Literacy Teaching

EDUC 472: Reading in the Content Areas

What is the Significance of EDUC 472?

Teaching EDUC 472 not only rekindled my passion for literacy, but also augmented my repertoire of strategies and techniques for supporting comprehension, writing, vocabulary, and study skills. Now, I am more prepared than ever to help students gain the knowledge and skills required for engaging with and producing texts at the post-secondary level. To illuminate my conceptual knowledge and my readiness to deliver effective literacy instruction, I share information regarding the modules and assignments that I developed for EDUC 472.

Course Overview: Description, Objectives, and Resources

EDUC 472 was designed to prepare prospective secondary teachers (PSTs) to deliver effective literacy instruction in the secondary content areas. As the instructor of this course, I clarified misconceptions regarding the nature of secondary literacy instruction and highlighted important issues, such as censorship, diversity, technology, and text selection. I also provided opportunities for PSTs to learn about and apply strategies and techniques to support vocabulary acquisition, reading comprehension, and writing.

To view the course description, objectives, and resource list, click here.

Learning Modules: Content, Concepts, and Activities

For EDUC 472, I developed a total of 12 modules. Each module included an instructional presentation, a formative check, and a relevant learning activity. These modules were particularly effective because they not only integrated two or more literacy processes (e.g., reading, writing, speaking), but also utilized best practices in instructional design (e.g., measurable objectives, authentic assessment), as defined by the National Institute for Effective Teaching and Quality Matters.

For synopses of five of the 12 modules, click here.

Assignment 1: Instructional Materials Evaluation

Apart from the modules, PSTs completed four assignments, the first of which comprised an in-depth evaluation of a textbook and a supplemental resource. For this assignment, PSTs used two measures (e.g., Fry, Flesch) to calculate the readability of the textbook, and a 19-item instrument to rate the overall quality of the textbook. They also evaluated the supplemental resource and explained how they would use it to support their students’ content knowledge and literacy skills.

For more detailed description of each component, click here.

Assignment 2: Integrating Young Adult Literature

To prepare for this assignment, PSTs explored Young Adult (YA) novels and practices associated with the effective teaching of literature, such as book clubs, weblogs, and literature circles. Then, they developed an activity that addressed the YA novel of their choice and concepts from their content area. To ensure the successful completion of this assignment, I provided PSTs with detailed instructions, guiding questions, and a set of approved resources (e.g, Power Point, YA sites).

For more detailed information about the assignment, click here.

Assignment 3: Literacy Best Practices

This assignment sought to provide PSTs with an understanding of best practices in literacy instruction. Using the Content Literacy Practices Assessment, PSTs observed a teacher and documented his/her use of best practices, interviewed the teacher regarding his/her frequency and proficiency with each practice, and evaluated the teacher’s strengths and weaknesses.

For additional information about this assignment and the CLPA instrument, click here.

Assignment 4: Content Literacy Strategy

For the final assignment, PSTs implemented a literacy strategy with students in a K-12 classroom. PSTs observed the class to identify an appropriate strategy and designed a lesson based on that strategy. After facilitating the lesson, they evaluated student work using a customized rubric and reflected on their strengths and weaknesses.

For a more detailed description of the assignment, click here.