RDGED 702 Reading in the Content Areas

Online Course 3 semester hours graduate credit
Instructor: Dr. Mary Beth Crum
Tuition and Registration
RDGED 702 960 June 8 - August 22, 2015


Research-based teaching methods, study strategies, and technology focusing on the abilities to use language processes (reading, writing, speaking, listening) to learn subject matter across the curriculum.

Every teacher of science, social studies, history, mathematics, and the arts and English language learners can benefit from research-based instructional strategies that enable students to read and understand complex informational texts and content-rich nonfiction.

This course addresses key issues and challenges concerning the teaching of language and content to English language learners from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. The activities include implementation and evaluation of reading interventions for struggling readers. You will learn how to enhance the overall level of reading achievement through building vocabulary, literal understanding, inferential reading, and creative content application to increase comprehension and retention.

The Common Core's vision of disciplinary literacy includes literary nonfiction, as well as historical documents, scientific journals and technical manuals, biographies and autobiographies, essays, speeches, and information displayed in charts, graphs, or maps, digitally or in print. Helping students tackle complex examples of such genres across the disciplines—from English to engineering—bolsters their reading skills for work and higher education by building foundational knowledge, vocabulary, and literacy strategies. 

Who should enroll?

This course is designed for science, math, social studies, health, ELL, classroom teachers, speech pathologists, Title I teachers, literacy coaches, reading interventionists, reading specialists, special education and resource teachers at all levels.

NOTE: You may enroll in this course to meet your goals for professional development, license renewal, or to complete graduate credits and transfer the credit to another university or reading certification program.

This is one of the required courses for individuals pursuing reading teacher certification, WI 316. This course is an approved elective in the Master of Science in Education online degree program.



Purchase the textbooks:

  1. Billmeyer, Rachel. (2010). , Strategic Reading in the Content Area: Practical Application for Creating a Thinking Environment,  2nd edition. Rachel & Associates. ISBN: 978-0-9711292-6-9

  2. Billmeyer, Rachel. (2006). Strategies to Engage the Mind of the Learner, 2nd edition. Rachel & Associates. ISBN: 978-0-9711292-5-2

    Option A: Order online at
    Option B: Call Julie Knutson at Printco Graphics, 1-888.593.1080, to place an order or if you have questions email her at jknutson@printcographics.com
    Printco Graphics, 14112 Industrial Road, Omaha, NE 68144-3332

Field Testing

During the course you will learn specific reading strategies and will field test these strategies with live subjects in your classroom. If you are not currently teaching, refer to the list below to find an alternate source of students.

  • A family member (not a significant other or spouse)
  • A neighbor or group of students in your neighborhood
  • Religious youth groups
  • Girls Scouts
  • Park district and library youth groups
  • Students who are being tutored
  • Students attending summer school
  • Students in religious classes

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Analyze current literacy culture trends affecting all readers in K-12 content classrooms.

  2. Analyze the school and community cultures affecting content readers' reading behaviors

  3. Informally assess the reading ability of students and the content difficulty load of texts.

  4. Apply a multi level reading comprehension model for use in developing content reading strategies.

  5. Apply strategies that increase content reader ability to respond from literal through complex levels of understanding

  6. Recognize the three basic types of vocabulary learners and demonstrate ways to teach new vocabulary effectively

  7. Demonstrate strategies that teach students eight patterns of nonfiction found in most informational text material.

  8. Utilize high utility study guides to increase content comprehension.

  9. Distinguish between and apply strategies for teaching learning skills (attitudes, goal setting, monitoring) and study strategies (note taking, organizing, test taking)

  10. Blend the science of content reading (strategies, guides, and resources) with the art of effective teaching (motivation, personal literacy, and classroom management)

Alignment with State and National Reading Standards

This class will help participants meet the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Professionals (IRA 2010)

Content Guidelines for Reading Teachers State of Wisconsin - DPI (p. 180)

National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers

Wisconsin Teaching Standards
(WI DPI) 3, 4, 7

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The School of Education reserves the right to cancel classes that do not meet minimum enrollment requirements.

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Contact Us: School of Education
Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693
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Our Students Say. . .


"The communication within this class was phenomenal. Dr. Crum really seemed to 'get it' when it came to dealing with issues and questions from all of us busy teachers.

I felt that this class was set up in an easy to follow and straight to the point way. I never felt like I was doing "busy" work. It was very hands-on which allowed me to learn much more about content reading strategies."
~ Kitzi Klinger, first grade teacher

"The field testing we completed during the course helped me practice and better understand the strategies. Since the start of the new school year, I have implemented the graphic organizers, vocabulary activities, and fiction/non-fiction text story maps, and my students are gaining a better understanding in their content texts."
~ Jenny Dachel, preK-12 teacher of the deaf and hard of hearing

"This is a beneficial course for any teacher. From shared discussions among fellow classmates, professor guidance, appropriate practice and assignments, readings and research, I gained a wealth of knowledge. I can't wait to implement the strategies with my students, as well as share the new ideas with my colleagues so that, together, we create a community of independent, successful readers."
~Sue Pickett, teaching assistant with struggling readers in kindergarten and first grade

Contact Us

School of Education
Email: Online Professional Development
University of Wisconsin - Stout
Menomonie, WI 54751
Phone: 715-232-2693



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