RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties

Online Course 3 semester hours graduate credit
Instructors: Dr. Carolyn HeitzMel Thursby, Mary Ellen Oglesby, Diana Zrudsky
Tuition and Registration
RDGED 707 960 May 18 - August 14, 2015
RDGED 707 900 September 8 - December 11, 2015

Who Can Enroll

Students who meet the prerequisites: successful completion with a GPA of 3.0 or higher in each of the five prerequisite courses: RDGED 701, 702, 703 or 704, 705, 706 and consent of instructor.

RDGED 706 Assessment and Evaluation of Reading Difficulties must be completed prior to enrollment in RDGED 707 Reading Practicum because the assessments and evaluation reports required for RDGED 707 are introduced and practiced in the prerequisite course.

What You Will Learn

Description: A practicum in teaching individual students, grades 2-11, with reading difficulties. Assessment of the reader's strengths and needs is followed by the implementation of individualized instruction designed to assist the child in becoming a better reader. The practicum course will be offered online with a requirement that course participants assess then develop and instruct twelve one-hour lessons with a struggling reader in their local community.

According to the Wisconsin State Statute ACT 166:
SECTION 21. 118.19 (14) (a) any person applying for a teacher license “…to teach in grades kindergarten to 5 or in special education, an initial license as a reading teacher or an initial license as a reading specialist” are required to take and pass a Foundations of Reading Test. The Practice Test website provides opportunities for students to become familiar with the item types that will appear on the assessment. 

This test requirement applies to all students who enroll in the Spring 2014 RDGED 707 Practicum.

Course Requirements

During the first two weeks of the course, you will explore the principles of effective one-on-one intervention programs, as well as criteria for choosing a client. A struggling reader should NOT be selected or contacted until the end of the second week of the course. Information will be provided regarding the details of the client selection process and demographic requirements.

During Modules 3-5, you will assess the student, interpret the assessment results, and determine learning outcomes..

During modules 6-11, you will develop and teach twelve one-hour lessons and analyze each lesson’s results using a detailed lesson plan form. During the 12 lessons, you will administer 5 running records using familiar text.  In addition, you will do a miscue analysis of errors for 2 of the 5 running records.  All of these forms will be submitted as part of the course requirements.

At the conclusion of twelve lessons, a summary of assessment and instruction will be compiled and submitted as a capstone artifact in your Reading Teacher ePortfolio. All artifacts from your previous reading courses will be updated prior to submitting your final ePortfolio for the Benchmark III end of reading program assessment. 

Software and Microphone Required

All lesson plans must be created in Microsoft Word. All materials used during the lessons must be scanned to create pdf files and submitted with the lesson plan Word documents in the course Dropbox.

Audio recordings of selected lessons that include running records will be submitted electronically to the course Dropbox in mp3 file format along with a self-evaluation form as part of course requirements. A good microphone, more than any other single piece of hardware, will impact the quality of recorded sound.


  1. Blevins, W. (2006). Phonics from A-Z (2nd ed.) New York, NY: Scholastic. ISBN:978-0-439-84511-3 
    (Also used in RDGED 701 Developmental Reading, RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques for Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties, and RDGED 706 Assessment & Evaluation)

  2. Caldwell, J. S., & Lesley, L. (2011). Qualitative reading inventory. 5th edition. New York: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0-13-701923-6 Includes the QRI Qualitative Reading Inventory CD. The CD will be used during course activities. 
    (Also used in RDGED 706 Assessment and Evaluation).

  3. 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 from Pearson or new and used from amazon.com. (This book is also used in RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques for Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties and RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties.)

  4. Fox, Barbara. (2012). Word identification strategies: building phonics into a classroom reading program, 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780132611282.
    (Also used in RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques)

  5. National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) booklet: Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read. 
    (Also used in RDGED 701 Developmental Reading and RDGED 705 Assessment and Evaluation). Free download 56 pg. booklet color PDF (1.25 MB)

  6. Shea, M. (2006). Where's the glitch? How to use running records with older readers, Grades 5-8. Book and CD. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann ISBN 13:978-0-325-00849-3.
    (Also used in RDGED 706 Assessment & Evaluation.) 

An e-textbook will be provided after you login to the course. You will access the e-textbook 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. It 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 bookstore such as amazon.com  Be sure to allow for delivery time, and note the ISBN number and 7th edition.

Additional readings will be available online within the text of each module.

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Interpret background and assessment information of an individual with reading disabilities to determine measurable learning outcomes that define what the child is able to do as a result of instruction.

  2. Evaluate and select appropriate instructional interventions for the literacy remediation based upon the assessed needs of the child.

  3. Analyze variables in performance using ongoing assessments to modify instruction and meet the needs of the child.

  4. Formulate a clear, concise and accurate report of assessment results delineating proficiencies and difficulties, reading, writing, and spelling developmental levels, measurable results of instruction in attaining learning outcomes and recommendations of research-based instructional strategies for use at school and in the home to strengthen the child's literacy.

Alignment with State and National Reading Standards

This class will help participants meet the International Reading Association's Standards for Reading Professionals and the Content Guidelines for Reading Teachers State of Wisconsin - DPI (p. 180)

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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 enrolled in the reading certification program with a desire to strengthen my knowledge base in the areas of developmental reading. In doing so, I made myself a better teacher and a better teaching partner. 


I wanted to open the possibilities of what my teaching role could be by adding a reading license to my special education license. With both licenses, I can provide enhanced support to more students. "
~ Sandra Buxton, Special Education Teacher, Verona, Wisconsin

Contact Us

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



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