Effective: Late Spring 8-Week, 2018/2019

EDUC 332: Reading Instruction

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  Course Description

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 taught and studied, as are individualized teaching strategies, unique uses of children’s literature and writing processes. Note: This course does not apply toward Missouri certification.

Prerequisite: None

Proctored Exams: None



  • Cunningham, Patricia M.. (1999). The Teacher's Guide to the Four Blocks.Greensboro, North Carolina: Carson-Dellosa.  
    • [ISBN-978-0-88724-494-0]
  • Heilman, Arthur W.. (2002). Principles and Practices of Teaching Reading (10th). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, Inc..  
    • [ISBN-978-0-13-042083-1]


  • American Psychological Association. (2009). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.  
    • [ISBN-978-1-4338-0561-5]

MBS Information

Textbooks for the course may be ordered from MBS Direct. You can order

For additional information about the bookstore, visit http://www.mbsbooks.com.

  Course Overview

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. The goal of this class to prepare teachers with a base of knowledge and practical experience to meet these challenges through  understanding the reading process and learning effective methods of teaching reading.  

This class is not meant to be a correspondence course on teaching reading. You will have practical experience throughout 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.

  Technology Requirements

Participation in this course will require the basic technology for all online classes at Columbia College:
  • A computer with reliable Internet access
  • A web browser
  • Acrobat Reader
  • Microsoft Office or another word processor such as Open Office

You can find more details about standard technical requirements for our courses on our site.

  Course Objectives

  • To understand the central concepts, structures and tools of inquiry of the disciplines. (MoSPE 1)
  • To create learning experiences that make aspects of subject matter meaningful and engaging for students. (MoSPE 1)
  • To understand how students learn, develop, and differ in their approaches to learning. (MoSPE 2)
  • To provide learning opportunities that are adapted to diverse learners and that support the intellectual, social, and personal development of all students.
  • To develop long-range planning, based upon student, district, and state standards data. (MoSPE 3)
  • To use a variety of instructional strategies and resources to encourage students' development and critical thinking, problem solving, and performance skills. (MoSPE 4)
  • To understand individual group motivation and behavior and create a learning environment that encourages active engagement in learning, positive social interaction, and self-motivation. (MoSPE 5)
  • To continually assess the effects of choices and actions on others to become a reflective practitioner. (MoSPE 8)
  • To grow professionally in order to improve learning for all students. (MoSPE 8)
  • To describe, compare, and contrast various theoretical models and approaches to reading.
  • To evaluate the most common approaches or methods of teaching reading.
  • To analyze and evaluate various materials including basal textbooks.
  • To evaluate methods of meeting individual student needs as related to the management of the reading program.
  • To investigate the structure of language.
  • To develop instructional strategies for teaching and facilitating literacy.
  • To describe the reading process and strategies that facilitate it.
  • To observe the place of content mastery in competent instruction.
  • To observe elements of an effective lesson plan and the effects of planning instruction.
  • To construct lesson plans that demonstrate subject matter competence, multiple strategies to meet student needs, the effective use of media and other technologies, and opportunities adapted to diverse learners.

  Measurable Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrates knowledge of the academic language of the appropriate discipline applicable to the certification area(s) sought as defined by the Subject Competencies for Beginning Teachers in Missouri.
  • Demonstrates content knowledge and ability to use multiple subject specific methodologies for specific instructional purposes to engage students.
  • Understands how to engage students in the methods of inquiry and research in the elementary disciplines.
  • Can create interdisciplinary lessons that are aligned with standards.
  • Demonstrates understanding of diverse cultural perspectives by creating and implementing lessons to introduce those perspectives, recognizing the potential for bias.
  • Knows and identifies child/adolescent developmental stages and can apply them to students.
  • Demonstrates knowledge on how to assist students in setting short- and long-term learning goals and self-reflect on their overall growth.
  • Applies knowledge of learning theory in all aspects of instructional design.
  • Recognizes diversity and the impact it has on education.
  • Is able to plan lessons and learning activities to address a student's prior experiences, multiple intelligences, strengths, and needs in order to positively impact learning.
  • Understands the components and organization of an effective curriculum, is able to create aligned learning experiences, can locate national and state standards, and is able to align them to learning outcomes.
  • Understands how to select appropriate strategies for addressing individual student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  • Knows and understands the concept of differentiated instruction and short- and long-term instructional goal planning to address student needs in meeting curriculum objectives.
  • Can demonstrate knowledge of researched-based models of critical thinking and problem- solving, including various types of instructional strategies, to support student engagement in higher level thinking skills.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of current instructional resources to support complex thinking and technological skills.
  • Can demonstrate knowledge of strategies for facilitating multiple configurations for student learning including cooperative, small group and independent learning.
  • Knows how classroom management, motivation, and engagement relate to one another and has knowledge of strategies and techniques for using this to promote student interest and learning.
  • Recognizes and identifies the influence of classroom, school, and community culture on student relationships and the impact on the classroom environment and learning.
  • Understands the importance of and develops the ability to use effective verbal and nonverbal communication techniques.
  • Develops sensitivity to differences in culture, gender, intellectual and physical ability in classroom communication and in responses to student communications.
  • Develops the ability to facilitate learner expression in speaking, writing, listening, and other media ensuring it adheres to district policy.
  • Develops skills in using a variety of technology media communication tools.
  • Understands strategies for reflecting on teaching practices to refine their own instructional process in order to promote the growth and learning of students.
  • Identifies and understands the use of an array of professional learning opportunities including those offered by educator preparation programs, school districts, professional associations, and/or other opportunities for improving student learning.
  • Is knowledgeable of and demonstrates professional, ethical behavior and is aware of the influence of district policies and school procedures on classroom structure.
  • Understands school-based systems designed to address the individual needs of students by working with the cooperating teacher/ supervisor to engage with the larger professional community across the system to identify and provide needed services to support individual learners.
  • Recognizes the importance of developing relationships and cooperative partnerships with students, families, and community members to support students' learning and well-being.


Grading Scale

Grade Points Percent
A 405-450 90-100%
B 360-404 80-89%
C 315-359 70-79%
D 270-314 60-69%
F 0-269 0-59%

Grade Weights

Assignment Category Points Percent
Discussions 90 20%
Dropbox Assignments 240 53%
Group Assignment 20 4%
Midterm Exam 50 11%
Final Exam 50 11%
Total 450 100%

  Schedule of Due Dates

Week 1

Assignment Points Due
Introductions - Wednesday
Discussion 1 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 1 20

Week 2

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 2 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 2 40

Week 3

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 3 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 3 40

Week 4

Assignment Points Due
Midterm 50 Saturday
Discussion 4 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 4 20

Week 5

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 5 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 5 40

Week 6

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 6 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 6 40
Group Assignment 20

Week 7

Assignment Points Due
Discussion 7 10 Sunday
Dropbox Assignment 7 40

Week 8

Assignment Points Due
Final Exam 50 Saturday
Discussion 8 10 Friday
Discussion 9 10
Total Points: 450

  Assignment Overview

Student Responsibilities

All points are posted at the end of each week. You will be able to track your average exactly throughout the course. Each student is responsible for:

1.    Completing weekly reading assignments.
2.    Participating in weekly discussions.
3.    Completing group activities.
4.    Completing all written assignments, referred to as dropbox assignments.
5.    Completing midterm and final exam.

Expectations for all assignments

  1. Style: All assignments must be word-processed and reflect high standards of accepted grammar and composition. Failure to do so will result in the lowering of the grade by a minimum of one letter grade.
  2. Format: All assignments must have student name and assignment name in order for the assignment to be graded. Assignment missing these two important items will result in a 0 for that assignment.
  3. Citations: Use APA style when citing references in discussion postings and dropbox assignments. All work must be original and represent the thinking and understanding of the student author. Sources must be credited for the ideas, content and quotations used in the development of the assignment and must cite using APA format.

  Course Outline

Click on each week to view details about the activities scheduled for that week.


Heilman Chapters 1 and 2; Cunningham Chapter 1


Post an introduction of yourself to the class. Tell us something about your interest in reading education and why you are taking this class. What were some of your favorite books to read when you were in school? You may also wish to share something about yourself such as where you are from, your family, pets, etc., to help us get to know you.

Discussion 1

Refer to Chall’s stages of reading development (Figure 1.4 Heilman) and reread the information “How Acquired” for each stage. What features would a reading instructional program need in order to develop the reading abilities associated with each stage?

Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Responses are a time to discuss, expand, enhance, question, apply - rather than evaluate - the contributions of others. Whether you agree or disagree, like or do not like is not the point; your thought process is what is important and what should be shared.

Dropbox Assignment 1

Summarize and reflect on Pat Cunningham’s Four Blocks, Chapter 1 Introduction, pages 2 – 19. This paper should be at least 1 ½ to 2 pages long. You can find a sample for this assignment in the course.


Heilman Chapters 3 and 4; Cunningham Chapter 2

Discussion 2

Interview a classroom-reading teacher about the literacy program and effective practices for diverse learners. Be sure to ask, “How do you handle the differences among your students reading ability? Complete the Field Based Assignment 2 page 25 in Heilman. A sample of this assignment is included. Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Dropbox Assignment 2

Summarize and reflect on Cunningham, Chapter 2 Self Selective Reading Block, pages 20 – 41. This summary and reflection should be at least 1½ to 2 pages long. Create a 20-minute Self Selective Reading lesson plan for your thematic unit of reading (Dropbox #7). Be sure to use the Lesson Plan Format located in Course Content.


Heilman Chapter 6; Cunningham Chapter 3.

Discussion 3

Discuss a topic with a child and use a semantic map to organize the details. Refer to Heilman - Chapter 6 No. 1 page 242. Show simple examples of semantic mapping by drawing with graphics. Tell about your experiences with mapping in the discussion. Copy and paste the map to a Word Document and attach to your discussion post. Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Dropbox Assignment 3

Summarize and reflect on Cunningham, Chapter 3: The Guided Reading Block, pages 42 – 78. This summary and reflection should be at least 1 ½ to 2 pages long. Create a 20-minute Guided Reading lesson plan for your thematic unit of reading (Dropbox #7). Be sure to use the Lesson Plan Format located in Course Content.


Heilman Chapter 5


The Midterm exam will be over Heilman. Chapters 1 – 6. There are 50 true/false and multiple choice questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. It will be available on Tuesday and must be completed by Saturday midnight.

Discussion 4

Is it possible to teach children to rely too much on any word-identification technique? Does learning to read involve the simultaneous application of all word-identification skills? Is each a part of a unitary process called reading? Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Dropbox Assignment 4

Evaluate one piece of educational software for reading instruction. Complete the evaluation form found in the course.


Heilman Chapter 7; Cunningham Chapter 4

Discussion 5

Visit a classroom and observe a student using a journal.  Follow field base assignment No. 1 on page 294 to evaluate a child’s journal. Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Dropbox Assignment 5

Summarize and reflect on Cunningham, Chapter 4: The Writing Block, pages 86 – 121. This summary and reflection should be at least 1 ½ to 2 pages long. Create a 20-minute Writing Block lesson plan for your thematic unit of reading (Dropbox #7). Be sure to use the Lesson Plan Format located in Course Content.


Heilman Chapters 8 and 9; Cunningham Chapter 5.

Discussion 6

Borrow a teacher’s edition of a Basal Reader and any other materials connected with the basal program. Using field based assignment No. 2, page 374, describe the basal reader and evaluate according to the criteria listed.  Choose two of the following eight topics common to most published reading programs:

  • Comprehension lessons on skills and strategies
  • Word-identification lessons on skills and strategies
  • Content reading/study skills and strategies
  • Reading and writing instruction
  • Vocabulary development
  • Testing Materials
  • Workbook and practice materials
  • Directed reading lessons

Answer the following questions, using the two topics you chose.

  1. How are your areas covered and presented to students? (Provide a brief overview of essential components)
  2. What specific types of materials and/or teaching strategies are utilized to fulfill your area? (Provide examples to show your classmates exactly how the area in question is taught.)
  3. In your opinion, does your area provide a balance between direct or explicit instruction and practice in authentic materials? (Provide an example supporting your opinion.)
  4. Are there provisions make for students needing additional help? What are they?
  5. Are there recommendations made that you feel are unimportant and should be omitted? What are they?
  6. Are there recommendations made that you feel should be modified in some way to improve the instruction or process? What are they?
Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.
Dropbox Assignment 6

Summarize and reflect on Cunningham, Chapter 5 Working with Words Block, pages 122 – 159. This summary and reflection should be at least 1 ½ to 2 pages long. Create a 20-minute Working with Words lesson plan for your thematic unit of reading (Dropbox #7). Be sure to use the Lesson Plan Format located in Course Content.

Group Assignment

Consider all of today’s technology such as PDAs, Smartboards, interactive videos, microcomputers with voice synthesizers, etc. What might be some innovative ways of combining the devices for use in reading instruction? Be sure to use the Group Assignment Instructions located in Course Content. Groups will be assigned the second week of class.

Course Evaluation
Please evaluate the course. You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link sent to your CougarMail will allow you to access the evaluation. Please note that these evaluations are provided so that I can improve the course, find out what students perceive to be its strengths and weaknesses, and in general assess the success of the course. Please do take the time to fill this out.

Heilman Chapters 10 and 11

Discussion 7

Using the Dolch word list (high frequency sight words), design a game with flash cards. Use these websites to get ideas for the game: www.puzzlemaker.com and www.eduplace.com (ideas for teaching high frequency words.) Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Dropbox Assignment 7

Use these websites to generate ideas for thematic units. www.atozteacherstuff.com  www.proteacher.com  www.teachers.net (Teachers Net Lesson Bank with lesson plans and thematic units.) Use one of these ideas and create a thematic unit on reading. Be sure to use the Unit Plan Format located in Content.


Heilman Chapters 12 and 13

Final Exam

The Final exam will cover Heilman, Chapters 7 – 13. There are 50 true/false and multiple choice questions. You will have 120 minutes to complete the exam. It will be available on Tuesday and must be completed by Saturday midnight.

Discussion 8

Devise classroom management techniques for the following scenario. You are teaching a second-grade class. The first thing in the morning students do is meander around the room and talk. Gradually the talk gets louder and louder, and the meandering turns into running. When the principal’s voice comes over the loudspeaker the students quiet down a bit, but you have a hard trouble hearing the principal. After the announcements you attempt to begin reading groups, but the students don’t pay any attention to you. You find yourself raising y our voice to be heard. What can be done? Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

Discussion 9

Devise classroom management techniques for the following scenario. You are a sixth-grade teacher. You have three students in your class who refuse to do any work. They don’t work in class, nor will they do their homework. You have tried calling their parents but that has not been helpful. Only one of the three demonstrates a defiant attitude and causes problems with others students throughout the day. You are concerned the attitude is spreading to the other two students and possibly the entire class. What steps can you take to alleviate the problem? What can be done to prevent its spread? How could this be related to reading? Respond to two entries of other class members, either originals or their responses to originals.

  Course Policies

Student Conduct

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 Student Conduct Code and Acceptable Use Policy. Students violating these policies will be referred to the office of Student Affairs and/or the office of Academic Affairs for possible disciplinary action. The Student Code of Conduct and the Computer Use Policy for students can be found in the Columbia College Student Handbook. The Handbook is available online; you can also obtain a copy by calling the Student Affairs office (Campus Life) at 573-875-7400. The teacher maintains the right to manage a positive learning environment, and all students must adhere to the conventions of online etiquette.


Your grade will be based in large part on the originality of your ideas and your written presentation of these ideas. Presenting the words, ideas, or expression of another in any form as your own is plagiarism. Students who fail to properly give credit for information contained in their written work (papers, journals, exams, etc.) are violating the intellectual property rights of the original author. For proper citation of the original authors, you should reference the appropriate publication manual for your degree program or course (APA, MLA, etc.). Violations are taken seriously in higher education and may result in a failing grade on the assignment, a grade of "F" for the course, or dismissal from the College.

Collaboration conducted between students without prior permission from the instructor is considered plagiarism and will be treated as such. Spouses and roommates taking the same course should be particularly careful.

All required papers may be submitted for textual similarity review to Turnitin.com for the detection of plagiarism. All submitted papers may be included in the Turnitin.com reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism. This service is subject to the Terms and Conditions of Use posted on the Turnitin.com site.


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.

Student Accessibility Resources

Students with documented disabilities who may need academic services for this course are required to register with the office of Student Accessibility Resources. Until the student has been cleared through this office, accommodations do not have to be granted. If you are a student who has a documented disability, it is important for you to read the entire syllabus as soon as possible. The structure or the content of the course may make an accommodation not feasible. Student Accessibility Resources is located in Student Affairs in AHSC 215 and can be reached by phone at (573) 875-7626 or email at sar@ccis.edu.

Online Participation

You are expected to read the assigned texts and participate in the discussions and other course activities each week. Assignments should be posted by the due dates stated on the grading schedule in your syllabus. If an emergency arises that prevents you from participating in class, please let your instructor know as soon as possible.

Attendance Policy

Attendance for a week will be counted as having submitted any assigned activity for which points are earned. Attendance for the week is based upon the date work is submitted. A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and Sunday (except for week 8, when the work and the course will end on Saturday at midnight.) The course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone.

Cougar Email

All students are provided a CougarMail account when they enroll in classes at Columbia College. You are responsible for monitoring email from that account for important messages from the College and from your instructor. You may forward your Cougar email account to another account; however, the College cannot be held responsible for breaches in security or service interruptions with other email providers.

Students should use email for private messages to the instructor and other students. The class discussions are for public messages so the class members can each see what others have to say about any given topic and respond.

Late Assignment Policy

An online class requires regular participation and a commitment to your instructor and your classmates to regularly engage in the reading, discussion and writing assignments. Although most of the online communication for this course is asynchronous, you must be able to commit to the schedule of work for the class for the next eight weeks. You must keep up with the schedule of reading and writing to successfully complete the class.

No late discussion posts will be accepted.

Late work including exams – It is important to note that late work will be penalized 10% if it is a day late. Assignments that are more than 1 day late will not be accepted. Quizzes will have NO MAKEUPS. 

Course Evaluation

You will have an opportunity to evaluate the course near the end of the session. A link will be sent to your CougarMail that will allow you to access the evaluation. Be assured that the evaluations are anonymous and that your instructor will not be able to see them until after final grades are submitted.

  Additional Resources

Orientation for New Students

This course is offered online, using course management software provided by Desire2Learn and Columbia College. The course user guide provides details about taking an online course at Columbia College. You may also want to visit the course demonstration to view a sample course before this one opens.

Technical Support

If you have problems accessing the course or posting your assignments, contact your instructor, the Columbia College Helpdesk, or the D2L Helpdesk for assistance. Contact information is also available within the online course environment.

Online Tutoring

Smarthinking is a free online tutoring service available to all Columbia College students. Smarthinking provides real-time online tutoring and homework help for Math, English, and Writing. Smarthinking also provides access to live tutorials in writing and math, as well as a full range of study resources, including writing manuals, sample problems, and study skills manuals. You can access the service from wherever you have a connection to the Internet. I encourage you to take advantage of this free service provided by the college.

Access Smarthinking through CougarTrack under Students -> Academics -> Academic Resources.