RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques For Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties

Online Course 3 semester hours graduate credit
Tuition and Registration
June 1 - August 14, 2015
Instructor: Dr. Mary Beth Crum


Integration of psycholinguistic theory into an interactive model of remedial interventions based on literacy acquisition research. Practical suggestions for integrating reading, writing and spelling into an effective program for struggling readers and special populations including the learning disabled.

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.

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.


Readings will be assigned from all of the following textbooks. (The same textbooks and resources will also be used as textbooks in the Assessment and Evaluation of Reading and Language Development course.)

The books are available from online book stores and can be ordered online from the publishers. Note: Specific editions are indicated by the ISBN number listed.

  1. Blevins, W. (2006). Phonics from A-Z (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Scholastic. ISBN:978-0-439-84511-3 Available from amazon.com.

  2. Caldwell, J.S., & Lesley. L. (2013). Intervention strategies to follow informal reading inventory assessment: So what do I do now?, 3rd edition. New York: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 13: 9780123907088 Available new and used from amazon.com.

  3. Fox, Barbara. (2012). Word Identification Strategies: Building Phonics into a Classroom Reading Program, 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 9780132611282. Be sure to order the 2012 edition. Available from mypearsonstore.com

  4. This e-textbook will be provided when you login to the course. You may open the e-book to read online from your tablet, laptop or desktop. The e-textbook software is compatible with an iPad, Kindle Fire or fully internet capable device and is not compatible with a Kindle Reader.

    McCormick, S & Zutell, J (2015). Instructing students who have literacy problems. ( 7th edition) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 13:9780133830934

    If you prefer to read a hard copy of the textbook, instead of reading via your computer or tablet, you may purchase the book from http://www.pearsonhighered.com or an online book store such as amazon.com  Be sure to allow for delivery time, and note the ISBN number and 7th edition.

Field Testing

During the course you will learn specific reading strategies, are required to field test these strategies with live subjects in your classroom, and will complete field experience reports describing the results. If you are not teaching, please refer to the list below to assist in finding an alternate source of struggling readers.

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

To meet the course requirements, you will work with a struggling reader in Modules 6, 8 and 11. You may select different students, as these activities do not require working with the same student.  In Module 6 you will work with any age struggling reader who has difficulty decoding multi-syllabic words. In Module 8 you will construct and apply techniques to teach word meaning to a struggling reader. In Module 11 you will assess and teach strategies to a struggling reader who needs assistance in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, comprehension or fluency.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Compare and contrast recent reading initiatives (No Child Left Behind, Response to Intervention, Common Core State Standards) and research-based reading methods/approaches to address the needs of struggling readers and children with learning disabilities.

  2. Articulate and synthesize information about evidence-based strategies for remediating phonemic awareness, phonetic and structural analysis, vocabulary and background knowledge, fluency, and comprehension.

  3. Analyze and interpret background and assessment information in order to select instructional interventions for individual students with reading and learning disabilities.

  4. Evaluate and select a variety of quality multimedia materials, including assistive technology, to be used for instruction at various reading and writing levels.

  5. Design an effective intervention plan, including evidenced-based methods and approaches, to serve the needs of an individual learner.

Alignment with Teaching Standards

Course objectives are aligned with the following:

Wisconsin Standards for Teacher Development and Licensure (WI DPI) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
International Reading Association's Standards for Reading Professionals (IRA 2010) and the Content Guidelines for Reading Teachers State of Wisconsin - DPI (p. 180)

Because this class is online and open to you 24/7, you may participate from your home or work computer during hours that are flexible and convenient for your work and family schedule and responsibilities.

The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component. All discussion postings, projects and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and dropbox. Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week; there are no required "live" chat sessions.

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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. . .


" I particularly liked the module on phonics. There is so much debate about the best way to approach phonics and I felt the module helped put all the different theories into perspective."
~ Amy Brenegan


"The most valuable concepts I gained during the class were in the phonemic awareness modules. I am feeling much more confident in helping my students with specific problems. I am now able to identify a specific problem and match it to a strategy in order to remediate. "
~ Angela Dammeyer


"With the course text books and supplemental readings, I have been exposed to a whole new school of thought. I believe this added perspective will serve me well in my role as high school reading teacher."
~ Cynthia Kautz


"The most valuable concept that I learned through taking this class is that fluency is absolutely essential to comprehension."
~ Dawn Westphal


"One particularly valuable activity was the "Share a Pair" of strategies assignments. It was great to read the activities that other teachers have used in their classrooms. I think that this online collaboration added to the sense of community."
~ Jenifer Moore


"The strategies that we shared for sight words, read alouds, phonemic awareness and fluency were all useful. I have saved many to a zip drive for further use in the classroom."
~ Nina Ruskey


"The most valuable (and most fun) activity was actually working with a student on a lesson I designed."
~ Kelly Fanta-Stroik

Contact Us

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



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