Reading (RDG)

RDG 523:  Reading Proficiency for All Student s Including Those with Dyslexia    (3 credits)  

This comprehensive 45-hour instituteis held virtually, and consists of 18.5 hours of live, synchronous online instruction and 26.5 hours of asynchronous online instruction. The course is designed to support district level teams as they embark on a planning process for developing, expanding and/or revising their Multi-Tiered System of Support for early literacy (K-2). The course provides participants with the critical elements for ensuring their MTSS model supports diverse, equitable, inclusive, and evidence-based practices that improve the reading outcomes of all students. At the conclusion of the course, teams will have developed a literacy action plan that highlights areas of success and prioritizes areas for adjustment. The course is organized into eight modules that are offered during out-of-school hours. All workshops will be provided in a virtual format through Zoom. Workshop content will include best practices for adult learning including media presentations, and break-out activities and discussions. Each module contains an opportunity to apply learning and receive high-quality feedback from instructors.

RDG 525:  Multimodal Structured Approach to Teaching Language and Literacy    (3 credits)  

This course introduces students to the constructs of language and literacy. Students examine seminal and current research on the science of reading in teaching children with challenges in learning to read, English Learners, students with Hyperlexia, and students with Dyslexia. Students explore evidence-tested multimodal strategies that support all learners in the acquisition and further development of literacy (e.g., content, discipline, and media). The primary focus is to engage in deliberate practice activities of the evidence-based structured approach to language and literacy instruction. Students consolidate their learning by examining the Massachusetts Tiered System of Support (MTSS), assessment practices, and develop tiered enrichment and intervention instructional support plans. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 527:  Orton-Gillingham Pre-Practicum    (0 credits)  

The Orton-Gillingham Pre-Practicum will include an overview of Orton-Gillingham Part l and Part ll, guidelines for selecting a student, Orton Gillingham strategies and skills and how to apply for Orton-Gillingham Associate Level Certification.

RDG 528:  Orton-Gillingham Part I    (4 credits)  

The Orton-Gillingham approach is diagnostic, prescriptive, multimodal, structured, yet flexible. All aspects of the Orton-Gillingham Academy Associate Level Curriculum will be covered over two semesters with coursework and a 100 hour practicum which includes 10 observations. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

Corequisite: RDG 527  
RDG 529:  Orton-Gillingham Part II    (4 credits)  

This course is a continuation of the Orton-Gillingham Academy Associate Level Curriculum coursework and a practicum. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

Prerequisite: RDG 528  
RDG 530:  Reading Research    (3 credits)  

Through readings, viewings, and writing assignments, students will work individually and collaboratively to critically review the impact of seminal reading research and analyze selective current scientific studies on reading. Students will study defining characteristics of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research designs and explore types and purposes of longitudinal, meta-analyses, and clinical studies. This course of study will afford students the opportunity to examine the quality of a research study, ethics involved in human subject research, the role of internal review boards, and issues surrounding equity and bias. In addition, the action research component is designed to provide guidelines and deliberate practice in building capacity in framing a research problem, conducting a literature review, establishing methodology, and a data collection protocol at the proposal level in bridging the gap between science and practice as professionals who serve all learners from PreK-12. This course will provide a definition of scientific research and a review of reading research. The focus will be on the importance of using research to guide evidence-based instructional practice in literacy, define scientific research, examine three types of research studies (longitudinal research, meta-analysis, and clinical trials), and present guidelines for evaluating the quality of particular research studies. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 532:  Methods and Strategies for Comp of Narrative and Non-Fiction Text    (3 credits)  

Focused on the current research-based strategies and programs for teaching vocabulary and comprehension of both narrative and informational text, participants will identify and engage in instructional methods to support all learners to read with understanding. A curriculum to teach narrative text structure and non-fiction text structure will be presented in full. Strategies such as Reciprocal Teaching and the Question-Answer-Relationship will be explored. Participants will become fluent in planning lessons that elicit active participation, time on task, and learning and retention. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 534:  Reading and Writing Assessment    (3 credits)  

This course examines the range of principles, audiences, and purposes of literacy assessment (i.e., screening, progress monitoring, diagnostic, and outcome measurement). It provides introductory orientation in the laws, ethics, and professional standards for administration, scoring, interpretation (statistical and non-statistical), and reporting that impacts evidence based instructional decisions. Students explore the differences among Curriculum-Based Measures (CBMs), criterion referenced, norm referenced assessment and technical considerations against bias. Students examine the distinctions between formative, summative, and diagnostic standardized assessments. Students investigate selective diagnostic tests used by psychologists, speech-language professionals, and educational evaluators. Areas of deliberate practice of informal diagnostic measurement include oral language, phonological processing, phonemic awareness, concepts of print, alphabetic principle/phonics, spelling, fluency, vocabulary, morphology, comprehension, metacognition, and writing. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 536:  Literacy and the Change Process District: School Action Planning    (3 credits)  

The focus of this course is on facilitating a needs assessment and developing a literacy action plan for a district or school. Strategic planning governs where the district or school is going over an extended period of time. A strategic plan includes examining the current state of literacy as well as determining the gaps and redundancies in existing literacy initiatives. There is emerging research about the common characteristics of districts and schools that successfully mobilize to improve student achievement. A district/school action plan provides a roadmap that articulates literacy improvement objectives and describes steps to achieve them. The roadmap includes priority goals and action steps for the following practices: This course will introduce and guide students through the needs assessment and strategic planning process. Students will use various tools to conduct a needs assessment, analyze survey data, and use multiple data points to develop a strategic plan. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 538:  Language Disorders and Literacy    (3 credits)  

Explores the components of typical and atypical language development. Instruction will focus on the different aspects of language, including phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. In addition, time will be spent on exploring the behavioral manifestations associated with language disorders and the influence on academic performance, including written language skills and the relationship to reading/writing instruction. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 543:  Approaches and Practices for Writing Instruction and Assessment    (3 credits)  

Focused on the current research- based writing strategies and programs, participants will identify and engage in instructional methods for supporting struggling writers at the sentence level as well as the paragraph level. Exposure to the sentence combining strategies, the use of graphic organizers, the role of assessment and the integration of arts will be explored as ways to increase and support writing outcomes for all students. A sentence structure and applied writing curriculum will be presented in full. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 547:  Structures of Language and Literacy I: Foundations for Early Lit Acquis    (3 credits)  

The ability to fluently and effortlessly read words is a hallmark trait of skilled reading. Automatic word recognition is strongly correlated with reading comprehension and forms the basis for many reading assessments used to inform instructional decisions. Despite its importance, there remains a lack of understanding among practitioners of how children learn to read and spell words and more importantly, remember the words they have actively read. This course is grounded in evidence-based and tested practices and principles designed to unpack the cognitive processes readers go through to map words to permanent memory by examining the role of phonetics, phonological and phonemic awareness, orthography, and morphology. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 548:  Structures of Language & Literacy 2 : Consolidation of Lit Acquisition    (3 credits)  

Consolidation of literacy acquisition is a complex set of skills, strategies, and cognitive processes that are collectively taught under the construct of comprehension. Focused study will include examination of fluency, direct and purposeful indirect vocabulary acquisition, semantics, syntax, coherence, grammar, text structures, text features, and constructing mental representations of knowledge. Students will discuss the impact of culture, language, poverty, metacognition, executive functioning, productive struggle, and self-regulated learning. They will engage in inclusive and differentiated deliberate practice activities and demonstrate integration of subject matter knowledge in crafting an evidence-based Portfolio of Strategy Implementation Lesson Plans that meet the diverse needs of all learner populations. This course is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 554:  Pre-Practicum    (0 credits)  

The pre-practicum meetings take place during the fall semester and are designed to prepare the practicum candidate for the practicum experience. A candidate needs to successfully complete the pre-practicum meeting in order to enroll in the reading practicum. This pre-practicum is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs).

RDG 571:  Special Topics in RDG    (3 credits)  

This is a Special Topics course.

RDG 590:  Reading Practicum    (4 credits)  

The Practicum is a post-baccalaureate field-based experience for endorsement as a Reading Specialist (Academic: Specialist Teacher, Reading Initial All Levels). The candidate’s performance is supervised and evaluated jointly by the sponsoring organization and the Supervising Practitioner. Candidates complete a 150-hour, supervised, semester-long practicum that enables them to engage in the diverse roles of a Reading Specialist. Candidates are expected to work with students individually, in small groups, and with whole classes who are at different ability levels. Candidates are expected to administer formal and informal reading, writing, and spelling assessments; analyze formal and informal test results; and communicate results with appropriate school personnel. It is further expected that assessment results will be used to plan structured literacy instruction in phonological awareness, phonemic awareness or phonics; comprehension; and writing. In addition to assessment and instruction, candidates are expected to demonstrate leadership skills as a reading specialist and literacy coach by planning and implementing targeted professional development, modeling lessons, and observing lessons at various grade levels. Candidates act as a resource for colleagues and administration by sharing instructional strategies, materials, and assessments learned in licensure coursework. Candidates also assist appropriate school personnel through consultation and collaboration for grouping options and curriculum determinations. This practicum is aligned with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Reading Specialist Subject Matter Guidelines (SMKs) and the International Dyslexia Association Standards for Teachers of Reading (KPSs). Pre-requisites include a 3.0 or higher in every course, a passing score on the MTEL for the reading specialist license, and approval of the Department. The practicum is completed in the final semester of the program.