EDRD 429 Reading in the Secondary School

EDRD 429 IS Sec 3, University of Mississippi
[See UM Catalog for Description]

3 credit hours

Instructor Information:

Dr. Nancy E. Douglas

Instructor name:
Dr. Diane Lawrence Lowry

Clinical Assistant Professor of Special Education, Dr. Lowry received her doctorate degree from the University of Mississippi.

She holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus in reading. Dr. Lowry holds a M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Alabama Birmingham and an undergraduate degree in Communicative Disorders. She has thirty years of teaching experience in the field of special education. Her collegiate experience includes teaching undergraduate and graduate courses as well as serving as the special education coordinator. She has taught students with mild/moderate disabilities and supervised special education teachers in suburban and urban public schools for sixteen years. Her research focuses on reading, formative assessment and effective teaching practices for students with mild/moderate disabilities. She has written several articles, presented at national and state conferences, and served on grant-writing teams for national and local grants. She was awarded the Outstanding Teacher 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

This course aims to help teachers make content literacy an ongoing part of their instructional routines. Attention is given to instructional practices and strategies that can support and motivate learners, including struggling readers and diverse learners and to help students think and learn with text-both print and digital.

It features two major sections:

  • Part I on literacy and learning in today's classrooms examines contemporary issues that impact content literacy: the standards movement, the balance between content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge, struggling readers, and cultural and linguistic diversity, and more.
  • Part II about instructional practices and strategies looks at how teachers can create effective learning environments for literacy learning in content area classrooms.
Throughout the course, students will explore ideas such as strategic learning, collaborative and cooperative grouping practices, the role that prior knowledge plays in comprehension and learning, learning with literature and technology, talking about texts, writing to learn, and instructional scaffolding before, during, and after reading. The role of literacy coaches in supporting content literacy learning is also examined.

Textbook Information:

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

Course Objectives:

Objectives include (but are not limited to): 

  • understand how the structure of the text will assist you in motivating, engaging, and teaching 21st century students
  • identify and integrate multiple forms of literacies into your teaching  
  • understand how standards-based teaching and high-stakes testing impacts teaching
  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit before reading comprehension strategies
  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit during reading comprehension strategies
  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit after reading comprehension strategies as well as how to identify supports for teaching reading comprehension strategies
  • understand how to help your students comprehend text using explicit vocabulary instruction, context clues, and incidental vocabulary learning
  • understand how to use flexible grouping, multiple texts, and reading strategies to help their students navigate and comprehend textbooks
  • understand how to prepare to teach English learners strategies for comprehension and vocabulary in the content areas
  • understand how writing can increase comprehension in the content areas
  • understand how to integrate technology into content area lessons
  • understand how to engage students by using inquiry-based learning 
  • understand how to engage students by using creative models of representation
  • understand the types and importance of assessment and evaluation
  • understand the importance of becoming a lifelong learner through professional development

Course Outline:

This course consists of 12 instructional modules (or lessons) and 2 proctored examinations. Please note that the suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester is written for Fall and Spring.

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.

Lesson Reading Assignments Due for Grades Suggested Pacing Guide to complete the course in a traditional semester. *Summer session students will need to make adjustments due to the shorter time period*
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
0 Introduction Discussion board Week 1
1 Lesson 1: Literacy Matters Lesson 1 Assessment Week 1
2 Lesson 2: Learning with New Literacies  Literacy Activity and Lesson 2 Assessment Week 2
3 Lesson 3: Culturally Responsive Teaching in Diverse Classrooms Lesson 3 Assessment Week 3
4 Lesson 4: Assessing Students and Texts Literacy Activity and Lesson 4 Assessment Week 4
5 Lesson 5: Planning Instruction for Content Literacy Literacy Activity and Lesson 5 Assessment Week 5
6 Lesson 6:  Activating Prior Knowledge and Interest Lesson 6 Assessment Week 6 
Mid-Course Exam  Covers Lessons 1-6 To be scheduled
and completed
before proceeding
Week 7
MIDPOINT OF COURSE 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.
7 Lesson 7: Guiding Reading Comprehension Literacy Activity and Lesson 7 Assessment Week 8
8 Lesson 8: Developing Vocabulary and Concepts Lesson 8 Assessment Week 9
9 Lesson 9: Writing Across the Curriculum Literacy Activity and Lesson 9 Assessment Week 10
10 Lesson 10: Studying Text Literacy Activity and Lesson 10 Assessment Week 11
11 Lesson 11: Learning with Multiple Texts Lesson 11 Assessment Week 12
12 Lesson 12: Supporting Effective Teaching with Professional Development Literacy Activity and Lesson 12 Assessment Week 13
Final Exam Comprehensive exam from all chapters (ensure all work is completed and graded prior to scheduling this exam) To be scheduled
and completed
to finalize credit
Week 14


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


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.