Teaching Reading/Language Arts

Course Details

Course Number
Spring 2015
Classroom Number
John Tower Elementary
Days & Times


M & W 8:00 – 11:50   


Leann Curry (view Profile)

Course Attachments


Course Objectives


Course Objectives based upon the State Standards:

The goals of the Reading Block are based on the Frameworks for Teaching by Charlotte Danielson (handout); the Standards for English Language Arts & Reading developed by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the International Reading Association (IRA) (; and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) (


Standards/ Objectives:

4.0   Pedagogy for English Language Arts:  Candidates acquire and demonstrate the dispositions and skills needed to integrate knowledge of English language arts, students, and teaching.  As a result, candidates will:

·        describe how children learn and the implications for teaching the language arts.

·        prepare and use a variety of instructional techniques, materials and resources (including technology) for the integrated teaching of the language arts/content areas.

·        design a literacy environment that promotes students’ learning and self-esteem.

·        plan and organize an integrated thematic unit for presenting in a public school classroom.

·        explain informal and formal assessments used in language arts classrooms.

·        plan strategies for teaching reading and language arts to speakers of other languages.

·        plan strategies for use in each of five approaches to teaching the language arts:  Literature Focus Units; Literature Circles; Reading & Writing Workshop; Theme Cycles; and the Four Block Plan.


Human Diversity Standards


2. To learn to apply concern for diversity to the learning process


6. To ensure responsiveness to diverse sociological, linguistic, cultural and other factors that may affect students’ development and learning




Dispositions:  Reading/Language Arts students are expected to demonstrate the performances essential for meeting the reading/language arts needs of all students.

Reading/Language Arts education professionals:


are committed to using research-based instruction.


 are committed to assessing learner needs to plan appropriate instruction.


are aware that the best assessments are conducted over time and compare the child’s past and present abilities.


display positive dispositions related to the teaching of the language arts.


value students’ interests, reading abilities, and backgrounds as foundations for the reading/language arts program.


help parents find ways to support learning begun at school in enjoyable ways.


WCoE Conceptual Framework

The outcomes for graduates of professional programs are based upon knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the following elements:


  • Learner Development - understand how learners grow and develop, recognizing

that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and design and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.


  • Learning Differences -understand individual differences and diverse cultures

and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.


  • Learning Environment - work with others to create environments that support

individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.


  • Content Knowledge - understand the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and

structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.


  • Application of Content - understand how to connect concepts and use differing

perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.


  • Assessment - understand and use multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher’s and learner’s decision making.


  • Planning for Instruction - plan instruction that supports every student in meeting

rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.


  • Instructional Strategies - understand and use a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.


  • Professional Learning and Ethical Practice - engage in ongoing professional learning

and use evidence to continually evaluate his or her practice, particularly the effects of his or her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.


  • Leadership and Collaboration - seek appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues,

other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.


Course Expectations



1.       Unit-Stage 1/Preplanning (Total Points--4) --

·        Rationale for Topic

·        Overall Objectives (goals)/Outcomes for Unit

1.        List the overall learning objectives/outcomes (not the activities) that will guide the planning, delivery and assessment of your unit. The goals should be significant (reflect the big ideas or structure of the discipline) challenging, varied and appropriate. Number or code each learning goal so you can reference it later.

·        Rationale for Overall Unit Objectives (goals)/Outcomes for the Unit

1.        Show how the overall objectives (goals)/outcomes are aligned with local, state, or national standards (identify the source of the standards).

2.        Describe the types and levels of your overall learning objectives (goals) /outcomes (e.g. Bloom’s Taxonomy & Multiple Intelligences).

3.        Discuss why your overall learning objectives (goals)/outcomes are appropriate in terms of development; pre-requisite knowledge, skills; and other student needs.


2.       Unit-Stage 2/Preplanning (Total Points—12) --

·        Introduction of Unit (How will you introduce the unit to your pupils?)

1.         Supports main goals for the unit.

2.         Creates interest and motivation for the unit.


·        Semantic Web of possible lessons/activities (Microsoft Word – Drawing) (Show the six language arts areas; technology; and the content areas)

1.        Computer used to design web

2.        Possible lesson ideas included for six language arts areas; technology; and the content areas are included

3.        Lesson ideas are aligned to specific unit goals and support student learning. Each lesson idea should be clearly marked with the corresponding unit goal number or code (see Web Ct example).

4.        A minimum of 5 lesson ideas are included for each area (e.g. language arts, technology, content areas).


3.       Assessment Plan (Total Points—10) --

·        Design an assessment plan to monitor student progress toward overall learning goals. Use multiple assessment modes and approaches aligned with overall learning goals to assess student learning before, during, and after instruction. These assessments should authentically measure student learning and may include performance-based tasks, paper-and pencil tasks, or personal communication (for a full list of assessments see lesson plan form). Describe why your assessments are appropriate for measuring learning.

o        Each assessment plan should include the following (see handout):

1.        An overview of the assessment plan (e.g. chart/table)

2.        A description of the pre- and post assessments that are aligned with your learning goals

3.        A plan for formative assessment that will help you determine student progress during the unit

4.        Multiple assessment modes and approaches used to assess students

before, during, and after instruction

5.        Description/rationale explaining why assessments are appropriate

4.       Design for Instruction (see handout)

·        Lesson Plans— (Total Points---20) ---

1.       Create Lesson Plans for four lessons related to the thematic unit (use the lesson plan form on Web Ct):  Lessons must not be duplicates of lessons in the Developmental Reading portfolio. Each lesson should be clearly marked with the aligned overall unit goal number or code.

o        writing process lesson

o        listening lesson (identify the purpose)

o        speaking lesson (identify the purpose)

o        vocabulary  lesson

·        Learning Center—(Total Points---5) ---

1.        Complete description of the learning center and plans for four center activities (e.g. location, name, brief description of set-up, objectives for the overall center, materials needed, recording chart and rules) (Use form on Web Ct)

o        Description of four activities should include: objectives, procedure, and evaluation (Activities are relevant and support the goals of the unit. Each activity should be clearly marked with the corresponding unit goal number or code.)

5.       Additional Unit Requirements-(Total Points---9)-

  • Diversity in the Classroom

Answer the following questions as they relate to your unit and future classroom:

  1. How will you accommodate/support students with general delays in cognitive, social, and linguistic functioning? Explain how you will adapt instruction for your unit, plan the classroom environment/routines, and structure parent communications. Be specific.


  1. How will you accommodate/support students with physical and sensory challenges? Explain how you will adapt instruction for your unit, plan the classroom environment/routines, and structure parent communications. Be specific.


  1. How will you meet the needs of ESL students and their families? Explain how you will adapt instruction for your unit, plan the classroom environment/routines, demonstrate respect for their culture, and structure parent communications. Be specific.

·        Culminating activity--- (How will you close the unit with your students?)

·        Bibliography---List of theme related tradebooks and other resources (APA style)

·        Professional Notebook/Neat/Attractive (e.g. three-ring binder with tabs, table of contents included, etc…)

·        The entire unit should also be submitted to TK20 by announced due date (see course outline).

  1. Language Model (1 point off for each grammatical and spelling error)


Total Points: 60


Grading Standards


Grading Procedures:


Examinations (40%):  Forty percent of the intern’s final grade will be determined by performance on tests which will cover material covered in class and material in the required text. 


Thematic Unit (60%):  Sixty percent of the intern’s final grade will be determined by the preparation and organization of the thematic unit. 



Final Exam

05/13/2015 10:00am

Submission Format Policy


Thematic Unit: The intern will plan and organize an integrated thematic unit with lessons (including technology integration); activities for learning centers, diversity in the classroom assignment, and related children’s literature.  TEKS are to be included for each lesson.  THERE SHOULD BE NO SPELLING OR GRAMMATICAL ERRORS IN THE THEMATIC UNIT!!!  One point will be taken off for every misspelled word and every grammatical error in the thematic unit.  Specific instructions for the thematic unit will be posted on Web Ct.  Please turn in a hard copy and submit an electronic copy via TK20. Dr. Capps will explain TK20 at a later date.

There will be other in-class assignments as dictated by the course.


Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy


Assignments must be submitted on time to receive full credit. All assignments must be turned in no later than one week past the deadline. Points will be deducted for late assignments. Assignments turned in more than two weeks after the deadline will not be accepted.

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance Policy:


The majority of the class activities will be interactive in nature and difficult to “make up” if you are absent.  Be on time and don’t leave early.  Students, who arrive after class has started or leave before it ends, will be counted absent.  Class attendance and promptness to class are crucial to successful completion of this course.  Points will be deducted for each absence as follows:  1 absence = -2 points from final grade; 2 absences = an additional 3 points from final grade; 3 absences = an additional 5 points from final grade; 4 absences = dropped from the class.  For example, if you have two absences, five points will be deducted from your final grade.  Professional teachers are dependable, reliable, and responsible. Therefore, candidates are expected to be on time and in attendance at every class, and to stay for the entire class. Tardiness, leaving early, and excessive absences (3) are considered evidence of lack of dependability, and are taken seriously. Candidates will receive a grade of F on the third absence. If a candidate is taking ‘blocked’ courses that are taught at a Professional Development School, requiring field experience, the candidate will be dropped with an F from those classes as well.

Other Policies

Class Activities/Participation:  Although the course requires a thorough understanding of the readings and assignments, participation in class discussions/activities will provide the basis for learning and assessment.  Attendance is very important.  See attendance policy for points deducted for absences from class.


Classroom Policies

Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment which is conducive to learning.  In order to assure that all students have the opportunity to gain from time spent in class, unless otherwise approved by the instructor, students are prohibited from engaging in any form of distraction—this includes, but is not limited to, pagers and cell phones. Electronic communications devices will be turned off anytime the class member is in the school building—in our classroom or in a field experience classroom. Inappropriate behavior in the classroom shall result, minimally, in a request to leave class and a Professional Fitness Form will be filed for review with the college. If the instructor must file a Fitness Alert Form for any reason, including failure to demonstrate appropriate teaching dispositions, the student may receive an instructor drop with an "F" for the course.


Your participation in classes at a Professional Development School is a privilege, not a right. Our relationship with these schools is critical to the development of strong teachers. If, for ANY reason, you are asked to leave a Professional Development School, you will be dropped from the course in accordance with the Instructor Drop policy (see below) of the academic catalog. This is your warning as required by the policy. If a candidate is taking ‘blocked’ courses that are taught at a Professional Development School, requiring field experience, the candidate will be dropped with an F from those classes as well.


Instructor Drop. An instructor may drop a student any time during the semester for excessive absences, for consistently failing to meet class assignments, for an indifferent attitude, or for disruptive conduct. The instructor must give the student a verbal or written warning prior to dropping the student from the class. An instructor’s drop of a student takes precedence over the student-initiated course drop of a later date. The instructor will assign a grade of either WF or F through the first 8 weeks of a long semester, the first 6 weeks of a 10 week summer term, or the 11th class day of a 4 or 5 week summer term consisting of 20 days. After these periods the grade will be an F. The date the instructor drop form is received in the Office of the Registrar is the official drop date.


Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at