Strategies for Developing Reading/Study Skills in Secondary School


Tennessee State University
Professional Education Unit
Department of Teaching and Learning


EDRD 6050
Strategies for Developing Reading/Study Skills in Secondary School


Instructor:                   Beth Morton Christian, Ed.D.

Phone:                         615-230-3706



Office Location:         Clay Hall 216

Class Days/Times:     Asynchronous Online


Office Hours:              Email anytime.   


Prerequisites: Admission to the Graduate School

                        Admission to Teacher Education (Initial 

                        Licensure Candidates only)


My EDUCATION LAB  Calendar Resources
REQUIRED TEXT: textbook Vacca, R.T., & Vacca, J.A. (2010). Content Area Reading: Literacy and Learning Across the Curriculum. 10thth edition. Boston: Pearson. 

with My Education Lab Access Code-Price$ 98-127.OO

(If text does not come with a MyEdLab code, students may  purchase one)

Catalog Description

The purpose of this course is to prepare subject-matter teachers with teaching strategies, designs, and materials for teaching comprehension, advanced study skills, and vocabulary. Course demonstrates teaching techniques that develop advanced reading-studying strategies. Developing the ability to read for transfer of content ideas and information will be emphasized as a means for making any discipline more relevant to middle and high school pupils and for helping them become independent learners.

Knowledge and Skills:

KSD 1: PLAN Objectives: Students will plan literacy lessons and activities targeted for 5th-12th education students using literacy learning and teaching knowledge related best practices as well as resources and materials provided and created as part of this literacy methods class. 

1a3.    Identifies goals and objectives that include the key concepts of the content area and are developmentally appropriate for all students.

1a4.    Includes goals and objectives that emphasize higher order thinking skills appropriate to the content area and the students.

1b1.   Uses state performance indicators and classroom assessments within the

content area to obtain information about students, their achievement, and uses

this information to design and deliver appropriate instruction.

1b3.    Selects research-based strategies, methods, activities, and materials validated

as sound practice within the content area.

1b4.    Designs instruction to cause students to integrate content knowledge, skills, and

            inquiry across content areas.

1b5.    Designs instruction that utilizes materials, human and community resources, and

            technology in ways appropriate to the content area.

1c2.     Plans and designs content instruction that is developmentally appropriate and includes strategies, activities, and assessments appropriate to the content and learner.


KSD 3: Evaluate

Objective: Students will align assessments included in lesson plans with state standards, performances and grade level accomplishments.


3a1.    Aligns classroom assessments with state performance indicators and grade level accomplishments.


KSD 4: Specialize


Objective: Student will demonstrate knowledge and application of best practices in literacy learning and teaching as outlined by State Curriculum Standards, INTASC, and IRA.


7a2.    Demonstrates competence in development of and application of content-specific pedagogical skills based on Tennessee and specialized professional association (SPA) criteria.

Instructional Strategies


Online Threaded Discussions

Technology (instructor)

Technology (student)

Group Discussions

Group Presentations/Projects




Field Experience Information


Service Learning Project: Literacy Teaching/Tutoring


Expectations and General Information

1)   Academic Integrity - You are responsible for what you achieve in this class; therefore neither cheating nor plagiarism will be tolerated.  Any material taken from another work must be documented, and in no case should one represent another’s work as one’s own, this includes information received from others during examinations or submitting another’s assignments, papers, etc. as one’s own.  Students involved in collaborative research, to avoid questions of plagiarism, should exercise extreme caution.  If in doubt, students should check with the major professor.  In addition to the other possible disciplinary sanctions which may be imposed through the regular institutional procedures as a result of academic misconduct, the instructor has the authority to assign an “F” or a zero for the exercise or examination, or to assign an “F” in the course.

2)   Classroom conduct The instructor has the primary responsibility for control over online behavior and maintenance of academic integrity, and can order temporary removal or exclusion from the classroom of any student engaged in disruptive conduct or conduct in violation of the general rules and regulations of the institution.

3)   Official Course Enrollment - Students who are not on the official class roll may not remain in class.  These students must leave class and may not return to class until they enroll in the course and their names show up on the official class roster.  Please make sure you are in the correct section.

4)   Disabled Student Services – Any student who has a condition which might interfere with his/her performance in class is required to contact the office of Disabled Student Services.  This office is located in room #117 Floyd Payne Student Center.  The phone number is 963-7400.  They will provide you with a document stating what type of classroom accommodations, if any, are to be made by the instructor.  The student is to give a copy of this document to the instructor no later than the end of the second week of class.  Failure to do so will result in the instructor making no special accommodations of any kind. 

5)   Classroom Dispositions - Reading and writing assignments and group interaction as well as individual contributions are required. If you are absent for a “group” project, you will negatively affect the learning process for the other students. In a college environment, students should expect to spend one to three hours out of class for every hour they are in class. Some students will need to spend many more hours than others searching, reading and evaluating books and other reading activities as well as all writing all the assignments. The students and the instructor will treat all individuals with respect. Disruptive, rude, or hostile behavior undermines the class experience for everyone in the class and will be grounds for failure. Each student has expectations for his or her own learning and success in the course. No one should be confronted with unacceptable classroom demeanor. Please consult the RRCC Handbook and Calendar for FERPA, Student Code of Conduct, and Student Rights and Responsibilities.

Format: Each class session will include some combination of lecture/discussions and simulation experiences, small and large group activities, audio-visual presentations, demonstrations, group events, and reflection on individual learning.  All events are designed to stimulate personal association with and application and critical understanding of the information presented.
Course Assignments:  (500 pts)-See Course Calendar for Due Dates
  1. ·        Professionalism: (Attendance, Participation, etc): (50 pts) Professionalism is an important requirement for all teachers. It is usually demonstrated by a set of behaviors which indicate your commitment to your profession.  Those behaviors will be expected during this class.  Points will be awarded by the instructor based on student attendance, effort, active participation in class discussions, in-class assignments, and individual participation during in-class group work. Four hours of absence with reasonable and documented excuse will be accepted. More than four hours of absence will result in decrease in final grade.
  2. ·        MyEducationLab Chapter Activities: (100 pts total /5 at 20 pts. each) . This assignment provides students with a review and enrichment activities for each chapter in our text. This assignments are completed on-line with your responses automatically sent to the instructor.
    • Go to MyEducationLab

    • Click on Literacy

    • Find the Course textbook

    • Enter or Buy Access Code

    • You will "Join a Class"

    • Enter Code:  cm395807.

  3. ·        Literacy Dictionary/Strategy Guide: (100 pts) Students will create a literacy dictionary guide or flip-book of useful literacy terminology and literacy teaching strategies. Students will add new terms and strategies each week as they progress through the course.
  • Service Learning Project (100 pts)-10 +(2 per week) visits to the  McKissack Reading Clinic next to TSU to Tutor Middle/Secondary students. (Information and Training will be provided on July 24th ). 

OR                         OR                            OR                     OR

  • Research Project/Presentation (100 pts)- Students will identify a content area reading problem/topic of interest and research the topic locating a minimum of 3 peer-reviewed research articles and 2 websites related to the topic. Students will write a 13-15 page paper (including references) using APA style. (APA Crib Sheet) Students will present research in class using visual aids, handouts,  powerpoint, and/or cooperative activities.

      5.       Problem-Based Cases (150pts): Info. to be provided in Class.

      6.       Final Exam (50 pts)

Grading System= 550 pts Total


A=93-100% =510-550

B=85-92%   = 470-509

C=75-84%   = 415-469

D=70-75%= 390-414

F=69% and below = 389 or below

Other Course Requirements (that may affect your grade)

a. Attend and participate in class. Four hours of absence with reasonable and documented excuse will be accepted. More than four hours of absence will result in decrease in final grade at the discretion of the instructor.


b. In the event that a class is missed, be responsible for information discussed and make arrangements with classmates or others to obtain the information.


c. Participate in discussions in a professional way. We may discuss controversial topics and you may disagree with ideas presented by others. While you can question a person's idea, personal attacks will not be allowed. Class members not respecting others' right to learn will be asked to leave the classroom and need to speak to the instructor before returning.


d. Submit assignments on time. LATE ASSIGNMENTS WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTED ONE DAY BEYOND THE DUE DATE AND WILL RESULT IN REDUCTION BY ONE LETTER GRADE.  Exceptions will only be made for validated medical or emergency situations.  Due dates are firm, so plan ahead!


e. Cell phones must be turned off during class. NO TEXTING. Cell phones may be left on in the silent/vibrate mode in emergency situations.

Other Good Books for Novice Teachers:


Anderson, C. 2000. How’s It Going? A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student

Writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Atwell, N.  1998.  In the Middle, 2nd Ed.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Barron, M.  1990.  I learned to read and write the way I learned to talk. Katonah, NY: Richard                   C. Owen.


Cambourne, B. and J. Turbill. 1987. Coping with Chaos. Portsmouth, NH:



Caulkins, L. 1994.  The Art of Teaching Writing. Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Caulkins, L.  2000.  The Art of Teaching Reading. Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Fisher, B. 1998. Joyful Learning, 2nd ed. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Fletcher, R. and J. Portalupi. 2001. Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide

Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann

Fletcher, R.  and J. Portalupi, 2007.   Craft Lessons, 2nd Ed.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Freeman, D. and Y. Freeman. 2000. Teaching Reading in Multilingual Classrooms.

            Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Heard, G.  1998.  Awakening the Heart.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Heard, G.  2002.  The Revision Toolbox.  Portsmouth, NH:  Heinemann.


Hindley, J. 1996. In the Company of Children. York, ME: Stenhouse.


Johnston, P. 2000. Running Records: A Self-Tutoring Guide. York, ME: Stenhouse.


Keene, Ellin and S. Zimmerman.  2007.  Mosaic of Thought, 2nd ed.  Portsmouth, NH: 



Mooney, M.  1990.  Reading to, with, and by.  Katonah, NY:  Richard C. Owen.


Nelson, J. 1987.  Positive discipline.  New York: Balantine Books.


Opitz, M. 2000. Rhymes and Reasons: Literature for Language Play and Phonological

            Awareness. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Opitz, M. and M. Ford. 2001. Reaching Readers: Flexible and Innovative Strategies

            for Guided Reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Owocki, G. 2001. Make Way for Literacy! Teaching the Way Young Children Learn.

            Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Parsons, S.  2005.  First Grade Writers.   Portsmouth,  NH:  Heinemann.


Peterson, R. 1990. Life in a Crowded Place.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


Peterson, R. & Eeds, M. 1990.   Grand conversation: Literature groups in action.  Jefferson                       City, MO: Scholastic.


Rief, L.  Seeking Diversity: Language Arts with Adolescents. Portsmouth, NH:



Short, K. & Pierce, K. 1990.  Talking about books: Creating literate communities.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The Major Journals in Elem. Reading/Lang. Arts


Elementary School Journal

5 issues per year

            This journal covers all subject areas, reports research, and presents think pieces for and by teachers, researchers, administrators, and teacher educators.


Holistic Education Review

2 issues per year

            This is a forum for innovative, experimental, leading-edge ideas in education.  It explores and challenges traditional assumptions and methods of mainstream education.  The journal seeks to explain humanistic alternative approaches to education.


The Horn Book

6 issues per year

            This journal presents announcements of forthcoming works and reviews of children's literature.  Covering fiction and nonfiction genres, the magazine also offers articles on using literature in the classroom.


Language Arts

8 issues per year

            This journal is the elementary language arts journal for the National Council of Teachers of English.  Each monthly issue is themed.  The journal contains articles dealing with issues in language arts and literacy development.


The New Advocate

4 issues per year

            This journal promotes children's literature in the classroom and issues related to more humanistic instruction.  Reviews of children's literature are also included.


The Reading Teacher

9 issues per year

            This journal focuses on practical application articles.  It is the elementary journal of the International Reading Association.  Included in this publication is "Children's Choices", a list of books chosen by children as their favorites.