EDRD 300 Foundations of Elementary Reading

EDRD 300 IS Sec 3, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Diane Lowry

Instructor name:
Diane Lowry, EdD, Clinical Associate Professor of Special Education, University of Mississippi

I am currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Special Education in the Department of Teacher Education at The University of Mississippi. I received my Bachelors degree in Communication Disorders; Master's Degree in Special Education; and Doctorate Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in reading instruction. I have taught special education for 30 years. I moved to Oxford from Marietta, Georgia in 2004. I have taught all grade levels and all special education service models, which includes resource, self-contained, and co-teaching. I was a supervisor in special education in Georgia. I have taught the gifted endorsement courses since 2006. I teach special education courses on the Oxford campus. I received the Outstanding Teacher Award in 2020.

Contact Information:

If you have questions concerning the content of the course, you may contact the instructor directly using the Email Your Instructor link in the Lessons or Content page. NOTE: Whenever sending email, please be sure to indicate your course title and number in the subject line. You can expect a response within 72 hours, although it may be longer on weekends. Many instructors reply within 24 hours.

For lesson or test administration issues, please

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

contact the iStudy department:

Phone: (662) 915-7313, toll-free (877) 915-7313
Fax: (662) 915-8826
E-mail: istudy@olemiss.edu

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:

Textbook information will be provided upon enrollment in your iStudy course.

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) and 2 proctored examinations.

You MUST take the syllabus quiz within 2 weeks of enrolling or you will be dropped from the course. NOTE: you must pass the Syllabus and Orientation Quiz for the course materials to appear on the Lessons page.


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 1

Week 1


Chapter 1: The Nature of Literacy

Quiz 1, Literary Activity 2

Week 1


Chapter 2: Teaching All Students

Quiz 2

Week 2


Chapter 3: Assessing for Learning

Quiz 3, Literary Activity 3

Week 3


Chapter 4: Fostering Emergent/Early Literacy

Quiz 4, Literary Activity 4

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 5

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 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 information.


Chapter 8: Comprehension: Text Structures and Teaching Procedures

Quiz 8, Literacy Activity 6

Week 9


Chapter 9: Reading and Writing in the Content Areas

Quiz 9, Literary Activity 7

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 8

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


You must submit the lessons required to take the course exam(s). Lessons required but not submitted will receive a grade of zero. For the final exam, all coursework must be submitted and graded.