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Teaching Reading Strategies

This course is designed to assist teachers at the elementary through high school level in the development of specific skills and methods required to effectively teach strategic reading. This metacognitive skill is vital for students to have as it allows them to more effectively read and think critically, both of which improve comprehension across the curriculum. The course will include strategies for comprehending non-fiction, informational, and narrative text, vocabulary development, reciprocal teaching, reflective strategies, and more. A framework for teaching reading will be established by examining current research and effective practices that will allow the teacher to develop content literacy for them and their students.  


Carlow University ED 660 • Madonna University EDU 5830.20 • Mercy University EDUT 556

The required text for the class is Teaching Reading in the Content Area: If Not Me, Then Who?, Third Edition, by Vicki Urquhart and Dana Frazee.


Graduate participants earn 3 semester hours of graduate credit and will receive a transcript from one of our partner institutions below. Professional development participants will receive a certificate of completion for 45 hours of professional developments credit for face-to-face classes and 60 hours of professional development credit for online classes.

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Course Schedule

  • 2/13/24 - 5/14/24
  • 4/9/24 - 7/9/24
  • 6/11/24 - 9/10/24
  • 8/13/24 - 11/12/24
  • 10/8/24 - 1/14/25
  • 12/10/24 - 3/11/25

Session 1: Foundations of Teaching Reading Across the Curriculum


  • Introductions
  • Establishing class/group expectations and norms
  • Course overview
  • Establishing individual course expectations and goals
  • Course requirements
  • Course registration
  • Why is reading important across the curriculum?
  • Examine the stages of reading
    • Stage 1: Initial Reading and Decoding
    • Stage 2: Confirmation, Fluency, and Ungluing from Print
    • Stage 3: Learning the New
    • Stage 4: Multiple Viewpoints
    • Stage 5 Construction and Reconstruction
  • Real-World Literacy Demands
    • How we can prepare students (Workplace Competencies)
  • Five Premises Basic to Teaching Reading
    • Reader constructs meaning
    • Role of prior knowledge
    • Metacognition-the ability to think about and control thought processes before, during, and after reading
    • Reading and writing are integrally related
    • Learning is a socially interactive process

Session 2: Understanding the Reading Process


  • Three interactive elements of reading
    • Reader
    • Climate
    • Text features
  • Six assumptions about reading
    • Goal-oriented
    • The linking of new information to prior knowledge
    • The organization of new information
    • The acquisition of cognitive and metacognitive structures
    • Nonlinear, yet occurring in phases
    • Influenced by cognitive development
  • Motivating students to take control of their learning
  • Modeling problem solving
    • The think aloud process

Session 3: Cognitive Tools for Reading


  1. Questioning strategies
  2. Summarizing strategies
  3. Predicting strategies
  4. Clarifying strategies
  5. Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 4: Nonfiction/Informational Text


  • What is it?
  • Content
  • Text Features
  • Text Structures
  • Directed Reading/Thinking Activity
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 5: Nonfiction/Informational Text: Before, During, and After Reading Strategies


  • Graphic organizers
  • Anticipation/Prediction Guide
  • Group summarizing
  • K-W-L
  • Pairs read
  • Problematic situations
  • Note-taking
  • SQ3R
  • Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 6: Narrative Text


  • Prior Knowledge
  • Connections to Text
  • Monitoring Understanding
  • Extending Understanding
  • Character Map
  • Story Frame/Map
  • C Block
  • Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 7: Vocabulary Development


  • Mapping
  • Graphic Organizers
  • Pre-reading Predictions
  • Feature Analysis
  • Word Sorts
  • Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 8: Reflective and Writing Strategies


  • Journals
    • Response
    • Learning Logs
    • Double-Entry
  • Exploratory Writing
    • Point of View Guides
    • Admit Exit Slips
    • Directed 3-2-1
    • Writing Warm-ups
  • Finished Writing
    • Essays
    • Constructed Responses
    • Analytical Paragraph
  • Writing-to-Learn
  • Discussion Web
  • Read-Write-Think
  • Conversation Sparks
  • Writing toward Understanding
  • Developing reading activities and lesson plan development

Session 9: Reciprocal Teaching


  • The Four Reciprocal Teaching Strategies
    • Predicting
    • Questioning
    • Clarifying
    • Summarizing
  • Reciprocal Teaching in the Whole-Class Sessions
  • Reciprocal Teaching in the Guided-Reading Group and Literature Circles
  • Assessment and Reciprocal Teaching
  • Develop a Reciprocal Teaching lesson

Session 10: Strategic Teaching and Planning


  • Preparation and Planning
  • Assistance and Associations
  • Reflection and Readiness
  • Assessments
  • Unit lesson plan
  • Course review
  • Final examination
  • Course evaluation
  • Reflect on strategic reading knowledge.
  • Examine current reading research.
  • Assess the developmental stages of reading. 
  • Identify the five essential components of an effective reading program.
  • Analyze the importance of teaching reading across the curriculum 
  • Consider the real-world literacy demands and the impact content area reading has on those demands.
  • Develop a rationale for developing literacy as part of content-area instruction.
  • Analyze the six indicators of what is reading.
  • Develop a sound understanding of characteristics, strategies, and key issues in content area reading
  • Examine the characteristics of a good and struggling reader and how they impact student performance.
  • Analyze the three interactive elements of reading.
  • Assess students’ reading abilities as a basis for planning effective instruction in the content areas.
  • Create an activity to compare/contrast narrative and informational text to reinforce explicit differences in the structural format.
  • Distinguish the importance of metacognition and how it affects the learning process.
  • Analyze the importance of acquiring cognitive tools for reading to help students become strategic readers.
  • Explore the role of problem solving and its relationship on reading for comprehension.
  • Assess the function of teaching the think-aloud process to help with self-monitoring techniques to focus on comprehension and identify when the comprehension is incorrect. 
  • Analyze four key cognitive strategies of reading: summarizing, questioning, predicting, and clarifying.
  • Develop activities that integrate the four key cognitive strategies for reading comprehension instruction based on content-area curriculum standards.
  • Analyze the various roles and methods used during the Reciprocal Teaching process.
  • Develop activities using Reciprocal Teaching for reading comprehension instruction based on content-area curriculum standards.
  • Analyze the demands and challenges that expository/informational text places on all classrooms.
  • Analyze the characteristics of informational/expository text and its features.
  • Explore the guidelines teaching students to use text structures in their classroom and apply it to their classrooms.
  • Develop an activity that uses informational/expository reading strategies designed to encourage metacognition, promote thoughtful interaction with text, and ensure high levels of comprehension.
  • Assess the purpose of before, during, and after reading strategies.
  • Distinguish between the characteristics of good and poor reading as they participate in before, during, and, after reading strategies.
  • Develop lessons and activities that use before-reading strategies designed to activate or build prior knowledge, set a purpose for reading, and motivate students to think and learn with text.
  • Develop lessons and activities that use during-reading strategies designed to encourage higher level thinking, promote thoughtful interaction with text, and ensure high levels of comprehension.
  • Develop lessons and activities that use post-reading strategies designed to encourage thoughtful reflection, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.
  • Evaluate the text structures associated with narrative text.
  • Implement strategies to build story schema (background knowledge about stories) by showing how narrative text has recurring elements (story grammar): characters, settings, conflicts, major events, resolutions, and themes.
  • Develop lessons and activities that use narrative text strategies designed to encourage metacognition, promote thoughtful interaction with text, and ensure high levels of comprehension. 
  • Reflect on current research and statistics of vocabulary development and the implications it has on student achievement.
  • Assess how vocabulary knowledge provides a foundation for reading comprehension and enables students to expand their content-area knowledge.
  • Analyze a range of practical, effective teaching strategies that can be used to develop students’ vocabulary knowledge. 
  • Apply techniques for assessing students’ vocabulary knowledge.
  • Develop lessons and activities that help students learn concepts and vocabulary necessary for interacting with and comprehending content-area text materials.
  • Demonstrate how reflection is one of the primary ways for students to learn in the classroom.
  • Analyze reflective practices in their classrooms and understand the purpose of it in the classroom. 
  • Compare and contrast the types of reflection and questions used in the classroom.
  • Assess the characteristics of writing used in content areas.
  • Integrate effective writing activities into text-based content-area lessons and activities
  • Incorporate strategic teaching concepts into their daily classroom instructional practices.
  • Compare and contrast the six assumptions about learning and the implications they have on reading instruction.
  • Develop a unit that will help students independently use reading strategies designed to increase comprehension and retention of content area material.
Partner Universities

Our Partners are well-established regionally and nationally accredited colleges and universities, recognized for academic excellence and their commitment to teachers.

Important Information

Online 3-graduate credit courses are 13 weeks in length.

On-site weekend courses are held Friday evening from 6:00pm-9:00pm and Saturday/Sunday, 8:30am-5:30pm.

Weekday courses are Monday-Friday from 8:00am- 6:00pm.

It is the responsibility of the student to check with their state, county, district, or school to ensure that all requirements are being met by the course you're taking.  

Check the Partner Universities page for specific university information as well as course numbers which are specific to the university partner. 

Students are required to purchase their own textbook, the information for which can be found here. If no book is required it will be specified on the list. We have copies of many of the textbooks should you wish to purchase directly from TEI. 

Professional development (PD) participants receive a certificate of completion from TEI for 45 hours of PD credit for face to face classes and 60 hours of PD credit for online classes. These certificates are mailed within one week of the end of the class and reflect the course title, dates of attendance, and credit hour information. 

Student Academic Integrity
Participants guarantee that all academic class work is original. Any academic dishonesty or plagiarism (to take ideas, writings, etc. from another and offer them as one's own), is a violation of student academic behavior standards as outlined by our partnering colleges and universities and is subject to academic disciplinary action.