Teaching Reading to Diverse Learners – EDUC 318

CG • Section 8WK • 07/01/2018 to 12/31/2199 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

A survey of instructional approaches, materials and media for the teaching of reading in the elementary grades. Emphasis will be placed on phonics methods. Attention will be given to phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary development, and comprehension.


EDUC 225 and EDUC 319 (may be taken concurrently) and (EDUC 188 (may be taken concurrently) or EDUC 189 (may be taken concurrently))

Registration Restrictions

Background Check Clearance, Enrollment in Teacher Licensure program


The process of learning to read requires the application of a cadre of integrated literacy skills.  As reading is the basis for academic achievement across all areas of the PreK-8 curriculum, literacy instruction needs to be effective and evidence-based. Pre-service teachers for elementary and middle grade classrooms must be equipped to select appropriate reading materials for beginning and independent readers, to assess students’ reading skills, and to provide quality reading instruction for all students.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

  1. Reflect on literacy learning and diverse learners from a biblical worldview.
  2. Describe and practice appropriate teaching skills and methods of reading instruction which align with the English Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools and the International Literacy Association (ILA) Standards.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of explicit phonics instruction, including sound and symbol relationships, syllables, phonemes, morphemes, word analysis, and decoding skills.
  4. Describe how children acquire oral language and progress through stages of literacy development.
  5. Select and practice research-based instructional strategies in phonemic and phonological awareness, word recognition, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension that facilitate reading success for all PreK-8 learners, including English language learners.
  6. Identify digital and print instructional materials for teaching reading skills across the curriculum and for teaching PreK-8 students at various reading levels.
  7. Read aloud with appropriate prosody, volume, and pace.
  8. Demonstrate proficiency in the use of informal literacy assessments.
  9. Practice effective presentation skills/teaching methods and use technology to evaluate these skills in others and self.
  10. Demonstrate an awareness of dyslexia, reading disabilities, and other specific learning disabilities.
  11. Articulate beliefs about teaching reading for diverse learners.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. The candidate will formulate a thread in response to the provided prompts for each forum. Each thread must be 300 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the candidate will reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 100 words. (MLO: A, B, D, F, I, J, K)

Literacy Assessment Project

The candidate will practice informal assessments to screen and monitor literacy development in phonemic awareness, letter recognition, decoding, fluency, comprehension, and spelling. The candidate will compete all of the assessment templates provided in the Literacy Assessment Packet. The candidate will score the assessments. The candidate will write a reflection of at least 300 words. (MLO: H, J)

Fluency & Vocabulary Presentation

The candidate will select a short story, book chapter, poem, or play to read aloud. The selected passage must be appropriate for lower elementary, upper elementary, or middle grades students. The candidate will video-record his/her reading and submit. The candidate will watch the video and complete a reflection template on reading with prosody. The candidate will select five vocabulary words from the reading which would most likely be new vocabulary for the targeted group of students. The candidate will utilize a vocabulary strategy to create an anchor chart which could be used to teach the words. (MLO: E, G, I)

Comprehension Strategy Demonstration

Candidates select a comprehension strategy and demonstrate its use with primary, elementary, and middle grade students in the content areas. Candidates write a 400 word description of the strategy including research to support it and how to modify its use across K-8 classrooms. Candidates identify print and digital texts for teaching the strategy as well as questions to use with the texts. Candidates prepare a demonstration of how to use the strategy. The presentation is video recorded and used for self-assessment and peer feedback in discussion board forum #4. (MLO: B, E, F, I)

edTPA Task 1

In preparation for edTPA in student teaching, candidates will practice edTPA Task 1. Candidates will plan a learning segment of three consecutive literacy lessons on an essential literacy strategy for a specific learning context. Candidates will complete the literacy planning commentary to justify the planning process. Candidates will teach one literacy lesson in an elementary classroom during the co-requisite practicum. (MLO: B, E, F)

Word Analysis Electronic Notebook

Candidates will develop an electronic notebook demonstrating knowledge of phonics, phonemic awareness and word analysis. Candidates will create a page in their notebook for each of the topics studied in the course. The candidate’s notebook will include a minimum of 12 slides with 1 slide for each topic. (MLO: C, D, E, F)

Word Analysis Quizzes (3)

Candidates’ knowledge and understanding of phonics, phonemic awareness, and word analysis skills are assessed through a series of three quizzes. Each quiz has 50 questions from the assigned chapters in Leu & Kinzer (2017). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes. Candidates will have 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the quiz. (MLO: C, D).

Literacy Quizzes (3)

Candidates’ knowledge and understanding of the five foundational components of reading, literacy approaches and instruction, literacy assessments, diverse learners, and emergent literacy are assessed through three quizzes. Each quiz has 25 questions from the assigned chapters in Vacca et al. (2018). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes. Candidates have 1 hour and 10 minutes to complete the quiz. (MLO: C, D, E, H, J)