EDU 407

Spring 19

EDU 407: Beginning Readers


Online Book Clubs

As a class we will read two books Handbook for Boys and Bucking the Sarge. We will read the books in whole group and small group settings trying out instructional routines for text-based discussion and text-based analysis. We will use learnign activites suggested by the teacher and others curated by the students.

Dr Mac will both lead and join some small group discussions. We will use the video chat platform Zoom. You will need to sign on to the platform and schedule your times. We will offer multiple video chat times to accomodate working schedules.You will be responsible for attending your group sessions.

Lesson Plan Portfolio

You will submit a collection of five lesson plans completed through the semester. Your final portfolio will contain a revised submission and a reflection on your instructional design. The lessons can be for reading or writing The lessons will include:

  • Phonics/Spelling Screencast
  • Text Structur
  • Fiction Lesson Plan
  • Poetry Lesson Plan
  • Novel lesson

If you are enrolled in field placement as the same time of this class we will alter the portfolio to ensure you observe and teach a lesson.

Informational Text Unit

You will submit a unit plan for teaching informational textx in the content area. Your unit must include lessons for reading and writing informational text. You will need to plan to measure growth of content knowledge, vocabulary, and specific skills aligned to a school curriculum of your choice. If you are in a field placement use your district curriculum

Collaborative Novel Unit

No teacher writes a curriculum alone. Units get written in small committees of teachers. We will recreate this workflow in our class. You will be randomly assigned to a group. You will have to create a unit plan for either of two books we read in class/

Analysis of Text Discussion

You will observe elementary students conducting a discussion about a text. You will watch for how the space the teacher created for text discussion leads to intellectual risk taking, growth in content knowledge, the use of literacy strategies, a culture of respect. Most importantly to the kids get really into talking about books in meaningful ways

If you are completing field experience in conjunction with this class you will do the analysis in your setting.


Module Description

Each module is broken into three tasks, read, write and participate. The modules each last one week.


You will mantain a blog for this class. Tutorials in person and live video chat help will be offered on schedule the first two weeks. Also you may stop in for Design Studio times every Wed from 12:00-1:00. This design studio time is open to all my classes and sections. You can get help on your website, a class project, your blog, or just use it as a structured work hour.

I also co-host Homebrew Website Club the 2nd and 4th Wednesday from 5:30-7:30 (subject to change with spring coaching schedule). You can drop in and get help on anything with a personal website. Many students and alumni join us in person or online.

Literacy has changed. Coming to class without a website is like showing up without a pencil.


Each module has 2-4 assigned readings. These all come from research to practice journals. I chose a mix of pieces from researchers to tips from teachers in the field. This work, due to our broken model of academia, is all copyrighted. You will need to sign on to the library to access these readings. I will also email a folder to all students enrolled at SCSU containing all of the readings.

As you complete the reading take notes however you want. However for each piece you will publish a synthesis piece. That is a post that you will send in reply to the module that contains quotes, thoughts, and reflection of each piece.

The modules will run on a weekly Wednesday to Wednesday schedule. A synthesis post must be submitted for every reading. Only those pust published on time will be counted as submitted.


Each module you will publish an analysis of the tasks that integrates the the quotes you curated and your thoughts. A prompt will usually be provided however divergent thinking, reflecting through poetry, recording a podcast, making TikTok videos all are encouraged.

Modality does not beat out message. No matter your form your function needs to reach the general expectations of college level writing. We maybe online but this on facebook. You need to tell your story and weave in new understandings from the reading or make a central claim and then provide evidence to support your position.

If you do not have a love for reading or writing you do not belong in the elementary classroom. Period. We can work with you if you need help crafting words, learning the nuances of English, or learning how to share these skills. Yet if you do not have a passion for the word please rethink your career path.

I will not give you a rubric or a word count. You need to use the exact number of words to get your point across. Not one more, and not one less. I haven't gotten here yet. Instead of turning everything into vapid subectivity masquearding as an objective scale we should see growth in your multimodal writing ability over time. Each week you will publish a new writing goal. At the end of the week you will post a reflection explaining how will you met this goal.


Each module includes a task that you must complete to demonstrate knowledge growth. Often, like the leson plans for examples, these activities scaffold the larger projects you must complete in class. If you stay on task almost every major assignment will be completed as part of the modules.

Each module will list a set of criteria necessary for mastery and provide a few examples of where we can find evidence of the criteria being met. For each particiapte task you will also post a reflection in reply to the module page linking to artifacts that prove you met the criteria with an explanation of how you evidence demonstrates mastery.