EDUO 9222: Whispering to Readers – Independent Reading Plans for the K-12 Classroom

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Course Overview

“Donalyn Miller is a dedicated teacher who says she has yet to meet a child she could not turn into a reader.” Using the authentic and practical advice in her books, teachers of all grade levels will be inspired to turn their classrooms into learning environments that treasure and promote independent reading, and their students into lifelong lovers of books. As it did for Ms. Miller’s students, this focus on reading freedom will significantly improve the literacy skills and standardized test scores for students everywhere.This course is designed with the flexibility for teachers to select one (15hrs.), two (30 hrs.), or three (45hrs.) graduate credits (units), as well as the freedom to choose from a menu of assignments the work that will be most beneficial for their specific needs and interests.

Teachers will have the opportunity to reflect on their own reading lives as well as develop student interest inventories and evaluations, explore ideas for readers’ notebooks, conference notes, book reviews and response letters. Even if you are required to follow a district or school mandated program, this course will provide you with ideas to “steal moments for independent reading” in school every day. Most importantly, this course validates the time teachers need to read and evaluate all types of books for children and young adults so they can insightfully develop and enhance their classroom libraries.

Course Objectives

To present literacy research and classroom practices that validate the importance of free choice, independent reading and its important contributions to student achievement.

To reflect and write about your own reading life, and how your experiences influence your teaching practice, and your interactions with your students as readers.

To reflect and write about best ideas for motivating students to love reading, as well as finding time every day for independent reading in school.

To provide ideas from classroom experiences on how to organize, manage, and sustain an independent reading program. Ideas include scheduling time, readers’ notebooks, conferences, book reviews, student inventories and evaluations.

To research short stories and picture books to be used as mentor texts to teach literary elements and/or reading skills.

To read and evaluate literature of all types for classroom libraries from K-12.

To create online posts for teachers to share mentor texts, book reviews and best practices for promoting independent reading.

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Kathleen Murphy

B.S., M.Ed.

Licensed in Elementary Education, ESL, Reading Specialist K-12, Special Education.

Literacy and ESL Coach and Consultant. Practicum Supervisor for new teacher candidates.

"My current educational goal is to provide quality professional development that will support teachers and enable them to improve student achievement."

My personal interests include grandchildren, reading, travel and theater.