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The University of Mississippi Online

EDRD 300, Foundations of Elementary Reading, sec 3

University of Mississippi
Department of Teacher Education
3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Diane Lowry

Instructor: Dr. Diane Lowry

Diane Lowry, EDD, Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education, University of Mississippi

Dr. Diane Lowry has more than 30 years of experience in the field of special education with a focus in the area of reading instruction.

For the last fourteen years, she has taught at the university level focused on teaching undergraduate and graduate courses. She was nominated twice for an outstanding teacher award.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Send Email link in the Communications & Tools tab. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line.

For lesson or test administration issues, please contact the iStudy department:

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

Ninth edition, 2016

Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

ISBN: 9780133917741

It is your responsibility to order your textbook. Online textbook retailers such as or usually provide used textbooks at economical prices.

Use the ISBN number to make sure you are ordering the exact book required.

Semester Midpoint Requirements:

Requirements for semester students: (Note: this does not apply to full-year students. If you are unsure of your status, the information appears in your gradebook.)

  1. Complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.
  2. Reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your orientation information. Any lesson assignment or exam needed to reach the midpoint but not completed by the midpoint deadline will receive a grade of zero.
  3. The last day to submit lessons is the last day of class per the UM RegistrarĂ­s academic calendar.
  4. The final exam must be taken by the last day of finals week.

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 13 instructional modules (or lessons).

Reading Assignments
Due for Grades
Pacing Guide
to complete the course in a traditional semester
Start Here

*You MUST complete the syllabus quiz as soon as you have access to your Blackboard course. This is mandatory to verify your attendance.*NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.

Syllabus Quiz
Week 1
Discussion board, Literary Activity
Week 1

Chapter 1: The Nature of Literacy

Quiz 1, Literary Activity
Week 1

Chapter 2: Teaching All Students

Quiz 2
Week 2

Chapter 3: Assessing for Learning

Quiz 3, Literary Activity
Week 3

Chapter 4: Fostering Emergent/Early Literacy

Quiz 4, Literary Activity
Week 4
Chapter 5: Teaching Phonics, High-Frequency Words, Fluency, and Syllabic Analysis
Quiz 5
Week 5

Chapter 6: Building Vocabulary

Quiz 6, Literacy Activity
Week 6
Chapter 7: Comprehension: Theory and Strategies
Quiz 7
Week 7
Mid Course Exam

Proctored exam covering lessons 1-7

To be scheduled and completed before proceeding
Week 8

If you are a semester student, you must reach the midpoint of your course by the date specified in your orientation information.

If you are a Flex UM student, you CANNOT WITHDRAW from this course after the lesson has been submitted.

All lesson assignments or exams needed to reach the midpoint of the course.

The exact date semester students are required to reach the midpoint is specified in your orientation information.


Chapter 8: Comprehension: Text Structures and Teaching Procedures

Quiz 8, Literacy Activity
Week 9
Chapter 9: Reading and Writing in the Content Areas
Quiz 9, Literary Activity
Week 10

Chapter 10: Reading Literature

Quiz 10
Week 11
Chapter 11: Approaches to Teaching Reading
Quiz 11
Week 12
Chapter 12: Writing and Reading
Quiz 12, Literary Activity
Week 13
Chapter 13: Creating and Managing a Literacy Program
Quiz 13
Week 14
Final Exam
Covers material from lessons 8-13
To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit
Week 15



A = 93-100
A- = 90-92
B+ = 87-89
B = 83-86
B- = 80-82
C+ = 77-79
C = 73-76
C- = 70-72
D =60-69
F = Below 60

Categories of Evaluation:

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%
1 Final (non-comprehensive) = 34%
TOTAL = 100%


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