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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 course 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 course, participants will be able to locate web-based tools, strategies, and lessons that foster literacy skills in all content areas. Participants will also have developed a plan for incorporating these tools and strategies into their instruction.

*This course is open to all certified WV educators and paraprofessionals who are assigned as a full-time classroom aide.
 

 
Course Syllabus
    

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 course 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 course, 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.

 

Goals and Products

During this course, 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.


Format and Requirements

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

Session One

What is Content Literacy?

Session Two

Reading in the Content Classroom

Session Three

The Significance of Vocabulary

Session Four

Using Text Structures

Session Five

Writing in the Content Classroom

Session Six

Integrating Reading and Writing into your Instruction


Orientation Quiz

The Orientation Quiz is to be completed during the Orientation Session. The quiz may be taken as many times as necessary to obtain the required 90% proficiency.

Reading and Activities

Participants are expected to complete the required course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Optional readings may also be completed, but are not mandatory.

Discussion Participation

Participants are required to post a minimum of three substantial postings, including one that begins a new thread and at least two that respond to an existing, original thread, in all session discussion forums. 

Participants will be evaluated on the frequency and quality of their discussion board participation. Postings will be reviewed based on their relevance, demonstrated understanding of course concepts, examples cited, overall quality, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone. 

Original postings are to be made by Sunday night. By Monday night, it is expected that participants respond to at least two colleagues' original postings in a respectful, professional manner, making sure to extend or expand the conversation by adding new ideas or examples. Postings that respond to other participants will be evaluated on relevance, degree to which they extend the discussion, and tone. 

Participants are to read all the original messages and at least half (50%) of the total messages posted for each session by Tuesday night. During Session Three and Six, participants will be asked to peer review other colleagues' projects in the Discussions using PQP. The Final Project Rubric Final Project and the PQP Help Guide will assist you in completing this successfully.

Course Activities
Participants are expected to complete the course readings and activities as posted in each of the session assignment pages. Activities may include exploring websites related to course content, watching online video clips, using specific technology applications, solving problems, and working on the final project.

 

Final Project
As a final project, participants will create a collection of annotated Primary Source online resources and a lesson plan for incorporating these resources into a classroom lesson. Participants will complete the Final Project Template using the Final Project Rubric as a guide as to what is expected in the final project. The Final Project Rubric contains criteria by which the final project will be evaluated. Please review this rubric prior to beginning work on the final project. Participants will submit their Final Project Template to the course dropbox during Sessions Three and Six for facilitator review.  

Participants are expected to work independently on the final project throughout the course. Copyright guidelines are to be observed throughout the course project and all course activities. All work associated with the course project is to be the original work of the course participant. Fair Use does not apply to the course project.

Course Surveys
Participants are expected to complete an Orientation Survey by Sunday of the Orientation Session, and a Final Survey by Sunday during Session Six.

Grades
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.


Certificate of Completion
Upon successful completion of this course, Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Area, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion documenting successful completion of the course requirements. Certificates are distributed to each qualifying participant via attachment to the Session Six Dropbox shortly after the completion of the course.

 

Non-Degree Graduate Credit
Participants in this course are eligible to receive non-degree graduate credits from either West Virginia University, Concord University, West Virginia State University or Marshall University. Credits will be awarded at the end of the semester in which the course occurs. Additional information is available on the course News/Welcome Page. 

 

Guidelines for Participation

Specific questions about assessment, expectations, or requirements should be directed to the facilitator of this course.

The following criteria be used to determine successful completion of this course:

Obtaining a score of 90% or better on the Orientation Quiz;

Participation in all discussion forums;

Completion of the course's final project, submitted to the facilitator via the course dropbox(es) and posted in the appropriate discussion forum(s); and

Completion of the orientation and final course surveys.

 

Prerequisites

This is an introductory course for teachers, technology specialists, curriculum specialists, professional development specialists, or other school personnel. Participants are expected to have regular access to computers, and proficiency with email and current web-browsers.

 

 

Content and Technology Standards

The WV NxG CSOs for English language arts, mathematics, social studies will be addressed in the course project. Other content areas will utilize the WV CSOs for their content area. The WV 21st Century Technology Tools will be referenced.

This course, Improving Reading and Writing in the Content Area, will help participants learn and apply the following Common Core English Language Arts Anchor Standards in their teaching.

 

About This Course

This course was developed by EdTech Leaders Online (http://edtechleaders.org) at Education Development Center. EdTech Leaders Online provides capacity building, training, and online courses for school districts, state departments of education, and colleges and universities.

© 2010 Education Development Center, Inc., through its project, EdTech Leaders® Online, http://edtechleaders.org. All rights reserved.