EDC423 Class Notes

  • Sept. 6: What is reading comprehension?
    • Four (Five) Corners Activity: What is reading comprehension? How is comprehension best taught? What past reading experiences (positive and negative) are most memorable? How should you measure progress in reading comprehension? Should/How Should reading comprehension instruction be modified for English language learners?
    • Review the syllabus
    • See Big Ideas organizer for the course
    • Homework:
      • Read Cornett Chapter 1
      • NGT Reflection 1 post on wiki discussion board)
      • OPTIONAL: ELL Text (Ch 1, pp. 1-17) Teaching with Literature in a Classroom of English Learners








  • Sept. 27: Assessing Learners to Plan and Differentiate Instruction
    • Class Activity: Review Inferring Book Activity in Whole Group
    • Class Activity: Launching Your Book
    • Class Activity: Understanding Jimmy and Rhiannon as Literacy Learners
    • Student Strategy Interview Assignment:

    • Homework: Understanding the Challenges of Expository Texts
      • Read the three short articles below and type a one page synthesis that explains: (1) Why are expository texts harder to comprehend than narrative texts? and (2) What features in particular make expository texts so challenging to read?
      • Cornett Textbook: Explicit Teaching of Text Characteristics (Ch. 5, p. 136-144).
      • Moss. B. (2004). Teaching expository text structures through information trade book retellings. The Reading Teacher, 57(8), 710-718.
      • Wixson, K. (2008). Reading informational texts in the early grades. Pearson Research Into Practice.

October 2: Assessing Texts to Plan Instruction

  • Class Discussion: Narrative and Expository Texts and Instructional Practices to Counteract The Fourth Grade Slump
  • Class Slideshow:
  • Class Activity:
    • Part 1. Modeling Explicit Instruction of Expository Texts with The First Discovery
    • Part 2. Planning for Explicit Instruction of Expository Texts with Disaster: Pompeii and Herculaneum Destroyed
  • Review Planning Tasksfor Teaching Your Own Comprehension Lesson (With Narrative or Expository Text)
  • Homework: Making Sense of the Common Core Standards
    • 1. As an introduction, read Common Core Standards for Literacy: How Do We Make Them Work
    • 2. Download the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts (see Common Core Standards- Click on "Language Arts Standards") and keep a copy on your computer for reference in your teaching. This is an important document.
      • Read the Introduction (pages 1-8) and be prepared to discuss the key points.
      • Also skim to notice the differences between the College and Career Anchor Standards (p. 10, 18, and 25) and the K-5 standards for Literature (p. 11-12), Informational Text (p. 13-14), Foundational Skills (p. 15-17), Writing (p. 19-21), Speaking & Listening (p. 23-24), Language (p. 26-29), and Complexity of Text (p. 31-32).
      • Be prepared to discuss and apply these standards in a class activity.
    • 3. Closely read Key Shifts in the Common Core Standards: English Language Arts to get a sense of how the standards differ from the standards that states currently use.

October 4: Aligning Lessons to The Common Core Standards


October 9: Teaching Your Narrative and Expository Text Lessons

  • Class Activity: Teach your comprehension lessons
  • Homework: Continue working on your Student Strategy Interview (Due Oct. 11 or October 16)
  • Homework: Study for Quiz #1 on Oct. 11
    • Core Areas of Reading Instruction (Based on National Reading Panel Report)
    • Instructional Routines for Teaching Reading Comprehension (What types of things should teachers do Before/During/After reading as part of an effective lesson)
    • Five factors/conditions for success that affect comprehension and how teachers can influence each factor
    • Ways to create a supportive, organized, and motivating classroom literacy community (consider the video activities, Noticing Good Teaching reflections, and class discussions)
    • Assessing learners: factors to consider when planning your instruction
    • Assessing text difficulty: factors that make texts difficult to comprehend
    • Main ideas vs. big ideas (compare/contrast and apply to new text)
    • Key aspects of launching a text (pre-reading activities)
    • Scaffolding students' understanding of making inferences


October 11: Quiz and Reflection on Comprehension Lessons

  • Quiz #1
  • Small group activity: Reflection on your own lesson and your peers' lesson - complete together during class - bring home to complete individual reflection to hand in next class
  • Homework:
    • Read Chapter 10: Organizing Main Events with Embedded Comprehension Practices
    • Complete 1 page typed reflection of your lesson and how to improve for next time (after joint in-class reflection)
    • Finish your Student Strategy Interview if not handed in today. Final due date is Tuesday October 16.


October 16: Designing a Literacy Lesson Plan


SEE NEXT PAGE OF CLASS NOTES FOR DETAILS...