Reading Fundamentals #3:
The Elements of Effective Reading Instruction & Assessment
Dr. Karen Lea
Mick R. Jackson MS/ED
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST Monday - Friday
Virtual Education Software
23403 E Mission Avenue, Suite 220F
Liberty Lake, WA 99019
This course will focus on grades K–3 and 4–12 reading instruction and an introduction to reading assessment. As part of these two key areas of reading instruction, the five elements of effective reading instruction for grades K–3 will be highlighted, including definitions, implications for instruction, and future directions. These five elements include instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. Additionally, the five elements of effective reading instruction for grades 4–12 will be highlighted, including definitions, implications for instruction, and future directions. These five elements include instruction in word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation. The course will also provide information on important assessment terms and definitions and will explore how reading assessment fits within federally mandated programs. This analysis includes specific recommendations for understanding student reading needs using screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring assessments. Finally, the course describes how teachers can conduct and use pivotal curriculum-based measurement (CBM) procedures in their classrooms.
This computer-based instruction course is a self-supporting program that provides instruction, structured practice, and evaluation all on your home or school computer. Technical support information can be found in the Help section of your course.
Reading Fundamentals #3: The Elements of Effective Reading Instruction & Assessment
Greg Benner, Ph.D., Nancy Marchand-Martella, Ph.D., and Ronald Martella, Ph.D.
Virtual Education Software, inc. 2004, Revised 2010, Revised 2014, Revised 2017, Revised 2020
Dr. Karen Lea
Mick Jackson MS/ED
Academic work submitted by the individual (such as papers, assignments, reports, tests) shall be the student’s own work or appropriately attributed in part or in whole to its correct source. Submission of commercially prepared (or group prepared) materials as if they are one’s own work is unacceptable.
Aiding Honesty in Others
The individual will encourage honesty in others by refraining from providing materials or information to another person with knowledge that these materials or information will be used improperly.
Violations of these academic standards will result in the assignment of a failing grade and subsequent loss of credit for the course.
This course is designed to be an informational course with application to reading programs for kindergarten through grade 12. The course is designed for both regular and exceptional education teachers and support staff who teach reading and reading remediation to public- and private-school students. This is the final course in a three-course series. Although it is not mandatory to complete all three courses, VESi recommends completing the entire series before developing and implementing a evidence-based reading program in your school or classroom.
Expected Learning Outcomes:
As a result of this course, participants will demonstrate their ability to:
The Reading Fundamentals program focuses on implementing proven methods of reading instruction in classrooms. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 added two new reading programs to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—Reading First and Early Reading First—both under the Bush Administration. Under the Obama Administration, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) became the main educational law for public schools. The Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program provided funding focused on advancing literacy skills for children from birth through grade 12. An emphasis was placed on evidence-based classroom instruction and assessment and targeted interventions for those reading below grade level. Race to the Top was another initiative offering funding. Under the Trump Administration, the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program was renamed the Literacy Education for All, Results for the Nation (LEARN).
This course will focus on grades K–3 and 4–12. As part of these two key areas of reading instruction, prereading skills for preschoolers will be briefly described. Additionally, the five elements of effective reading instruction will be highlighted, including definitions, implications for instruction, and future directions. These five elements include instruction in phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension (grades K–3); and word study, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and motivation (grades 4–12).
Further, we discuss information on teacher preparation in learning about comprehension strategy instruction and reading instruction and how to integrate computer technology into the classroom. Additionally, this course will describe the Consumer’s Guide to Evaluating a Core Reading Program by Simmons and Kame’enui (2006), a well-respected document for evaluating programs based on the National Reading Panel Report (NICHD, 2000). Also, the Planning and Evaluation Tool for Effective Schoolwide Reading Programs by Kame’enui and Simmons (2003) and the Rubric for evaluating reading/language arts instructional materials for kindergarten to grade 5 by Foorman, Smith, and Kosanovich (2017) will be addressed. Finally, this course will highlight the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts and offer recommendations on increasing text complexity and the use of close reading in our schools, reading accomplishments by grade level, reading interventions for students in Grades K-12, and the use of tutoring programs.
We conclude with information on important assessment terms and definitions. Further, we provide information on how reading assessment fits within the Reading First Program. We include detailed information on the Analysis of Reading Assessment Instruments for K-3 (Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement, 2002) completed by key leaders in the assessment field. This analysis includes specific recommendations on 29 reading assessments. We describe how response to intervention (RTI) and multitier system of support (MTSS) are used to understand student reading needs, including screening, diagnosing where to focus instruction, and monitoring student reading progress over time. We demonstrate how teachers can link assessment with instruction and data-based decision making in classroom settings, with particular focus on pivotal curriculum-based measurement procedures.
As a student you will be expected to:
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Complete all six information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Complete all six section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, and successfully complete ALL writing assignments to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Complete all course journal article and essay writing assignments with the minimum word count shown for each writing assignment.
<![if !supportLists]>· <![endif]>Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
Chapter 1: Introduction to Reading Instruction
The purpose of this course is to consider what we can do in school to promote effective reading instruction. In this chapter, we focus on three elements of effective reading instruction for grades K–3. These are phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency-building. We have labeled these elements under the heading Learning to Read. Learning to Read emphasizes decoding skills.
Chapter 2: Reading to Learn & Other Important Areas of Reading Instruction
In this chapter, we focus on reading to learn or comprehension of text materials from grades K–12. Two elements of effective reading instruction must be included to improve reading comprehension in the classroom: vocabulary instruction and text comprehension instruction. Additionally, content-area reading activities are described.
Chapter 3: Further Examination of Reading Programs & Skills
In this chapter, we provide further examination of reading programs and skills. We discuss how to evaluate core or comprehensive reading programs using the Consumer’s Guide developed by Simmons and Kame’enui (2003). We also discuss the Planning and Evaluation Tool (Kame’enui & Simmons, 2000) and the Rubric for Evaluating Reading/Language Arts Instructional Materials for Kindergarten to Grade 5 by Foorman, Smith, and Kosanovich (2017), which are used to assess reading programs. We conclude by discussing the important accomplishments by grade level as identified by Armbruster, Lehr, and Osborn (2003) in their booklet A Child Becomes a Reader: Proven Ideas From Research for Parents: Kindergarten Through Grade 3.
Chapter 4: Reading Remediation
In this chapter, we will describe interventions for students in grades K–12. We offer important guidelines for remedial reading programs. We focus on the importance of tutorial programs in schools. Tutorial programs are considered one of the best ways of providing reading instruction to struggling readers.
Chapter 5: Best Practices for Reading Assessment
This chapter describes relevant assessment terms and purposes. It is critical to understand the types of tests available to teachers and what information can be gathered from them. It also provides important information about how assessment fits within Reading First. Additionally, this chapter details the findings of the Reading First Assessment Committee. It also provides important information about how assessment currently fits within the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy program. Additionally, this chapter details the best practices from the Reading First Assessment Committee, the Florida Center for Reading Research, and the National Center for Intensive Intervention (NCII). Response to intervention (RTI) practices for understanding the literacy needs of students through screening, diagnostic, and progress-monitoring assessments are detailed.
Chapter 6: Linking Assessment With Instruction
This chapter lays out how to link reading assessment with instruction, meaning how to use assessment information to meet individual students’ literacy needs every day. It describes the ever-important link between assessment and instruction and how to problem-solve when student literacy needs are not being met. An outcomes-driven model is discussed. Additionally, the chapter explores data tracking and data-based decision-making, with particular focus on CBM and its derivatives (i.e., measures not based directly on a particular curriculum, but integrating CBM elements such as frequent progress monitoring). It discusses the DIBELS in addition to teacher-developed CBM practices that can serve as criterion-referenced tests when student data are compared with performance criteria. We highlight best practices for understanding the reading comprehension and motivation of striving readers (grades 4–12).
At the end of each course chapter, you will be expected to complete an examination designed to assess your knowledge. You may take these exams a total of three times. Your last score will save, not the highest score. After your third attempt, each examination will lock and not allow further access. The average from your exam scores will be printed on your certificate. However, this is not your final grade since your required writing assignments have not been reviewed. Exceptionally written or poorly written required writing assignments, or violation of the academic integrity policy in the course syllabus, will affect your grade. As this is a self-paced computerized instruction program, you may review course information as often as necessary. You will not be able to exit any examinations until you have answered all questions. If you try to exit the exam before you complete all questions, your information will be lost. You are expected to complete the entire exam in one sitting.
All assignments are reviewed and may impact your final grade. Exceptionally or poorly written assignments, or violation of the Academic Integrity Policy (see course syllabus for policy), will affect your grade. Fifty percent of your grade is determined by your writing assignments, and your overall exam score determines the other fifty percent. Refer to the Essay Grading Guidelines which were sent as an attachment with your original course link. You should also refer to the Course Syllabus Addendum which was sent as an attachment with your original course link, to determine if you have any writing assignments in addition to the Critical Thinking Questions (CTQ) and Journal Article Summations (JAS). If you do, the Essay Grading Guidelines will also apply.
Your writing assignments must meet the minimum word count and are not to include the question or your final citations as part of your word count. In other words, the question and citations are not to be used as a means to meet the minimum word count.
Critical Thinking Questions
There are four CTQs that you are required to complete. You will need to write a minimum of 500 words (maximum 1,000) per essay. You should explain how the information that you gained from the course will be applied and clearly convey a strong understanding of the course content as it relates to each CTQ. To view the questions, click on REQUIRED ESSAY and choose the CTQ that you are ready to complete; this will bring up a screen where you may enter your essay. Prior to course submission, you may go back at any point to edit your essay, but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits.
You must click SAVE before you write another essay or move on to another part of the course.
Journal Article Summations
You are required to write, in your own words, a summary on a total of three peer-reviewed or scholarly journal articles (one article per JAS), written by an author with a Ph.D., Ed.D. or similar, on the topic outlined within each JAS section in the “Required Essays” portion of the course (blogs, abstracts, news articles or similar are not acceptable). Your article choice must relate specifically to the discussion topic listed in each individual JAS. You will choose a total of three relevant articles (one article per JAS) and write a thorough summary of the information presented in each article (you must write a minimum of 200 words with a 400 word maximum per JAS). Be sure to provide the URL or the journal name, volume, date, and any other critical information to allow the facilitator to access and review each article.
To write your summary, click on REQUIRED ESSAYS and choose the JAS that you would like to complete. A writing program will automatically launch where you can write your summary. When you are ready to stop, click SAVE. Prior to course submission you may go back at any point to edit your summaries but you must be certain to click SAVE once you are done with your edits. For more information on the features of this assignment, please consult the HELP menu.
You must click SAVE before you write another summary or move on to another part of the course.
Reading Fundamentals #3: The Elements of Effective Reading Instruction & Assessment has been developed by a team of professionals with educational backgrounds in the areas of clinical psychology, direct reading, and phonetic instructional practices. Mick Jackson is a Behavioral Intervention Specialist with a Master's Degree in Special Education and Behavioral Theory and a minor in Reading Remediation. He has 15 years’ combined experience in self-contained special education classrooms, resource rooms, and a hospital day treatment setting. He has conducted oral seminars, presenting to school districts, teacher groups, and at educational conferences. Please contact Professor Jackson if you have course content or examination questions.
Contacting the Facilitator
You may contact the facilitator by emailing Professor Jackson at email@example.com or calling him at 509-891-7219 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. PST. Phone messages will be answered within 24 hours. Phone conferences will be limited to ten minutes per student, per day, given that this is a self-paced instructional program. Please do not contact the instructor about technical problems, course glitches, or other issues that involve the operation of the course.
If you have questions or problems related to the operation of this course, please try everything twice. If the problem persists please check our support pages for FAQs and known issues at www.virtualeduc.com and also the Help section of your course.
If you need personal assistance then email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (509) 891-7219. When contacting technical support, please know your course version number (it is located at the bottom left side of the Welcome Screen) and your operating system, and be seated in front of the computer at the time of your call.
Minimum Computer Requirements
Please refer to VESi’s website: www.virtualeduc.com or contact VESi if you have further questions about the compatibility of your operating system.
Refer to the addendum regarding Grading Criteria, Course Completion Information, Items to be Submitted and how to submit your completed information. The addendum will also note any additional course assignments that you may be required to complete that are not listed in this syllabus.
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