Improving Reading for Older Students

  • Description
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In this self-paced course, we will work on how to improve literacy outcomes for older students who are reading below grade level. Participants in this course will have the opportunity to learn the research behind literacy accelerators that can propel reading progress, consider how to support students in rebuilding their academic confidence, and gain practical skills for how to implement these ideas to support students in regular classroom settings.

Course Dates: October 30-December 10, 2023
Primary Audience: 4-12 ELA/Literacy teachers and anyone who supports their work

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Course Dates: 03/20/2023 - 05/15/2023
Primary Audience:   4-12 ELA/Literacy teachers  and anyone who supports their work
Certificate:   A certificate showing 12 hours of professional learning is available upon course completion. Please reach out to your school district to ensure they will accept it. 

This session of the course has reached capacity, and registration is now closed. Please sign up for our emails or follow us on social media for updates about future sessions and related opportunities.

See the accordion below to review the requirements, pacing, and syllabus. 

  • Course Goals
    • Learn the importance of Automatic Word Recognition and what skills are its prerequisites 
    • Understand the role of improving reading fluency in improving skills and confidence
    • Think through how to accelerate vocabulary acquisition and knowledge gains for your older students
    • Understand the specific ways access to close reading can cement these gains
  • Course Requirements

    To successfully complete this course and earn your certificate showing 12 hours of professional learning, you must complete the following: 

    • Watch all videos
    • Complete quizzes 
    • Complete all assignments 
    • Participate in all discussions (some will require use of Padlet)
    • Take the post-survey
  • Course Pacing

    Because this is a self-paced course, you have the freedom to complete the course anytime within the six-week timeframe. 

  • Course Syllabus

    Module 1: Laying the Foundations 

    By the end of the module, you will:

    • Understand the elements of the reading accelerators
    • Gain a visceral understanding of what it feels like to be a dysfluent reader
    • Understand the sources of reading difficulties and how they impact older students

    Module 2: Word Recognition and Reading Fluency: the Building Blocks of Confident Literacy 

    By the end of the module, you will:

    • Understand how the different parts of early reading fit impact one another
    • See how supports for not-yet-mastered early reading skills can be integrated into regular classroom instruction
    • See modeling and practice these new acceleration skills in a low stakes way before you try them with students

    Module 3: Growing Vocabulary and Growing Knowledge: Helping Students Grow as Readers

     By the end of the module, you will:

    • Get a sense of how tightly linked growing vocabulary and increasing knowledge are
    • Understand the two primary ways to grow both and what each contributes to accelerating literacy
    • Have concrete models for accelerating growth in both areas in your work with students

    Module 4: The Rest of Reading Comprehension: Habits and Practices of Confident, Successful Readers

    By the end of the module, you will:

    • Learn what “standard of coherence” is and its importance for reading success.
    • Understand how to develop a standard of coherence in your students
    • Learn how to scaffold access to complex text for all your students through close reading
    • Understand the potency of close reading for building student confidence and succes
  • Additional Information About the Course

    Bringing this Work to Your  Local Setting: Information Session (June 2021)

    This is a recording of an information session held for those interested in bringing this course back to their local settings and having their own staff facilitate the course for teachers. We discussed the role of a course facilitator, the materials, and supports available and their costs. The information is also outlined in this FAQ.

    Q&A with the Course Creators: Meredith and David Liben (July 2021)

    This recording is of an informal Q&A held with the course creators, David and Meredith Liben. They answered questions from course participants about the research underlying the course content and provided advice on implementation of course content.

    Q&A with Course Creator, David Liben (December 2021)

    This recording is of an informal Q&A held with one of the course creators, David Liben. He answered questions from past and current course participants about intervention programs, daily procedures that help with improving students’ reading ability, and data on students’ reading progress, among other topics. At the end, he shared a set of resources, including about a Humanities Accelerator course that can be piloted in the middle or high school years that is designed to address the challenge of time, student motivation, science of reading, building knowledge and vocabulary, and fluency.

    Q&A with Course Creator, David Liben (March  2022)

    This recording is of an informal Q&A held with course co-creator, David Liben. He answered questions that were submitted by IROS participants about the course content and provided advice on implementation of course content.