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Course Details

Course Details

Course Code: EDUC596 Course ID: 3953 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Graduate

This course explores a variety of issues and strategies related to literacy and literacy assessment in the early and middle grades. Cases focus upon the problems and opportunities related to literacy instruction for at-risk student populations. Course participants will develop instructional and leadership skills needed for teaching emergent, beginning and instructional readers and address the education of diverse student populations. Using the cases as a launching point, teachers will be given the opportunity to participate in on-line discussions regarding beliefs, best practices, challenges, current research, and ways to apply them to their own teaching practice. (Prerequisite: EDUC503)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
01/25/21 - 07/02/21 07/05/21 - 08/29/21 Summer 2021 Session B 8 Week session
04/26/21 - 10/01/21 10/04/21 - 11/28/21 Fall 2021 Session B 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of reading research and histories of reading. (IRA Standard 1.2)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of language development and reading acquisition and the variations related to cultural and linguistic diversity. (IRA Standard 1.3)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major components of reading (phonemic awareness, word identification and phonics, vocabulary and background knowledge, fluency, comprehension strategies, and motivation) and how they are integrated in fluent reading. (IRA Standard 1.4)
  • Use a wide range of instructional practices, approaches and methods, including technology-based practices, for learners at different stages of development and from differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds. (IRA Standard 2.1).
  • Use a wide range of curriculum materials in effective reading instruction for learners at different stages of reading and writing development and from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds. (IRA Standard 2.3)
  • Use assessment information to place, evaluate, and revise effective instruction that meets the needs of all students, including those at different developmental stages and those from differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds. (IRA Standard 3.3)
  • Model reading and writing enthusiastically as valued lifelong activities. (IRA Standard 4.3)
  • Motivate learners to be lifelong readers. (IRA Standard 4.4)
  • Work with colleagues to observe, evaluate, and provide feedback on each other’s practice. (IRA Standard 5.3)
  • Participate in, initiate, and evaluate professional development programs. (IRA Standard 5.4)

Required Course Materials

*Note: Required Reading articles can be found at the APUS Library unless otherwise noted.

Allor, J., Gansle, K., & Denny, R. (2006). The stop and go phonemic awareness game: Providing modeling, practice, and feedback. Preventing School Failure, 50(4), 23-30.

Anderson, R., & Balajthy, E. (2009). Stories about struggling readers and technology. Reading Teacher, 62(6), 540-542.

Baker, B. (2007). Preparing teachers to support struggling first-grade readers. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 28(3), 233-242.

Balathjy, E. (2007). Using text-to-speech software with struggling readers. College Reading Association Yearbook, 28, 364-370.

Biggs, M., Homan, S., Dedrick, R., Minick, V., & Rasinski, T. (2008). Using an interactive singing software program: A comparative study of struggling middle school readers. Reading Psychology, 29(3), 195-213.

Chard, D., & Kameenui, E. (2000). Struggling first-grade readers: The frequency and progress of their reading. Journal of Special Education, 34(1), 28-39.

Cusumano, C., & Mueller, J. (2007). How differentiated instruction helps struggling students. Leadership, 36(4), 8-10.

Dowrick, P., Kim-rupnow, W., & Power, T. (2006). Video feedforward for reading. Journal of Special Education, 39(4), 194-207.

Ebbers, S. & Denton, C. (2008). A root awakening: Vocabulary instruction for older students with reading difficulties. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 23(2), 90-102.

Frabotta, S. (2009). Fun-filled family literacy nights. Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin, 75(4), 19-22.

Harris, L. (2007). Adolescent literacy: Wordy study with middle and high school students. Teaching Exceptional Children Plus, 3(4), 1-15.

Ivey, G. & Baker, M. (2004). Phonics instruction for older students? Just say no. Educational Leadership, 61(6), 35-39.

Lubliner, S. (2004). Help for struggling upper-grade elementary readers. Reading Teacher, 57(5), 430-438.

Mathes, P., Torgesen, J., Clancy-Menchetti, J., Santi, K., Nicholas, K., Robinson, C., & Grek, M. (2003). A comparison of teacher-directed versus peer-assisted instruction to struggling first-grade readers. Elementary School Journal, 103(5), 459-480.

Matthews, M., & Kesner, J. (2000). The silencing of Sammy: One struggling reader learning with his peers. Reading Teacher, 53(5), 382-391.

Poole, D. (2008). Interactional differentiation in the mixed-ability group: A situated view of two struggling readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 228-250.

Pressley, M. (1996). Comprehension strategies instruction. PDF document.

Directions to obtain document:

Go to the website for the Literacy Achievement Research Center (LARC) at

Click on “Resources” tab

Then click on “For Educators” tab

Under “LARC Resources for Educators”

Then scroll down to “Comprehension Difficulties”

Then click on and open the 5-page summary document titled “Comprehension Strategies Instruction” provided by Michael Pressley.

Reutzel, R., & Cooter, R. (1992). Directed reading/Thinking activity DRTA. Retrieved from

Rupley, W., & Nichols, W. (2005). Vocabulary instruction for the struggling reader. Reading and Writing Quarterly, 21(3), 239-260.

Ryder, J., Tunmer, W., & Greaney, K. (2008). Explicit instruction in phonemic awareness and phonemically based decoding skills as an intervention strategy for struggling readers in whole language classrooms. Reading & Writing, 21(4), 349-369.

Smolkin, L., & Donovan, C. (2003). Supporting comprehension acquisition for emerging and struggling readers: The interactive information book read-aloud. Exceptionality, 11(1), 25-38.

Stahl, S. (1998). Teaching children with reading problems to decode: Phonics and `not phonics’ instruction. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 14(2), 165-189.

Stanberry, K, & Raskind, M. (2009). Reading rockets: Assistive technology. Retrieved from

Walker, B. (2005). Thinking aloud: Struggling readers often require more than a model. Reading Teacher, 58(7), 688-692.

Wexler, J., Vaughn, S., Edmonds, M., & Reutebuch, C. (2008). A synthesis of fluency interventions for secondary struggling readers. Reading & Writing, 21(4), 317-347.

White-Clark, R., & Lappin, G. (2005). Building home-school partnerships: A way of enhancing reading literacy of diverse learners. Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education, 7(1), 8.

Wilfong, L. (2008). Building fluency, word-recognition ability, and confidence in struggling readers: The poetry academy. Reading Teacher, 62(1), 4-13.


In addition to the required course texts, the following public domain Websites are useful. Please abide by the university’s academic honesty policy when using Internet sources as well. Note Web site addresses are subject to change.

Site Name

Website URL/Address

International Reading Association

National Council for Teachers of English

Reading A to Z

Reading Rockets

The Reading Lady

Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.