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University of St. Francis logo · College of Education · Regional Educational Academy for Leadership

Exploration of Literacy Strategies and Materials for Student Achievement
REND and MSED-643

  • Template 2015
  • Section TMPL
  • 3 Credits
  • 07/22/2015 to 07/22/2115
  • Modified 07/19/2020

Mission Statement

As a Catholic university rooted in the liberal arts, we are a welcoming community of learners challenged by Franciscan values and charism, engaged in a continuous pursuit of knowledge, faith, wisdom, and justice, and ever mindful of a tradition that emphasizes reverence for creation, compassion and peacemaking. We strive for academic excellence in all programs, preparing women and men to contribute to the world through service and leadership. 


Explores research-based exemplary strategies, standards and materials that are grade appropriate and tailed for specific literacy needs and components.  Selection, implementation and reflection of classroom based strategies and materials connected to English Language Arts Common Core Based on collected data is emphasized.


College of Education Mission

The mission of the College of Education is to prepare competent and caring educators who understand students, serve the community and develop professionally to become ethical decision-makers and leaders.

Understanding Students

Candidates will examine many materials, techniques, and programs and be able to align them appropriately to serve the special need of all students. A deep understanding of the varied literacy needs of students is considered at the classroom teacher level.

Serving the Community

Candidates will explore the many community agencies and school based support structures developed for students with literacy needs. Communicating reading weaknesses to other teachers and parents will also be emphasized.

Finding Our Professional Selves

Candidates will develop a thorough understanding of the techniques and materials available to teach students to read. Additionally, they will
develop professionally as they learn to advocate for students with special needs by developing specific plans of instruction based on needs of individual students.


Access to standards referenced in this section can be found HERE

1. Use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum ( IRA Standard 2.1; NBPTS 2)

  • 1a.Explain how reading and writing relates to content area as well as local, state, national and professional standards
  • 1b. Evaluate the curriculum to ensure that instructional goals and objectives are met
  • 1c.Integrate students prior knowledge, world experiences and interests into the curriculum

2. Use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections (IRA Standard 2.2; NBPTS 1,2)

  • 2a.Align instructional strategies according to evidence-based rationale, student needs, and purposes for instruction
  • 2b. Select, implement and evaluate various instructional strategies
  • 2c. Implement instruction in the core components of literacy by incorporating traditional print, digital and online resources as tools to enhance student learning

3. Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital and online resources. (IRA Standard 2.3; NBPTS 2)

  • 3a.Demonstrate knowledge about various materials and their uses
  • 3b. Research and review materials that are grade appropriate for literacy instruction


Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Hattie, J. (2016). Visible Learning For Literacy Grades K-12 Implementing Practices that Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Literacy.

Serravallo, J. (2015) The Reading Strategies Book Your Everything Guide to Developing Skilled Readers Publisher Heinemann


Professional Discourse, Participation and Reflection
Candidates will respond to weekly discussion and reflection prompts.

  • Course outcomes 1,2,3
  • Standards IRA 2.1, 2.2, 2.3; NBPTS 1,2

Materials Review
Candidates will select and review a professional literacy related website, intervention program and text.

  • Course Outcomes 3
  • Standards IRA 2.3; NBPTS 2

Core Standard Lesson Sharing
Candidates will develop a lesson plan directly linked to an ELA CCSS and including research based strategy(s).

  • Course outcomes 1
  • Standards IRA 2.1; NBPTS 2

Strategy Portfolio
Candidates will collect, implement and reflect on research based literacy strategies.

  • Course outcomes 1
  • Standards IRA 2.2; NBPTS 1,2

Course Policies

Policies for the College of Education at University of St. Francis

CLICK HERE (requires active student account) for policies, including but not limited to:

  • Method of Instruction
  • Expectations of Candidates
  • Online Courses
  • Attendance Policies for Site-Based and Online Courses
  • Minimum Standards for Writing
  • Computer and Digital Information Literacy Skills

Course Evaluations | Surveys

Information gathered through course evaluations and surveys is an important part of maintaining quality and continuous improvement in courses, and it is the University’s expectation that students will thoughtfully participate in this evaluation process.

Institutional Policies

Students should use the USF portal as the first resource for guidance and support on items such as student complaints, safety, security and transportation questions, contact information for various USF departments, student support services such as counseling and academic resources. Information on these resources can be found in the For Students section of the USF portal.

A complete listing of university policies and procedures can be found in the University of St. Francis Catalog and Student Handbooks. 

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity requires that all academic work be wholly the product of an identified individual or individuals. Collaboration is only acceptable when it is explicitly acknowledged. Ethical conduct is the obligation of every member of the University community, and breaches of academic integrity constitute serious offenses. Since a lack of integrity hinders the student’s academic development, it cannot be tolerated under any circumstances. Violations include but are not limited to: cheating, fabrication, facilitating academic dishonesty, plagiarism, and denying others access to information or material. See the University of St. Francis Catalog for further clarification and information on grievance procedures.

Services and Accommodations for Students with Disabilities (ADA)

The University strives to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). A student who requires special accommodations or arrangements due to a disability should contact the Office of Disability Services. This contact preferably should occur no later than the first week of classes. Early contact before the semester starts is encouraged to allow sufficient time to provide accommodations. Extra time is needed for some types of accommodations such as sign language interpreters or special text formatting. Should a need arrive after the start of a semester; the student is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible. Note that accommodations are not retroactive. Each case will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations.

USF is committed to ensuring the full participation of all students in its programs, regardless of the course format. If you have a documented disability and need a reasonable accommodation to participate in a course, complete course requirements, or benefit from the University’s programs or services, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 815-740-3631 or [email protected] . The Office of Disability Services is in the Academic Resource Center (ARC) and is located on the second floor of the LaVerne and Dorothy Brown Library in room L214. Consultations are welcome, please contact the Office of Disability Services for an appointment.

Technology Support

  1. The Department of Academic Technology (DAT) administers the learning management system Canvas. If you are experiencing any difficulty using Canvas or need technical assistance, you have several options to receive support, including:
  1. 24x7 Live Canvas Support. If you experience technical difficulties or have a question about Canvas, you can receive support 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Canvas help menu. From the help menu, select Chat with Canvas Support for a “live” text-based click-to-chat session,
  2. select Report a Problem to send an email support request, or speak to someone directly by using the toll-free number listed under the Canvas Support Hotline.

NOTE: Responses to Canvas’ email-based Report a Problem request system will go to your USF email account, NOT your personal email.

2. Online Self-Service Help Resources. A student user guide and other resources for solving issues related to Canvas can be found at LearnItNow

3. Telephone Support from DAT. You can also phone the Department of Academic Technology for personal help at (815) 740-5080 or (866) 337-1497 (toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday.

For any technical support issues that are not related to Canvas, please contact the USF Technology Support Center (TSC). You can reach them via:

Notice of Copyright

This course may contain copyrighted materials that are intended to support the learning experiences of students currently enrolled in the course. No student may retain or further disseminate any copyrighted materials, in their entirety or any portion thereof, under penalty of law.

Academic Support Services

The Academic Resource Center (ARC) located in Room L214 in the Library (815-740-5060) offers various types of academic services.  Online and distance learning students can contact ARC for appropriate resources.  ARC serves students who need tutoring in many areas of study including writing and math.  Library services include a number of online services and full text databases.  Call the Library at 815-740-5041 for additional information.  If you need academic-related resources or assistance, please contact the Academic Resource Center.

Additional Items

Course References

Allington, R. (2001). What really matters for struggling readers: Designing research-based programs (2nd ed.). New York: Longman.

Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle: New understandings about writing reading and learning (2nd ed.). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Au, K.H. (2002). Balanced literacy instruction: Addressing issues of equity. In C.M. Roller (Ed.), Comprehensive reading instruction across the grade levels: A collection of papers from the Reading Research 2001 Conference (pp.70-87). Newark, DE: International Reading Association

Blachowicz, C. L. a. F., P. (2009). Teaching vocabulary in all classrooms (4th ed.). Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall.

Blachowitz, C.L. & Ogle, D. (2001). Reading comprehension: Strategies for independent learners. New York: Guilford.

Coiro, J., Knobel, M., Lankshear, C., & Leu, D.J. (2008). Handbook of research on new literacies. Malweh, NJ: Erlbaum.

Dorn, L.J., Soffos, C., (2005). Teaching for deep comprehension: A reading workshop approach. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.

Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L.S., & Vaughn, S. (2008). Response to intervention: A framework for reading educators. Newark, DE : International Reading Association.

Harvey, S. & Goudvis, A. (2000). Strategies that work. New York: Stenhouse.

Johns, J. & Lenski, S. (2001). Improving reading: Strategies and resources. Dubuque, IA: Kendall / Hunt.

Keene, E. O., & Zimmermann, S. (1997). Mosaic of thought: Teaching comprehension in a reader’s workshop. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Pearson, P. D., & Gallagher, M. (1983). The instruction of reading comprehension. Contemporary Educational Psychology(8), 317-344.

Strickland, D. (1998). Teaching phonics today: A primer for educators. Newark, DE.: International Reading Association.

Tompkins, G. E. (1998). 50 Literacy strategies: Step by step. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill.

Yopp, H. K., & Yopp, R. H. (2001). Literature-based reading activities, (3rd ed.). New York: Allyn and Bacon.