You are on page 1of 9

Vermont Reads Institute

University of Vermont

 EDLT 200 Exploring Literacy Instruction 3-6: Part 2
3 graduate credits Spring 2014

Instructors: Mary Beth Monahan Kathleen Harrington Location: Neshobe Elementary School in South Meeting Dates and Times (8:30-3:00): Fridays:

January 31 February 28 March 28 May 2
In addition to these meeting dates, there are: On-line Class Discussions and Reflections & Peer Observations

Course Description This 3-credit course is Part 2 of two courses, one in the fall and one in the spring. Participants are required to commit to both courses. The course is designed for teams of grade 3-6 teachers interested in collaborating to provide effective literacy instruction. Participants will learn to implement a framework for literacy instruction that aligns with the Common Core Standards. There will be 4 full-day sessions (8:30-3:00). In addition, teachers will participate in on-line class discussions and reflection, as well as peer observations and debriefing Goals and Objectives As a result of full engagement in the course, participants will demonstrate new learning in classroom literacy instruction & implement research-based effective instructional practices for teaching reading and writing to students in grades 3-6. Participants will be able to: • Identify and implement a framework for reading instruction in Grades 3-6; • Integrate instruction within a Grade 3-6 framework in alignment with the Common Core State Standards; • Develop unit of instruction that outlines essential understandings, sequence of explicit focus lessons and instructional materials

• Implement effective comprehensive literacy instruction based on a gradual release of responsibility model; • Utilize protocols for peer observation and debriefing; • Collaborate with colleagues to build knowledge of and expertise in literacy instruction and assessment; • Reflect upon and adjust teaching practices in response to instructor and peer feedback. General Course Information Course Text: Blauman, L. (2011). The Inside Guide to the Reading-Writing Classroom, Grades 3-6: Strategies for Extraordinary Teaching Required Readings/Materials In order to meet the specific needs of each grades 3-6 team, the instructors have created a flexible approach to assigned course readings. You are responsible for selecting and reading a chapter of a text or an article that relates directly to the topics under study and then write reflections to share on our course WIKI. Instructors will provide articles related to each topic. Choose one or more of the following texts that is new to you for part of the required reading: Davis J. & Hill, Sharon. (2003). The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G.S. (2001). Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Lipson, Marjorie Y. (2007). Teaching Reading Beyond the Primary Grades. NY Scholastic.

Orehovec, B. and Alley, M. (2003). Revisiting The Reading Workshop. New York, NY: Scholastic. Seravallo, Jennifer. (2010). Teaching Reading in Small Groups. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. Sibberson, F. & Szymusiak, K. (2002). Still Learning to Read: Teaching Students in Grades 3-6. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Other Requirements Course participants are required to: • Attend all four full-day class sessions; • Participate in this course as a member of a school team (minimum of 2 teachers); • Come to course meetings prepared—by completing readings and responses to texts; • Contribute to class discussions and hands-on activities; • Regularly access the Internet between class meetings for participation in the online components of this course; • Participate in on-line discussions and reflection at least FOUR times monthly: 1-Your Reading Reflection; 2-Your Try Out; 3-Your response to someone else’s Reading Reflection; 4-Your response to someone else’s Try Out); • Have access to video/digital recording equipment; • Create a team video, critique and contribute to discussion of team videos; • Share implementation of instructional practices (“try outs”) and team observations and reflection experiences.

Description of Assignments A. Electronic Submissions on Course WIKI: Reflections on Readings You are responsible for selecting and reading a chapter of a text or an article each month that relates directly to the topic(s) that were discussed at the most recent class, or are on the agenda for the next class. You will write a reflection on each reading to share on our course WIKI. The attached rubric provides guidelines for how the reflections will be evaluated. These reflections serve important purposes by allowing you to: Identify the issues and questions that arise for you during the readings and class meetings; Help us form the focus of discussions when we meet and online; Give instructors an opportunity to know you better as an individual learner and teacher; and Serve as an assessment and evaluation tool with which we can reflect upon and trace the development of your thinking during the course.

• • • •

The following questions may help to prompt your thinking and writing for writing reflections:
• What surprises me, worries, me, or excites me about what I am learning? Why? • How does the information presented connect to what I’ve learned or experienced in the past related to literacy instruction and assessment? • What information seemed most useful to me and why? If none of the ideas or strategies seemed useful, how could one be changed to make it more useful? • How can I apply this information in my future classroom? • What don’t I fully understand? Why? • What questions and issues are important to raise?

B. Electronic Submissions on Course WIKI: Discussion of Implementation of Literacy Practice (“Try outs”): Each month you will plan and “try out” in your classroom a literacy instructional practice that is connected directly to information presented in this course. After implementation, you will write a reflection that describes your “try out”, what you learned, and ways you might improve your teaching in a future implementation, or your next steps in learning. Post this reflection on the course WIKI.

C. Electronic Submissions on Course WIKi: Discussion of Implementation of Team Collaboration Observation and Debrief As a team, you will plan and implement 2 “team collaborations” in which team members observe each other and provide feedback through a collaborative team conference. (A format for this conference will be provided.) It is important that the focus of your collaborations be connected clearly to the content of the class. D. Collaborative Teaming Digital Recording and Share Your team will bring a video of one of your two team collaborations and collaborative debriefing to share with classmates. The goal is for the sharing and debriefing to be thoughtful and constructive, and for personal reactions to show evidence of new understandings or learning. Student Evaluation/Assessment ** See Attached Rubric

Grading Percentage Contribution of Each Assignment: 25% On-line reflections on readings (at least one monthly) 25% Individual “Try Outs” of literacy practice (at least one monthly) 30% On-line ongoing discussion & 2 team collaboration reflections (due prior to each class) 20% Video Share and Critique Contribution

We will also consider your engagement when determining your final grade. Engagement includes timely participation on WIKI, including assignments and response to other participant’s reflections, your contribution to class discussions, interactions in small groups, and other evidence demonstrating that you are fully engaged in the content of this course. Points=Grade 100=A+/93-99=A/ 91-92=A89-90=B+/85-88=B/82-84=B80-81=C+/77-79=C/73-76=C70 72=D+/ 68-70=D / Below 68 =F


Date January

Topic (s)
Revisiting, Reviewing & Adding to Our Understanding of Conferring

Building Instructional Consistency around Opportunities to Read Reading Response Notebooks / Journals February Continuing with Reading Response Notebooks Analyzing Student Response Notebooks to Look for Evidence of Student Understanding & to Plan for Next Steps Revisit Unit Plans & Learn from Each Other Creating Thematic Units to Build Instructional Consistency around Opportunities to Read
Introduction: Using Assessment to Know Our Students, Inform

Our Instruction & Make Decisions about Placement, Groups, and Intervention


Effective Use of Assessment -Types and Purposes -Analyzing Data to Explicitly Inform Instruction -Running record miscue analysis -Scoring and analyzing student work Using Assessment to Form and Plan for Small Group Instruction

Small Group Instruction in Grades 3-6


Small Group Instruction in Grades 3-6, continued Word Solving for Intermediate Grades -Grade Level CC Standards (Foundational Skills) -Letter/Sound Knowledge -Syllabication -Morphology Team Collaboration Presentations Team Collaborations --Share DVDs

Suggested Books for Specific Course Topics Hoyt, Linda. (2007) Interactive Read-Alouds. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Goudvis, A. and Harvey, S. (2005). The Comprehension Toolkit. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Laminack, L. (2007) Cracking Open the Author’s Craft. New York: Scholastic Pinnell, G. and Fountas, I. (2007). The continuum of literacy learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann Sibberson F. and Szymusiak K. (2008). Day-to-Day Assessment in the Reading Workshop. New York: Scholastic Professional Journal Articles • Course instructors will provide several articles from professional literacy

journals. • Course participants are also encouraged to bring articles and resources related to course topics to share in class or on the course WIKI.

University of Vermont Policies
Religious Observance: The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester. Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work. Academic Honesty & Professionalism: 
 All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the “Academic Honesty Policy Procedures” delineated in the following website. Accommodations: Accommodations will be provided to eligible students with disabilities. Please obtain an accommodation letter from the ACCESS office and see one of the instructors early in the course to discuss what accommodations will be necessary. If you are unfamiliar with ACCESS, visit their website at to learn more about the services they provide. ACESS: A-170 Living Learning Center, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405. PH: 802-656-7753, TTY: call 711 (relay), Fax: 802-6560739, Email:, Instant Messenger: UVMaccess. General office hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday through Friday. Call to make an appointment.

Scoring Rubric for Exploring Literacy Instruction in Grades 3-6 (Attachment A)
Assignment Getting Started
Summarizes or restates ideas in the text, with limited discussion or analysis. Understanding of course concepts is

Nearly There
Analysis and/or applies text ideas. Entries suggest limited thought about topics, issues, or concepts.

Meets Standard
Clearly connects ideas to chapter topics and extends ideas in the text. Makes meaningful, thoughtful connections between

Reading Reflections

not evident and/or ideas are very loosely connected to the topics.

Implementation Ongoing Discussions and Reflections (Try-Outs)

Try-out does not reflect specific content of most recent class. Reflection does not indicate new learning or understandings. Focus of instruction is not clear. Debriefing reflects little constructive feedback or strictly positive comment. Possibly only one team member observing.

Try-out has a connection to content of recent class. Some indication of new learning or understanding. Entry suggests limited thought.

self and text, to other texts, and/or to teaching principles. Shows critical thinking. Try-out has a clear connection to content of recent class. Thoughtful reflection indicates new learning and understanding that includes ways to improve instruction or next steps. Focus of instruction is connected to content covered in class. Debriefing is thoughtful and constructive. Personal reactions show evidence of new understandings or learning. Focus of instruction or teaching goal clear. Debriefing is thoughtful and supports improvement of instruction for the teacher instructing and teachers observing. The experience evokes good discussion. Video included all components of collaborative teaming. Excellent model of clear instructional focus, observation and

Team Collaboration

Focus of instruction is connected to content covered in class. Debriefing reflects constructive feedback from at least two team members observing.

Site Visit Observation and Debrief (Team Effort)

Reflect little planning. Focus of instruction or teaching goal not clear and/or debriefing off task and not constructive to teacher instructing.

Focus of instruction or teaching goal is clear, and debriefing supports some new learning for the teacher instructing.

Collaborative Teaming Video-Tape Share

Video did not include clear instructional focus, observation and debriefing and/or analysis for class.

Video included all components-clear instructional focus, observation and debriefing was helpful to the teacher. Brief

analysis of the process and results for class.

debriefing. Thoughtful analysis and generated response from the class.