UoPeople Online Syllabus Repository (OSR)

Master of Education in Advanced Teaching (M.Ed.)

EDUC 5271 Advanced Practices for Teaching Elementary and Middle School Literacy

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EDUC 5271: Advanced Practices for Teaching Elementary and Middle School Literacy


Credits: 3

Prerequisites:  EDUC 5270


Course Description: This course covers the cognitive foundations and curricular implications for the teaching of reading and language arts in elementary grades with an emphasis on understanding the theoretical and research bases for classroom practice.  The theory and practice of writing and its development are explored, and the racial, social, cultural, and linguistic implications for the development of literacy are examined.  The specific genres of children’s literature are discussed, and the increasing role of technology in mediating literacy is considered.


Required Textbook and Materials: UoPeople courses use open educational resources (OER) and other materials specifically donated to the University with free permissions for educational use. Therefore, students are not required to purchase any textbooks or sign up for any websites that have a cost associated with them. The main required textbooks for this course are listed below, and can be readily accessed using the provided links. There may be additional required/recommended readings, supplemental materials, or other resources and websites necessary for lessons; these will be provided for you in the course's General Information and Forums area, and throughout the term via the weekly course Unit areas and the Learning Guides.

  • This course does not contain a main textbook; resources to all required reading will be provided in the course Learning Guide for each week.

To access the LIRN resources you must log in to Moodle and access the Library and Information Resource Network (LIRN) located under the Resources link on the Home page. Click on the Alphabetical View tab at the top of the page and scroll down to the database where the resource is located (eBook Central, ERIC, Gale, etc). Copy and paste the title of the resource into the search bar. A link to the resource will appear. If you have any problems please contact library@uopeople.edu.


Software Requirements/Installation: No special requirements.


Learning Objectives and Outcomes:

By the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. Analyze the theoretical and research bases for classroom practice in teaching reading and language arts. 
  2. Explore the racial, social, cultural and linguistic implications for literacy development in education.
  3. Investigate and analyzes the different genres of children’s literature in an elementary and middle school environment.
  4. Assess the role of technology in mediating literacy to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom.

Course Schedule and Topics: This course will cover the following topics in eight learning sessions, with one Unit per week.

Week 1: Unit 1 - Cognitive Foundations and Curricular Implications of Teaching Reading and Language Arts

Week 2: Unit 2 - Theoretical Perspectives and Technology:  the New Literacies

Week 3: Unit 3 - Teaching Reading, Part I

Week 4: Unit 4 - Selecting Children's Literature: grades K-8th 

Week 5: Unit 5 - Teaching Reading, Part II:  Teaching in the Digital Age

Week 6: Unit 6 - Teaching Writing, Part I: Story Making

Week 7: Unit 7 - Teaching Writing, Part II: Poetry

Week 8: Unit 8 - Reading Strategies


Learning Guide: The following is an outline of how this course will be conducted, with suggested best practices for students.  The Learning Guides for all units open on the first day of class.  Please review all Learning Guides to access the readings, review assignments, etc. 

Unit 1: Cognitive Foundations and Curricular Implications of Teaching Reading and Language Arts

  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment

Reading Assignment

1. Nikolajeva, M. (2014). Reading for learning: cognitive approaches to children's literature. Retrieved from eBook Central (Having trouble accessing eBook Central resources? Please review the instructions: Finding a chapter in eBook Central Academic)

  • Read pages: 1-49; 75-101; 141-155; and 225-229. Focuses on children’s literature (including other media), children’s culture and cognition, thus encouraging interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in this expanding field.

Unit 2: Theoretical Perspectives and Technology:  the New Literacies

  • Peer assess Unit 1 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment

Reading Assignment

1. Gurian, M., & Gurian, M. (2000). Boys and girls learn differently! : a guide for teachers and parents. Retrieved from eBook Central

  • Read pages 1-68: focuses on the differences between girls and boys and their brains including the multiple intelligences as a guide for these differences.

2. Richards, J. C., & McKenna, M. C. (2003). Integrating multiple literacies in k-8 classrooms: cases, commentaries, and practical applications. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN).

  • Read pages 1-37: focuses on the integration of the new theoretical perspectives with literacy. 

Unit 3: Teaching Reading, Part I

  • Peer assess Unit 2 Written Assignment
  • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
  • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
  • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
  • Begin and participate in the Group Activity (Due Unit 6)

Reading Assignment

1.  DeCandido, G. A., & Office, F. L. A. O. S. (2000). Literacy and libraries: learning from case studies. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN)

  • Case studies #7, 12, or 16 on teaching reading: for use in the Written Assignment

    2. Richards, J. C., & McKenna, M. C. (2003). Integrating multiple literacies in k-8 classrooms: cases, commentaries, and practical applications. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN)

    • Read pp. 41-56; 57-79; 80-100; 150-171; 210-233 (focuses on the integration of the new literacies of visual arts, music, dance, dramatic arts, and technology into teaching reading and selecting literature)

    Unit 4: Selecting Children's Literature: grades K-8th 

    • Peer assess Unit 3 Written Assignment
    • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
    • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
    • Continue to participate in the Group Activity
    • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment

    Reading Assignment

    Trim, M. (2005). Growing and knowing: a selection guide for children's literature. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN)

    Read:

    • pp. xiii-xxiv (Introduction that focuses on the significance of books in the overall development of the child
    • pp. 3-31 (focuses on the developing child and how literature plays a part in the development)
    • pp. 37-61 (focuses on the Knowing Child and what they learn from the literature)
    • PP. 80-104 (focuses on the child growing with genres from fiction to realistic fiction to historical fiction)
    • pp. 113-140 (focuses on how every child deserves the best especially when it comes to selecting literature
    • pp. 183-200 (focuses on selecting activities for the literature chosen and gives examples of literature to use)

    Unit 5: Teaching Reading, Part II:  Teaching in the Digital Age

    • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
    • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
    • Continue to participate in the Group Activity
    • Complete and submit the Written Assignment

    Reading Assignment

    1. Watts-Taffe, S. M., Gwinn, C. B., Watts-Taffe, S., & Watts, T. S. (2014). Integrating literacy and technology: effective practice for grades k-6. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN)

    •  Read pp. 1-75 and 91-116 (each chapter focuses on the learning environment and the different stages of effectively integrating literacy and technology)

    Unit 6: Teaching Writing, Part I: Story Making

    • Peer assess Unit 5 Written Assignment
    • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
    • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
    • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
    • Post finalized Group Presentation
    • Review the presentations and leave feedback for other groups
    • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment

    Reading Assignment

    1. Bowkett, S. (2010). Developing literacy and creative writing through storymaking: story strands for 7-12-year-olds. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN)

    •  Read pp. 1-100 (focuses on activities that can be used across the content areas in particular literacy and writing)

     Unit 7: Teaching Writing, Part II: Poetry

    • Peer assess Unit 6 Written Assignment
    • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
    • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
    • Complete and submit the Written Assignment
    • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment

    Reading Assignment

    1. Carter, J. (2014). Page to stage: developing writing, speaking and listening skills in primary schools. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN).

    • Read pages ix-xi (focuses on the introduction of why poetry writing is important in the classroom)
    • Read pages 2-119 (focuses on different strategies of poetry writing and the creation of a poetry writing workshop)

    Unit 8: Reading Strategies

    • Peer assess Unit 7 Written Assignment
    • Read the Learning Guide and Reading Assignments
    • Participate in the Discussion Assignment (post, comment, and rate in the Discussion Forum)
    • Complete the Reflective Portfolio Assignment
    • Complete and submit the anonymous Course Evaluation

    Reading Assignment

    1. Popp, M. S. (2006). Teaching language and literature in elementary classrooms: a resource book for professional development. Retrieved from eBook Central (accessed through LIRN).

    • pp. 39-56 (focuses on reading aloud)
    • pp. 57-76 (focuses on Independent reading)
    • pp. 77-106 (focuses on Literature-based instruction)
    • pp. 107-134 (focuses on Guided reading)
    • pp. 135-154 (focuses on Mini-Lessons)


    Course Requirements:

    Discussion Assignments & Response Posts/Ratings
    Some units in this course require that you complete a Discussion Assignment. You are required to develop and post a substantive response to the Discussion Assignment in the Discussion Forum. A substantive response is one that fully answers the question that has been posed by the instructor. In addition, you must extend the discussion by responding to at least three (3) of your peers’ postings in the Discussion Forum and by rating their posts. Instructions for proper posting and rating (out of a 10 point scale) are provided inside the Discussion Forum for each week. Discussion Forums are only active for each current and relevant learning week, so it is not possible to contribute to the forum once the learning week has come to an end. Failure to participate in the Discussion Assignment by posting in the Discussion Forum and responding to peers as required may result in failure of the course.

    Written Assignments & Assessment Forms
    Most units in this course require that you complete a Written Assignment, which may come in many forms (case study, research paper, etc.). You are required to submit your assignments by the indicated deadlines and, in addition, to peer assess three (3) of your classmates’ assignments according to the instructions found in the Assessment Form, which is provided to you during the following week. During this peer assessment period, you are expected to provide details in the feedback section of the Assessment Form, indicating why you awarded the grade that you did to your peer. Please note that each assignment grade is comprised of a combination of your submission (90%) and your peer assessments (10%). Failure to submit Written Assignments and/or Assessment Forms may result in failure of the course.

    Group Activities
    During this course, you will be required to complete work as part of a small group. Group work is an important component of your coursework, as it allows you to deepen relationships with classmates, and gain a more thorough understanding of the topics presented in this course. Further, group work mimics the business environment in which projects are often conducted in small teams across different departments. You will be randomly assigned to your groups and are expected to work with your teammates throughout the term for all group activities.

    Reflective Portfolio Activities
    Portfolio Activities are tools for self-reflection and evaluation within the context of the course. These activities are designed as a means to document and critically reflect upon your learning process. Activities you develop for this course will be kept in your Research and Practice Portfolio and will be important as you progress towards the final courses in your program, particularly the Advanced Practice and Capstone courses.  Ideally, you will draw from your coursework and experiences, as well as what you’ve learned in other courses, and your own current teaching practice to showcase your overall growth and examine ways in which you can continue to develop and sharpen your research interests and expand your cadre of instructional methods.

    The Research and Practice Portfolio 
    Throughout the M.Ed. Program, you will be building a portfolio of instructional strategies and materials, and acquiring knowledge and skills for advanced professional practice.  Students begin building their portfolio right from start.  It serves as a repository for research findings and sample units and lessons.  Students use it to archive ideas and resources related to instructional methods, classroom management, and assessment.  The portfolio supports your own self-reflection on changes that demonstrate growth in professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes that is part of the Capstone experience.    The component parts of the Research and Practice Portfolio include:

    • Reflective Portfolio Activities
    • Research
    • Teaching and Learning Resources

    Course Forum
    The Course Forum is the place to raise issues and questions relating to the course. It is regularly monitored by the instructors and is a good place to meet fellow students taking the same course. While it is not required to participate in the Course Forum, it is highly recommended.


    Course Policies:

    Grading Components and Weights
    Each graded component of the course will contribute some percentage to the final grading scale, as indicated here:

    Discussion Assignments  20%
    Written Assignments    30%
    Group Activities  25%
    Reflective Portfolio Activities  25%
    TOTAL 100%


    Grading Scale
    This course will follow the standard 100-point grading scale defined by the University of the People, as indicated here:

    Letter Grade
    Grade Scale Grade Points
    A+ 98-100 4.00
    A 93-97 4.00
    A- 90-92 3.67
    B+ 88-89 3.33
    B 83-87 3.00
    B- 80-82 2.67
    C+ 78-79 2.33
    C 73-77 2.00
    C- 70-72 0.00
    D+ 68-69 0.00
    D 63-67 0.00
    D- 60-62 0.00
    F Under 60 0.00
    CR N/A N/A
    NC N/A N/A
    NF N/A N/A
    W N/A N/A


    Grade Appeal

    If you believe that the final grade you received for a course is erroneous, unjust, or unfair, please contact your course instructor. This must be done within seven days of the posted final grade. For more information on this topic, please review the Grade Appeal Procedure in the University Catalog.

    Participation
    Non-participation is characterized by lack of any assignment submissions, inadequate contributions to the Discussion Forums, and/or lack of peer feedback to Discussion/Written Assignments. Also, please note the following important points about course participation:

    • Assignments must be submitted on or before the specified deadline. A course timeline is provided in the course schedule, and the instructor will specify deadlines for each assignment.
    • Any student showing non-participation for two weeks (consecutive or non-consecutive) is likely to automatically fail the course.
    • Occasionally there may be a legitimate reason for submitting an assignment late. Most of the time, late assignments will not be accepted and there will be no make-up assignments.
    • All students are obligated to inform their instructor in advance of any known absences which may result in their non-participation.

    Academic Honesty and Integrity
    When you submit any work that requires research and writing, it is essential to cite and reference all source material. Failure to properly acknowledge your sources is known as “plagiarism” – which is effectively passing off an individual’s words or ideas as your own. University of the People adheres to a strict policy of academic honesty and integrity. Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in sanctions by the University, including dismissal from the University or course failure. For more information on this topic, please review the Academic Integrity Policy in the University Catalog.

    Any materials cited in this course should be referenced using the style guidelines established by the American Psychological Association (APA). The APA format is widely used in colleges and universities across the world and is one of several styles and citation formats required for publication in professional and academic journals. Purdue University’s Online Writing LAB (OWL) is a free website that provides excellent information and resources for understanding and using the APA format and style. The OWL website can be accessed here: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/purdue_owl.html

    Code of Conduct
    University of the People expects that students conduct themselves in a respectful, collaborative, and honest manner at all times. Harassment, threatening behavior, or deliberate embarrassment of others will not be permitted. Any conduct that interferes with the quality of the educational experience is not allowed and may result in disciplinary action, such as course failure, probation, suspension, or dismissal. For more information on this topic, please review the Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog.

    Analyzes the theoretical and research bases for classroom practice in teaching reading and language arts