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.

This course is at capacity and registration is now closed. Please subscribe to our emails and/or follow us on social media for updates and registration information for the fall session of this course.


Course Opens:   06/01/2021 
End Date:   07/13/2021 
Primary Audience:   4-12 ELA/Literacy teachers  and anyone who supports their work
:   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. 

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 seven-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 success