas.

Alignment to Standards

This workshop meets the standards for Content, Instructional Design, and Technology as defined in the National Standards of Quality for Online Courses, published by the North American Council for Online Learning(NACOL).

This workshop provides teachers with an opportunity to meet the Engage in Professional Growth and Leadership standard as defined in the National Educational Technology Standards and Performance Indicators for Teachers, published by the International Society for Technology in Education(ISTE).

Sessions Overview

Session One:  What is Content Literacy?

Content area literacy is a sprawling topic, reaching into math, science, and history classes. In this session, you will learn what “content literacy” constitutes and consider why it is so important in subject area classrooms. In the activities section, you will practice reading a content area article and monitoring your own comprehension in order to reflect on the best strategies for reading.  Finally, you will preview your final project for this workshop and discuss your own students’ content literacy in the online discussion.

Session Two:  Reading in the Content Classroom

In this session, you will learn about the role that reading plays in content acquisition. You will explore some strategies for teaching reading through content area instruction and will also consider the reasons why some students struggle to learn content through reading expository text. Some technology-based voice tools will be introduced, and you will continue working on your final project.

Session Three:  The Significance of Vocabulary

will reflect on your own practice and think about the extent to which you integrate vocabulary preparation into your instruction. You will then explore some technology tools that students can use to help them make sense of unfamiliar words. Finally, you will continue to work on your final project, and you will discuss the importance of vocabulary with your fellow participants.

Session Four:  Using Text Structures

The term “text structures” refers to the organizational arrangements used to present written information. In this session you will learn more about text structures, with a special emphasis on those text structures that appear frequently in content area reading. After thinking about how text structures are employed in a textbook you use in your instruction, you will review some different activities for students and then contribute to the online discussion.

Session Five:  Writing in the Content Classroom

Success in content area classrooms requires strong reading skills, as well as developed writing skills. In this session you will consider the importance of writing skills, and read some research on the current state of writing in the United States. You will explore two online tools that students can use to record their ideas before beginning the writing process Then you will review some different types of writing assignments that can be integrated into content area instruction.

Session Six:  Integrating Reading and Writing into your Instruction

Over the past five sessions you have considered the roles that reading, writing, vocabulary, and text structures all play in developing content literacy. In this session, you will complete your final project and will think more about the ways that science, math, and social studies classes require different sets of literacy skills.