Teaching As Principled Practice

Education 350: Reading in the Content Areas
Spring 2007 - most Tuesdays 1:30-2:20 or 1:30-3:20, Vickner 304
Carolyn O'Grady
Mattson 111
Office, email: 933-6148, cogrady@gac.edu
Office hours: by appointment
Required Texts
• Billmeyer & Barton: Teaching Reading in the Content Areas
Tankersley, Karen: Literacy Strategies for Grades 4-12
• Reiss, Teaching Content to English Language Learners
• Readings on Moodle

EDU 350 is a study of methods for developing content literacy strategies, or the ability to use reading and writing, for the acquisition of new content in a given discipline. It is taken concurrently as part of the secondary methods block with EDU 351 and EDU 368. Some assignments for these classes will overlap or complement each other.

Assignments & Evaluation
Read the Conceptual Framework as embedded in this course.
Read here how course activities and assignments are integrated with the Minnesota Standards of Effective Practice.

"My response to [my parents’] appreciation of the written word was to read a grand total of one book from cover to cover during my entire four years of high school, opting rather to invent titles for book reports, as well as stories to go with them, and choosing the names of the authors from the pages of the Boise telephone directory."
-Chris Crutcher, author of several books for young adults

"When I decided to learn how to read, the other prisoners thought it was a joke. 'You're a coward,' they said. 'You're nothin.' Because books get you nowhere. Books are stupid. Sissies read books. You couldn't do nothin' with a book. You couldn't fix a '57 Chevy with a book. You couldn't take money from some hustler with a book. You couldn't convince or persuade anybody with a book.' And then I learned that books were my great enemy, because they contained the lies that my grandparents had been lazy Mexicans and that I was no good. But I kept going, and words caught me up in the most fierce typhoon I've ever been in and have never exited from - ever."
-Jimmy Santiago Baca, Chicano poet

"In my twenty years of working with at-risk adolescents I have yet to meet one who said to me, 'Mrs. Mueller, I like not being able to read. I like being unsuccessful in school.'"
-from Lifers: Learning from at-risk adolescent readers by Pamela N. Mueller

Course Overview
The first quote from Chris Crutcher shows a creative teenager who is adept at avoiding dislikable reading and writing tasks in school. As teachers, we hope our students will read the texts we assign. But what if they don’t? What if they can’t, as Jimmy Baca couldn't until he was an adult, or as Pamela Mueller found out in her work with teenagers? The assumption is that by grade 6, students know how to read. If only that were the case. As teachers of English, math, science, health, music, physical education, social studies or art, we are our students’ reading and writing teachers. Consequently, all of us share the responsibility of teaching our students to read and write well.

One of the assumptions I make in designing this course is that our experience with our own literacy development shapes our attitudes to our students’ literacy skills. If we ourselves don’t like to read or write - or don’t feel we’re very good at it - what message do we send to our students? Throughout this semester we will explore the following essential questions about literacy that teachers ask:

• What does it mean to be literate?
• How do I help students become readers?
• How do I help students become writers?
• What is the connection between literacy and learning in a subject area?
• How do I learn to be a teacher of reading and writing in my content area?

Course Schedule
This is a .25 course taught as part of the secondary methods block along with EDU 351: Secondary Methods and Materials, and EDU 368: Practicum. The integration of these courses will enable you to include literacy strategies in the unit and lesson plans you will develop in Methods.

Course Goals

Honesty Policy
Gustavus now has an Honor Code. Please review it. In addition, you are expected to comply with the Standards of Professional Conduct required of all licensed Minnesota teachers. Ethical behavior is imperative for teachers. Plagiarism on any assignment for this class will be reported to the Dean of Students office and will result in an F for this course. If you are unclear about what plagiarism is, or about how to document your sources, please visit this helpful website on how to avoid it.

Attendance Policy
If you must miss class, you are responsible on your own for talking with a classmate to learn that day’s information. Please note that absence from class violates our Standards of Professional Conduct, and that if you miss more than two classes I reserve the right to lower your course grade by a full letter. If you have a medical condition which necessitates frequent absences, please speak with me immediately.

Late Work Policy
All assignments are expected in class on the day they are due.

Requirements and Evaluation
Mid-term grades for this course will be S or U; the middle of the semester is too early to assign a letter grade to your work for this class. If you have any questions about your progress in the course, please talk to me at any time.

Student Accountability
You are expected to:
(Click on the link below for complete assignment.)
Complete all required readings and assignments by the due dates listed in the schedule. You are responsible for the content of course readings even if they are not specifically discussed in class.
Take notes during class to increase your understanding and as reference for future use. While taking notes may seem obvious, I have found that many students do not take class notes during a discussion based class. You won't remember evrything you learn in class unless you write down what is discussed.
Complete a number of writing assignments and a web resource analysis.
 2, 3,4,6, 9
Do a Reading Apprenticeship session with a partner.
 2, 3,6
Write a Belief and Practice Position Paper
Develop lesson plan(s) with embedded reading strategies.
This task will be done while you are working on your unit/lesson plans in Secondary Methods.

Standards of Professional Conduct

This statement serves to provide a definition for professionalism. These are the professional standards which we expect students in our program to meet, and which all teachers in the state of Minnesota must meet.

Teacher education students and professional educators:

In relationships:
(1) Consider and utilize suggestions and reflective feedback
(2) Demonstrate respect for others and their points of view
(3) Contribute to group work and performance
(4) Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to the needs of others.
(5) Form and maintain appropriate relationships in field experiences.
(6) Take responsibility for the safety and welfare of students

In regard to personal responsibility:
(7) Take responsibility for their acts
(8) Seek help when needed
(9) Generate and act on goals and plans
(10) Consider and use suggestions and reflective feedback
(11) Demonstrate academic integrity
(12) Demonstrate personal integrity
(13) Maintain a drug-free and alcohol-free work environment
(14) Approach problem-solving focusing on what is best for children and youth

In the classroom or work setting:
(15) Strive for quality and completeness
(16) Manage time well
(17) Arrive on time and ready to learn/work
(18) Generate and turn in work on time
(19) Manage resources and materials appropriately