Guided Reading and Writing: Strategies for Maximum Student Achievement

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Description

About This Course

Around 30% of students in sixth grade already have trouble with basic reading and writing. These literacy problems affect performance across subject areas, and they often leave teachers wondering how to help. Get the professional development training you need to improve student literacy as an accomplished teacher shares the secrets of turning guided reading strategies into opportunities for teaching writing. The road to literacy is also the road to ingenuity, invention, and imagination, and you'll soon learn how to take your students from groans to grins with creative lesson plans that really work!

We'll start our journey by talking about the reasons reading and writing ar…

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About This Course

Around 30% of students in sixth grade already have trouble with basic reading and writing. These literacy problems affect performance across subject areas, and they often leave teachers wondering how to help. Get the professional development training you need to improve student literacy as an accomplished teacher shares the secrets of turning guided reading strategies into opportunities for teaching writing. The road to literacy is also the road to ingenuity, invention, and imagination, and you'll soon learn how to take your students from groans to grins with creative lesson plans that really work!

We'll start our journey by talking about the reasons reading and writing are so difficult for students. Then we'll meet the total literacy framework and see how it mitigates literacy problems once and for all. Since this framework is based on guided reading lessons that flow naturally into writing challenges, you'll learn the recipe for a successful guided reading into writing lesson.

Once the framework is in place, we'll investigate a number of ways to modify this basic recipe for a variety of K-12 circumstances, wrapping up with a look at good writing habits and the traits of a productive writing conference. If you're looking for the right way to get students excited about the power of literacy, this is the course for you!

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Marsha Spears.

A veteran educator who has taught every grade but third, Marsha Spears has spent 35 years teaching students and training teachers. Spears earned a bachelor's and master's degree in educational administration with a specialty in curriculum and literacy development, training that would prepare her to take on the toughest of classrooms. And tough classrooms are where she made her mark, helping a wide variety of at-risk learners read with renewed confidence. Over the years, thousands of students and teachers have learned how easily they can incorporate Spears' reading techniques and activities into their daily routines.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

Have you ever wondered why so many of your students struggle to read and write? You're not alone! In this introductory lesson, we'll discuss why these two subjects are so hard for students and how we can make their lives a little easier. Get ready for some creative suggestions that you can read about today and use in the classroom tomorrow.

Friday - Lesson 02

In order to really help our struggling readers and writers, we need a framework for implementing positive change. The total literacy framework is just the thing: Guided reading, writing, engagement, and assessment are the components that make it so effective. The best part is that this framework allows us a lot of flexibility and opportunities for success as we meet diverse learner needs. We'll discuss guided reading, writing, and engagement in today's lesson and look at assessment next time.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

Assessment is the part of the total literacy framework that drives instruction. After all, we need to know where students are academically and where they need to go before we can teach them effectively. So in today's lesson, let's take a look at fun and simple ways to assess students' reading and writing skills without taking up too much class time.

Friday - Lesson 04

Since a lot of our course is going to focus on turning guided reading lessons into writing opportunities within the total literacy framework, we need to begin with a basic guided reading and writing recipe. The recipe we'll go over in this lesson is one that you can easily modify for any K-12 setting, and it's dotted with examples from real classrooms where guided reading and writing are changing lives.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Have you ever read a great story only to think, "I could write something better than that"? Well, guess what? Your students think the exact same thing. Why not give them an opportunity to write stories after reading great books during guided reading time? You'll learn all the tricks in this action-packed lesson.

Friday - Lesson 06

Nonfiction is often thought of as the ugly stepsister to its more creative counterpart, fiction. However, with a little imagination, you can make nonfiction come alive in your classroom. And even better, you can help your students write compelling articles after they read nonfiction. In this lesson, you'll learn how you can make fiction's stepsister a little less ugly.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Some students absolutely hate reading and writing poetry, but they won't after you introduce the techniques we're going to discuss today! If you're eager to bring out the natural poet in your budding writers, this lesson will give you just the creative jumpstart you've been waiting for. As an added bonus, you'll take a tour of the different kinds of poetry that inspire students.

Friday - Lesson 08

Writing papers is never going to be the most interesting part of school, but it's always going to be necessary. So in this lesson, we'll discuss how to teach students to read research material and use it as a launch pad for papers that are clear and thought-provoking the first time around. We'll even discuss some techniques that make the whole process a little more enjoyable.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

One of the neat things about employing the total literacy framework is that we can extend it across the content areas. In today's lesson, you'll learn how to use guided reading and writing to your advantage whether you're teaching math, social studies, or science. The best part is that your students will learn that reading and writing are never isolated endeavors!

Friday - Lesson 10

Have you ever written something that was a little hard to understand? Even the best writers can find themselves struggling to make their point as clear as possible. So in this lesson, we'll go over how to teach students to craft their own style, hone their organization, and check for proper mechanics before they turn in any assignments.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Writing conferences are a great chance to make sure students are successful as they turn reading into writing and writing into ideas. I'm always surprised at how much I can accomplish by taking only a few minutes a week to discuss a student's writing. In this lesson, we'll discuss the power of conferences and how to make the most of them.

Friday - Lesson 12

As we're building the total literacy framework in our classrooms, it's important to take time to encourage and inspire students by turning their small successes into big rewards. If you're looking for new strategies to motivate students and make reading and writing fun, you won't want to miss all the tips and tricks in this final lesson!


Requirements

Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at http://www.adobe.com/downloads by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).

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