Course Outline for Supporting Struggling Readers in the Classroom

Week 1

Lesson 1- What Is Response to Intervention?

Have you been searching for ways to help your struggling readers? Well, wonder no more. Response to intervention is here to help! In today's lesson, we'll explore how response to intervention uses research-based and tiered strategies to help students overcome roadblocks to literacy. You'll discover how these strategies will help you meet your adequate yearly progress goals.

Lesson 2- RTI's Problem-Solving Model

Response to intervention is based on a problem-solving model, which means that we get to be scientists while we're teaching reading. We begin by giving students a universal screening, deciding which intervention tier will be most helpful, trying several strategies, and then tweaking as necessary. Of course, we're also constantly evaluating how well our plan is working and whether students could benefit from more or less support. You'll learn about this powerful model today!

Week 2

Lesson 3- Phonemic Awareness Strategies

Did you know that most adults aren't sure just what phonemic awareness is? You definitely won't be one of them after today's fun lesson on the smallest units of sound a word can be divided into. First, we'll talk about how to identify phonemes (/c/a/t/), and then we'll look at how Elkonin Boxes and alphabetic arcs help students build phonemic awareness for simple and complex words.

Lesson 4- Phonics Strategies

Phonemic awareness is the key to phonics instruction, so today we'll continue our journey by building a bridge between the two. When we teach students phonics, we're helping them understand the relationship between the word's sounds and the letters that represent them. Soon you'll be able to teach your students to parse words into their individual sounds and letters and then put them back together to spell new words.

Week 3

Lesson 5- Fluency Strategies

When we read, we do it pretty automatically, without pausing to decode as we go. While you and I might take this for granted, it's an experience that's completely foreign to most struggling readers. So in this lesson, we'll talk about how to help struggling readers build fluency with direct and indirect approaches. This will help them learn to read with more automaticity.

Lesson 6- Vocabulary-Building Strategies

Have you ever sat down to read a thermodynamics text just for fun? Probably not! Most of us prefer to read text with words we know. But for many of our students, that means only a handful of texts will fit the bill. What's the solution? Helping students build three tiers of vocabulary, from the common sight words on up to complicated words with prefixes and suffixes. You'll learn how to do that in today's lesson.

Week 4

Lesson 7- Comprehension Strategies

Today we're going to tackle comprehension by engaging students where they are so they can build a bridge to where they're going. We'll cover several powerful comprehension strategies, like Making Connections and Bloom’s Taxonomy. With a little practice and a lot of coaching, your struggling readers will be making meaning in no time!

Lesson 8- Content-Area Strategies

Get ready to meet a powerful strategy to help students who are struggling with content area reading! Have you heard of SQ3R? With such a complicated name, it looks like it belongs in science fiction, but it can actually help students decode ordinary math, science, social studies, and language arts text. In this lesson, you'll discover how to survey, question, read, recite, and review.

Week 5

Lesson 9- Writing Strategies

Do any of your students suffer from Blank Page Syndrome when it's time to write? In today's lesson, we'll counter this difficult problem with some creative and fun ways to take the monotony out of putting ideas on paper. Get ready for Doodles to Details, brainstorming, quick writes, and more!

Lesson 10- Differentiating Strategies

Perhaps you've already found a strategy you love, but you want to tweak it a little bit to better meet your students' needs. Well, that's what differentiation is all about—adding some extra spice to the classroom. Today you'll learn how to tailor powerful response to intervention strategies to different students' learning styles, multiplying the choices you can offer your students.

Week 6

Lesson 11- Enhancing Teamwork

Are you eager to turn your school into a professional learning community? Me too! In this lesson, we'll delve into how to collaborate effectively, exploring how you can use teamwork to build a more cohesive classroom and create more meaningful learning experiences. If you've been wondering just what goes into a strong team and how to get one started at your school, don't worry—you'll soon have all the answers!

Lesson 12- Cementing RTI Interventions

While we can perform literacy miracles at school if given enough time, ultimately, we need to involve parents if we want our efforts to last. So for our final lesson, we'll discuss some smart strategies for getting parents onboard. We'll look at the best ways to communicate, share, and answer any questions that come up in the process.

What do others think?

‘I have taken several on-line classes now, and this by far was the absolute best! As a matter of fact, this on-line class was better than many graduate level classes I have taken. The expertise and knowledge base of this professor was exceptional. His ability to teach the content was superior. In addition, the instructor made this course highly relevant, extremely interesting, and most interactive. I was quite impressed with how quickly he responded to questions, comments, etc. (even after the loss of his dear father). I firmly believe that I will be a better educator because of this course! I am equipped with numerous strategies and techniques to add to my repertoire, but above all else, I am truly inspired!’

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