EDUC 331 - Teaching Reading

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   EDUC 331 – Teaching of Reading

October 2002 (02/52)

On-line Course


Effective Date:  July 11,  2002

Course Description

EDUC 331:  Teaching of Reading  

The study of how to teach reading skills.  Students learn to describe, compare, and contrast theories, models, approaches, and methods of teaching reading.  Phonic methods and whole language methods are taught and studied, as are individualized teaching strategies, unique uses of children’s literature and writing processes.  

Prerequisites: EDUC 300

I.                 Overview and Course Goals

Welcome to Teaching of Reading on-line. Learning to read is vital to the success of every student.  The responsibility of the teacher to teach reading is almost overwhelming. Accountability is a foremost concern of administrators.  Reading scores have become a political issue.  Therefore it is the goal of this class to prepare teachers with a base of knowledge and practical experience to meet these challenges.  By understanding the reading process and by studying effective methods of teaching reading, the student will meet these goals.   

This class is not meant to be a correspondence course on teaching reading.  You will have practical experience through out the class.  You will need to have contacts with school age students and elementary teachers.  It would be a good idea to make contacts in your local school.  Most teachers will be delighted to answer your interview questions and offer advice about favorite teaching strategies.

During Week 1, we will become acquainted, and I will share with you my expectations of what I need from you during the course of this class, as well as make our initial introductions and become familiar with learning on the web.  You will be introduced to the Teaching of  Reading by sampling several theories including Pat Cuttingham’s Four Blocks. You will interview a classroom teacher.  The questions you ask during the interview will concern meeting the needs of students with diverse reading levels found in a classroom.

During Week 2, we will discuss language and its importance to emergent readers.  You will read a Big Book to a beginning reader and interview a teacher about effective teaching practices.

During Week 3, we will move on to word recognition strategies.   This time you will have the opportunity to listen to a child read and make note of the child’s strategies for decoding words.  .  You will design an activity involving mapping of a vocabulary word and categorizing the words that have similar meanings.   

During Week 4, we turn to vocabulary development.  You will have the opportunity of reviewing software used for teaching reading.

During Week 5, we will investigate comprehension strategies.  You will observe in a classroom and notice the student’s use of journal writing..

During Week 6, we will discuss instructional approaches and teaching reading using literature.  Evaluating a basal reader will be included in this week’s literacy adventure. We will explore the available literacy assessments by examining a student’s portfolio.

During Week 7   Creating literacy lesson plans will be a relevant activity.   You will observe a classroom and notice how the teacher uses collaborative learning and environmental print, and seating arrangements to be an effective teacher of reading.

During Week 8, we will learn about classroom management and diverse learners.  We will conclude the study by sharing high interest games created for the purpose of learning high frequency sight words.  A number of websites are suggested to use for generating ideas. 


II. Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, student should:

1.      Describe, compare and contrast various theoretical models and approaches to reading.  (MO STEP Standards 1.2, 2.4, 9.1, 9.2)

2.      Discuss and evaluate the most common approaches or methods of teaching reading.  (MO STEP Standards 1.1,2.1, 2.4,9.1)

3.      Plan and utilize teaching strategies as organized through directed reading activity. (MO STEP Standards 1.1,2.1, 2.4,9.1)

4.      Analyze and evaluate various materials including basal textbooks. (MO STEP Standards 2.1, 2.4,5.1, 9.1)

5.      Evaluate, modify and supplement lesson plans in basal readers.  (MO STEP Standards1.2, 2.1, 2.4, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 6.3, 7.1, 7.3, 8.1, 8.4, 9.2)

6.      Demonstrate an understanding of the appropriate techniques for evaluating the reader.(MO STEP Standards 2.4, 8.1)

7.      Discuss methods of meeting individual student needs as related to the management of the reading program. (MO STEP Standards 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 5.1, 7.3, 8.1)

8.      Investigate the structure of language (MO STEP Standards 1.1)

9.      Evaluate the learner as relevant to reading-including, physiological, and  intellectual difference.  (MO STEP Standards1.3, 2.1, 2.4, 3.1,7.2, 8.1, 8.2,10.3,10.4)

10.  Interpret the relationship of reading to writing and analyze  children and their writing and reading.

11.  Develop instructional strategies for teaching and facilitating literacy.  (MO STEP Standards 1.1, 2.1, 2.4, 4.1, 5.1, 9.1)

12.  Describe the reading process and strategies that facilitate it (MO STEP Standard  1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.4)

13.  Analyze possible contributing and negative effects of basal readers as instructional tools.  (MO STEP Standards 1.1, 2.1, 2.4,4.1,5.1,9.1)


III. Course Policies

View the Student Orientation web site at for details about taking an on-line course.  There will be no discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, ideology, political affiliation, veteran status, age, physical handicap, or marital status.  Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the ADA coordinator of Columbia College at 573 875 7626 .  Read the entire syllabus before continuing the course.

Student Conduct

The instructor reserves the right to manage a positive learning environment and thus will not tolerate inappropriate conduct in the course.  All Columbia College students, whether enrolled in a land-based or online course, are responsible for behaving in a manner consistent with Columbia College's Code of Student Conduct and Ethics Code for Computer Users. Students violating these codes will be referred to the Campus Life Office for possible disciplinary action.  The Code for Student Conduct and the Ethics Code for Computer Users can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook, a copy of which can be obtained by calling the Campus Life office at 573 875 7425.

On-Line Participation

This course is offered on-line, over the Internet, using the Internet and the World Wide Web, using technology provided by Prometheus and Columbia College  Participation on-line is expected to be continuous throughout the course.  Failure to turn in assignments by the date due, or timely participation in online discussions may result in the student being withdrawn from the course.  Emergencies should be communicated and documented to the instructor as soon as possible.   Students are expected to read the assigned texts each week and log-in to the course discussion area, and post messages as required in the Course Schedule section of this syllabus. Active participation in the course will guide  students in preparing assignments and exams.   The instructor will facilitate online discussions in the discussion room by responding to posted messages.  See "Ground Rules for On-line Participation" for additional information.

A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday.  The first week begins the first day of the session (Monday, 10/05/02) and ends midnight the following Sunday except for Week 8 when the week and the course will end Saturday at midnight (October 5, 2002) .  Both discussion and email assignments scheduled for completion during a class week should be submitted or posted by the weekly due dates stated on the grading schedule below. Writing assignments (papers) should be completed and successfully submitted so that they are received by the due date. NOTE: Because this is an online course designed to get feedback on assignments to you directly via Internet, you must make prior arrangements  before submitting a paper via fax or the postal service. If you ever have problems transmitting your assignments to me, telephone me immediately at 573-875-7540 and we'll get the problem solved.

Ground Rules for On-line Participation

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students and for assignments which will be scored. The Discussion area of the course is for public messages so we can see what each other has to say about any given topic, and respond to if desired.
Students are expected to participate in on-line discussions, as well as with other appropriate online activities including sending/receiving email and navigating and conducting research over the World Wide Web.
All students will observe Conventions of "online etiquette," when communicating on-line which includes courtesy to all users.
Students may get assistance with computer related problems through the instructor.
Ideally, email paper assignments should be prepared on MS Word and sent as "attachments" on email. That method preserves their formatting. Otherwise, students should submit papers as part of the email message to the instructor.
Assigned papers may also be submitted via the postal service or fax but only if arrangements are made with the instructor beforehand.

Academic Honesty

All Columbia College policies are in effect as described in the Academic Dishonesty/Misconduct section of the current college catalog.   All your work must be your own unless collaboration has been authorized.  If collaboration is authorized you must acknowledge the collaboration in writing.  Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas.  Presenting as one's own the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form is cheating though plagiarism.   If you are unsure what constitutes plagiarism, review the rules of original writing at the following web site: This link provides  valuable information, including examples about plagiarism.  To review some plagiarism tools available to students, take a look at and The content of these plagiarism sites would, if you were lucky, get you a "D": in this course if you were not caught.  It is substandard work indeed, but you will almost always be caught if you try to cheat, due to the plagiarism prevention tools available to instructors.  Here are two sites that may be of interest: and Plagiarism will not be tolerated and the claim of ignorance is no excuse.  Those found plagiarizing will receive a zero on the assignment and their names are to be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs, and the Dean for Academic Affairs.  A second offense will result in the student being dropped from the course with an “F”. 


Collaboration with other students is not permitted without explicit permission from the instructor. This is a form of plagiarism.  Room mates and spouses taking the same course should be particularly careful.  

Levels of Communication

We will be using a minimum of two levels of communication in this course, one formal, the other informal.  All email assignments are formal.  They should be written as if you are communicating with a client.  The formal rules of proper English and grammar apply for these submissions, and points will be deducted for misspellings, incomplete sentences, poor sentence structure, etc.

Discussion postings are informal.  You do not have to use capitalization's to begin sentences, there are no penalties for misspellings, incomplete sentences, or other violations of grammatical rules.  The criteria that has been met in discussion postings is that your messages must be original and intelligible.  You must communicate effectively.  In addition, you must meet the weekly requirements for full credit on discussion room assignments.

Email Policy

Students will receive a college Cougars email address when they register.  Because 2-5% of all email communications are lost in cyberspace, College policy requires all email communication from the instructor will be to the assigned cougars email address.  These addresses cannot be changed.  In addition, you may send all of your messages and assignments from your Cougars email account, or use your own private email account.  However if you use your own private account, and your assignment(s) is not received on time, since we cannot verify the date of your sending through your private account, you will be responsible for seeing that they arrive on time, and taking the penalty of they are not.  In cases of emergency, such as if the Cougars server is down, you may temporarily use your private email account..  By looking in the grade book each week, you will be able to tell if your assignment(s) were received if there is a score.  A zero will indicate it was not received and the 20% late penalty will apply.


Assignments may be submitted as an email message  (or) assignments must be submitted as attachments to email messages to retain their formatting and style.

Grading Policy

You will be able to track your average exactly throughout the course. The grading scale is based on percentile as follows: A = 92-100; B = 85-91; C = 77-84; D = 69-76; F = 0-68.
Test formats will include multiple choice, and completion.  You will be asked to take the test on-line during Week 4 and Week 8.  No proctor is necessary.  A time limit of  1 ˝ hours will be given and a specific day and time will be supplied to you.


Rubric for Written Field Based Assignments


Clear Introduction                                                    1 

Detailed Information (which answers the

Prompt:  Three facts)                                               5 

Clear, complete, correct, concise,

Consistent  writing                                                   2

Correct syntax and grammar                                    1                                                      

Clear Conclusion with reflective statement                1


Total                                                                    10 points


Late Assignment Policy

Late assignments will be accepted, but a 20 % penalty will be imposed.   

IV. Grades

Text and Website readings should be completed prior to submitting assignments or taking exams.
Online discussion postings should be complete by Sunday of each assigned week.
Assignments will each be graded according to the point system presented in the assignment table below.  Discussion postings will be graded according to the discussion grade criteria table.
Exams:  There will be a midterm and a final exam, each worth 100 points.  Each exam will consist of  45 multiple choice and 5 discussion questions.  You will be going online to the Testing Section where  the questions will appear in random order and you will respond and submit the entire test within 1 ˝  hours.






Week 1

Online Discussion #1 Introduction


Wed. 10-23-02


Email Assignment #1:Ch 1 Summary Cuttingham


       Sun 10-27-02


Online Discussion #2  No. 2  p.25 (interview: wide range)


Sun. 10-27-02

Week 2

Online Discussion #3:  No. 1 p. 52 (interview: effective)


Wed. 11-3-02


Email Assignment  #2 :Ch 2 Summary Cuttingham


Sun. 11-3-02


Online Discussion #4: No. 1 p. 143 (Big Books)


Sun. 11-3-02

Week 3

Online Discussion #5: No. 2 p.203 (word id strategies)


Wed. 11-6-02


Email Assignment  #3:  Ch 3 Summary Cuttingham


Sun. 11-10-02


Online Discussion #6: No. 1. 242 (semantic map)



Week 4

Online Discussion #7:  Software evaluation


Wed. 11-13-02


Midterm Exam


Sun. 11-17-02





Week 5

Online Discussion #8  No. 1  p. 294 (child’s journal)


Wed. 11-20-02


Email Assignment #4 Ch 4 Summary Cuttingham


Sun. 11-24-02


On-Line Discussion #9:  Peer Critique



Week 6

Online Discussion #10: No. 2 p. 374 (Basal Evaluation)


Wed. 11-27-02


Email Assignment  #5: :Ch 5 Summary Cuttingham


Sun. 12-1-02


Online Discussion #11: No. 2 p. 491 (portfolio assessment)


Sun. 12-1-02

Week 7

Online Discussion #12:  No.2  p. 566 (environmental print)


Wed. 12-4-02


Email Assignment: 5 Lesson Plans using Hunter model


Sun. 12-8-02




Sun. 12-8-02

Week 8

Online Discussion:   game


Wed. 12-11-02


Final Exam


Fri. 12-13-02

                                                                                TOTAL                                          500 Points



10 = A

Online posting is on time and answers given for all questions.  Answers are complete and concise. 

8 = B

Assignment is late, but has answers for all questions or, assignment is on time, but answers are not complete.

7 = C

Assignment is late, or answers are not complete. 

6 = D

Assignment is late, and incomplete. 


Grades/points for all assignments, exams and class conferencing will be posted in a weekly grade report in the discussion in order that students may keep up with their progress in the course.

V. Required Texts

Heilman, Arthur W. (2002)  Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey:  Prentice Hall, Inc. ISBN 0-13-267857.
Cunningham, Patricia M. (1999) The Teacher’s Guide to the Four Blocks.  Greenboro, North Carolina:  Carson-Dellosa.  ISBN 0-888724-494-7.


               Books may be ordered by phone at 1-800-325-3252 or by fax 1-800-499-0143

                For additional information about the book store visit

VI. Course Schedule

Week 1: Getting Started with Literacy Instruction

·        Readings:  Read Heilman Ch. 1 and 2; Cuttingham Ch. 1.

·        Class Activities:  Tour the college Web site at  Register for the course, sign in and browse the Columbia College Distance Learning section as a student and register and sign the course policy. Become familiar with techniques of e-mail management and diagnostic tools available.  Build a portfolio of resources using bookmarks, newsgroups, and email addresses of fellow students..

·        Online Discussion #1 Introduce yourself, acknowledging hobbies, interest, why you are interested in teaching reading and other information that will help us get to know you. (10 pts.) # 2 Complete Field Based Assignment 2 p. 25. Interview a teacher by asking this question: How do you handle the differences among your students in reading ability?   A sample of this assignment is included.  (10 pts.)

·        e-mail assignment: Summarize and reflect on Pat Cuttingham’s Four Blocks Ch.1 p. 2-19.  This assignment should be at least one page long. (15 points).



Sample Field Assignment


Mrs. Diana Obermeier was interviewed on Aug 21, 2002 at South Callaway R-2 School concerning her techniques for meeting the individual needs of her reading students who were functioning below grade level.  She reported that three students were reading on beginning second grade level and had difficulty with sight words but had adequate language and comprehension skills. Her  techniques  included: Peer oral reading—Students takes turns reading orally with an older student daily for 15 minutes.  The students’ evaluation is based on successful reading and getting

along with older students. Shortened spelling lists-Students work with the first ten words in the unit and complete the assignments according to the schedule followed by the rest of the class. Word recognition- Students make flash cards with ten words from the Dolch Word list daily.  After learning these, the students will continue with the Missouri Word List. These techniques seemed successful.  However, much depended on the selection of the books that the students read orally. They should have a high interest    level, and have predictable language.  The personality of the peer tutors was also  important.  These techniques are valuable additions to any teacher’s “bag of tricks.”


Week 2:  Beginning to Read:  Language and Emergent Literacy

·        Readings: Heilman Ch. 3 and 4; Cuttingham Ch. 2. 

·        Class activities:  Interview a classroom reading teacher about the literacy program and effective practices.  Read a big book to a beginning reader.

·        Online Discussion: #3 Field based assignment 1 p.143 (10 points)    #4 No. 2  p. 203  ( 10 points)

·        e-mail assignment:: Summarize and reflect on Cuttingham Ch 2 p.20-41 (15 points)


Week 3:  Becoming Strategic Readers:  Word Recognition

·        Readings:  Heilman Ch. 5; Cuttingham Ch. 3.

·        Class activities:  Listen to a child read and take note of his decoding strengths and weaknesses.

·        Online Discussion:#5 Ch 5 Field Based Assignment 2 p. 203 (10 points) #6: No. 1 p. 242 :Show simple examples of semantic mapping by drawing with    graphics and attaching to discussion page. (10 points)

·        e-mail assignment: Summarize and reflect on  Ch. 3 Cuttingham p. 42-78 (15 points).


Week 4:  Meaning Vocabulary

·        Readings:  Heilman Ch. 6.

·        Class activities:  Midterm Test

·        Discussion assignment:: #7 Evaluate one piece of educational software pertaining to reading instruction. (25 points)

·        e-mail assignment: none


Here is an evaluation form:



Software Evaluation Checklist

Name ___________  Date ____________


Title of Software____________________

Series Title________________________


Date ___ Cost____Length in min. _____

Subject area_______________________

Intended Audience__________________




Brief Description:








Meets objective






Accurate information






Maintains interest






Technical quality













Field tested






Pacing appropriate






Age appropriate























Entry Capabilities Required:



Prior subject matter knowledge/vocabulary:


Reading ability


Mathematical ability






Week 5:  Comprehension

·        Readings: Heilman Ch. 7;  Cuttingham Ch. 4.

·        Class activity:  Visit a classroom and observe a students using a journal..

·        Online Discussion #8 Field bases assignment No. 2 p. 294. Evaluate a child’s journal (10 points) #9 Critique your peers #8 discussion assignment using the holistic scoring guide of 1-6. (10 points)

·        e-mail assignment:  Summarize and reflect on Ch 4 Cuttingham p.86-116 (15 points).. 

Use the following scoring guide (rubric):



Scoring Guide

·        6=Topic sentence presents controlling ideas. Language is precise and presents a vivid picture with sophisticated word choice.  Transition is smooth and logical.  No errors in mechanics and grammar.

·      5=Controlling idea is presented with clear sentences that vary in structure.  Author's voice is apparent with main idea supported with details.  Hardly any errors in mechanics and grammar.

·      4=Competent controlling idea with more general statements than specific examples.  Sentence structure lack variety.  Few errors in mechanics and grammar.

·      3=Controlling idea is not developed.  Transition is not smooth.  General statements instead of specific examples.  Errors in mechanics and grammar begin to interfere with meaning.

·      2=Unclear sentences with one or more ideas that address the topic.  Listing of ideas with no transition from beginning, middle, to end.  Errors in grammar and mechanics interfere with meaning.

·      1=Topic is addressed only in passing.  Organization is lacking.  Many errors appear in mechanics and grammar.



Week 6:  Instructional Approaches and Literature Based Reading Programs

·        Readings:  Heilman Ch. 8 and 9; Cuttingham Ch. 5.

·        Class activity:  Borrow a Teacher’s edition of a Basal Reader.

·        Online Discussion : #10 Field based assignment No. 2 p. 374. Describe the reader and evaluate according to the criteria listed. (25 pts.) #11 No. 2 p. 491 (10 points)

E-mail assignment: Summarize and reflect on Ch 5 Cuttingham p. 122-159 (15 points).


Week 7:  Literacy Assessment 
Readings:  Heilman Ch. 11
Class activity:  Search on line for high interest low vocabulary book lists. Include these book titles in your lesson plans. Search on  to find nonfiction, historial fiction, and biographies related to a theme. 

·        Online Discussion: #12 No. 2  p 566 (10 points)

e-mail assignment:  Submit 5 lessons plans using the accepted format of Madeline Hunter. (50 points) Use these websites to generate ideas for thematic units.    (Teachers Net Lesson Bank with lesson plans and thematic units.) 


Here is a sample in the Columbia College lesson plan format.  Be sure to include assessments, enrichment and remediation for each of the five lessons.  Show –me standards can be found by searching at:




Grade Level: 12th Grade English Literature

Number of Students: 10

Content Area: Language Arts

The Canterbury Tales Unit

Lesson 1


Lesson Objectives:

      Students will understand The Nuns Priest’s Tale by performing the children's version, and then analyzing and comparing it with the text version.

      Students will understand the plot of The Wife of Bath.

Show-Me Standards:

       Performance Standards: Students will demonstrate within and integrate across all the content areas the ability to:

       1.5  comprehend and evaluate written, visual and oral presentations and works.

       2.1  plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences.

       2.3 exchange information, questions and ideas while recognizing the perspectives of others.

        2.4 present perceptions and ideas regarding works of the arts, humanities, and sciences.

Knowledge Standards: In Communication Arts, students in Missouri public schools will acquire a solid foundation that includes knowledge of and proficiency in:

   ·    CA l speaking and writing standard English

   ·    CA2 reading and evaluating fiction, poetry and drama

   ·    CA7 identifying arid evaluation relationships between language and culture

Frameworks: Communication Arts 9-12

       I. Gather, Analyze and Apply Information and Ideas 5.a read, view, listen to and respond to  literature, film and other texts from diverse cultures and eras (1.5)

       II. Communicate Effectively Within and Beyond the Classroom

             1.c compare and contrast communications to previously read or

             viewed material or to real situations (2.3: 2.4)

             1.b demonstrate use of a growing vocabulary (2.1)

             4.a plan and compose a variety of communications (2.1)

             5.c respond appropriately to others’ point of view (2.3)

             6.  consult sources to increase accuracy in spelling, usage,

             punctuation and mechanics (1.5)

       III.  Recognize and Solve Problems

             1.b listen attentively and contribute to group discussions (2.3)

       IV. Make Decisions and Act as Responsible Members of Society

             1.c participate actively in discussions (2.3)

             1.d Listen to and consider the ideas and opinions of others (2.3)

Materials, Media, Literature:

The Canterbury Tales

Props for the plays

Text books

Outline for the class


2 min.   Anticipatory Set

            Students will receive the outline for the class period and I will review it with them.

1 min.   Objectives

Students will understand and be able to retell The Nuns Priest’s Tale by performing the children's                                                   version and then analyzing that with the text version.

            Students will understand and be able to retell The Wife of Bath.

5 min.   Input

            I will assign parts and hand out props.

15 min. Guided Practice

            Students will perform the children story of The Nun’s

            Priest.  (Bloom’s Application)

20 min. Input

            Have students open textbooks to the Nun’s Priest Tale.

            Read the test version of the story.

5 min.   Independent Practice

            Students should answer the questions following the tale.  If they don’t finish, tell them they  will have time later, or they can do it for homework.  (Bloom’s Comprehension)

2 min.    Input:

              Give out parts for The Wife of Bath, and hand out props.

15 min.  Guided Practice

             Students perform the tale as a play.

                   (Bloom’s Application)

5 min.   Closure and Assessment

            On an index card tell me one thing that surprised you about the tales, and one question you  have learned about them.   (Bloom’s Comprehension)


Alternatives: If we seem to have extra time, pass out the Up-Front Magazines and have them begin working on Quiz 1.

Remediation: For students who are struggling to understand Chaucer, refer them to the children’s version again. I have found this version to help all the students understand his writing better.

Enrichment: For students who want to read more Chaucer, refer them to the library where a copy of the entire Canterbury Tales is waiting for them.



Week 8: Classroom Management and Diverse Learners 

Readings: Ch. 12-13
Class activity:  Final test Ch 7-13

·        Online Discussion:  #13 Using the Dolch word list (high frequency sight words), design a game with flash cards.(25 points) Use these websites to get ideas for the game:  (Wise Guys Spelling Games). (ideas for teaching high frequency words.) 

e-mail assignment:  none


VII. Instructor Information

Ann M. Harvey, Ed. D
1001 Rogers Street
Columbia, MO 65216
Office Phone: (573) 875-7540

EDUC 331 References


The following list of references are suggested for research papers.  Students are ultimately responsible for searching and finding their own sources.  All references must be APA style and , must include two sources from the internet (different sites) and, three sources from professional journals and books.


Web Sites: