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The University of Mississippi Online

EDRD 300, Foundations of Elementary Reading, v3

University of Mississippi
Department of Teacher Education
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Nancy Douglas

Instructor: Dr. Nancy Douglas

Dr. Douglas is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education at The University of Mississippi.

She received her Bachelors degree in Secondary Mathematics and Special Education; Masters degree in Special Education; and Doctorate degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in reading instruction, all from The University of Mississippi. On campus she teaches courses in reading and special education.

Contact Information:

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The University of Mississippi
Division of Outreach and Continuing Education
P. O. Box 1848
University, MS 38677

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826

Course Description


EDRD 300 offers three (3) hours of undergraduate credit. The primary purpose of this course is to acquaint the student with basic concepts related to teaching reading in grades K-8. Emphasis will be directed to understanding how children learn to read and the concept of emergent literacy. The major approaches and techniques for reading and writing instruction that research and practice have proven successful will be presented with special attention to the importance of the reading-writing connection. Attention will be given to phonics instruction, context clues, syllabic analysis, and vocabulary development. The process of comprehending as well as strategies for the effective development of comprehension will be covered. Other topics related to reading instruction such as reading and writing in the content areas, experiencing literature, and diversity in the literacy classroom will also be included.


Reading and writing are assumed to be the most critical of the fundamental skills that children learn, therefore, the importance of effective instruction for these literacy skills cannot be over emphasized. Children must learn to read in order to function in and be able to contribute to society. However, despite the general agreement concerning the values of reading and writing, there is still inconclusive evidence concerning the best way to teach children how to read. Because children differ greatly in their backgrounds, needs, and interests, a variety of teaching techniques and materials must be used. Based on research and what most reading authorities recommend, this course offers an explanation of the most commonly used approaches and techniques and recommends that teachers discover a combination approach that fits their teaching situation, particularly the needs of the students involved. Whether reading or writing is being encouraged, emphasis must be on making students the center of instruction.


Textbook Information:


Gunning, Thomas G. Creating Literacy Instruction for all Students. Eighth edition, 2013 Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN 9780132900959

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online retailers such as,, or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices. Use the ISBN number to make sure you're ordering the exact book required in this syllabus.

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to):


Have knowledge of the foundation of reading and writing processes (INTASC 1, 3, 4, 6, 7) (IRA 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 4.1, 4.3).


Use a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction (INTASC 2, 3, 5, 7) (IRA 1.2, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 4.2)


Use a variety of assessment tools and practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials to support a reading and writing instruction (INTASC 2, 3, 8) (IRA 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4)


Create and engage students in literacy practices that develop awareness, understanding, respect, and a valuing of differences in our society (INTASC 2, 3, 5, 7, 10) (IRA 1.3, 2.2, 4.2, 5.2)


Create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing (INTASC 3. 4. 6) (IRA 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 4.4)

Course Outline:

This course consists of 12 instructional modules (or lessons).

Lessons & Exams

Reading Assignments

Due for Grades

Lesson Zero

Literary Activity

Literary Activity

Lesson One

Chapter 1: The Nature of Literacy and Today’s Students

Quiz 1, Literary Activity

Lesson Two

Chapter 2: Evaluation

Quiz 2

Lesson Three

Chapter 3: Fostering Emergent/Early Literacy

Quiz 3, Literary Activity

Lesson Four

Chapter 4: Teaching Phonics, High-Frequency Words, and Syllabic Analysis

Quiz 4, Literary Activity

Lesson Five

Chapter 5: Building Vocabulary

Quiz 5

Lesson Six

Chapter 6: Comprehension: Theory and Strategies

Quiz 6, Literary Activity

Lesson Seven

Chapter 7: Comprehension: Teaching Procedures

Quiz 7

Mid Course Exam

Covers material from lessons 1-7

To be scheduled and completed before proceeding

Lesson Eight

Chapter 8: Reading and Writing in the Content Areas

Quiz 8, Literary Activity

Lesson Nine

Chapter 9: Experiencing Literature

Quiz 9, Literary Activity

Lesson Ten

Chapter 10: Approaches to Teaching Reading

Quiz 10

Lesson Eleven

Chapter 11: The Reading/Writing Connection

Quiz 11

Lesson Twelve

Chapter 12: Diversity in the Literacy Classroom

Quiz 12, Literary Activity

Lesson Thirteen

Chapter 13: Creating and Managing a Literacy Program

Quiz 13

Final Exam

Covers material from lessons 8-13

To be scheduled and completed to finalize credit


90 - 100% = A
80 - 89% = B
70 - 79% = C
60 - 69% = D
Below 59% = F

Grading Information
Each student's final course-grade shall be comprised of:

Lesson Assignments = 33%, consisting of: 13 Lesson Assignments (100 points each) and 8 Literary Assignments (5 points each)

1 Midcourse Test @ 33% = 33%

1 Final (non-comprehensive) @ 34% = 34%

TOTAL = 100%

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