EDS358 Reading and Writing in the Content Area

for SP 2011

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EDS 358 Reading and Writing in the Content Area


SP 2011 HO


Dr. Shannon Cuff


Assistant Professor of Literacy Education


Bachelor of Arts, Secondary Education and English
Masters in Education
Doctor of Philosophy, Literacy Education

Office Location

Watson Literacy Center, 330B

Office Hours

Monday: 1:30--4:30, Wednesday: 9:00—12:00, Thursday: 9:00—11:00

Daytime Phone




Semester Dates

January 10, 2011--May 6, 2011

Class Days


Class Time

11:35 - 12:50 PM

Credit Hours



Daniels, H. & Zemelman, S. (2004). Subjects matter: Every teacher’s guide to content area reading. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
Tovani, C. (2000). I read it, but I don’t get it. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

All Park University teacher candidates seeking certification and licensure must purchase Foliotek, the School for Education’s electronic portfolio system. As purchasing and accessing Foliotek is a multi-step process, please follow these instructions: 

1.    Decide the Contract Period and fee for which you will be paying. Minimally, you must purchase a contract which extends to the year you expect to graduate, however some students purchase a contract extending one year beyond graduation. 

 Contract Period    

 Contract Fee

Per Student (Prepaid)

Cost Breakdown

Per Student, Per Year

 1 year



 2 years



 3 years



 4 years



 5 years



6 years



2.    Send an email to Carol Williams (carol.williams@park.edu) with the following information:

1.    Your Name

2.    The Contract Period you wish to purchase

3.    Your student identification number

3.    Within a few days, you will receive from Foliotek an email with online purchasing information. Upon receipt of this email, purchase your Foliotek contract.

4.    Upon receipt of your payment, you will receive your login information. You must then send a final email to Carol Williams (carol.williams@park.edu), requesting she provide your current education professors and a academic advisor (list them) access to view your portfolio. It is imperative you complete this final step!!

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information http://www.park.edu/Current/.

Course Description:
EDS358 Reading and Writing in the Content Areas; This course will provide the secondary teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills to address the various reading, writing, and study skill levels and the literacy attitudes and motivation of secondary students. Theories, techniques, and strategies of reading, writing, vocabulary development, and study skills in the secondary content areas are studied and practiced. Connections between reading, writing, hearing, speaking, and thinking to the learning process are emphasized. Also an understanding of varying skill levels in these literacy areas will result in the ability to meet the needs of all learners. Students are expected to include literacy instruction with their content area assignments and field experiences. Prerequisite; admission to the School for Education. To be taken simultaneously with Practicum. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

Teachers are catalysts for their students' learning process and educational experiences.  My goal is to work collaboratively with my students to deepen their knowledge of literacy education and facilitate their growth as educators.  Respect for one another is critical to establishing a culture and climate where all ideas may be expressed.  We will engage in conversations that challenge us to think about how to best teach every child.  Teachers must strive to work with the whole individual and provide authentic learning opportunities in order to promote growth and academic success. 

Class Assessment:

In addition to attendance and participation (10% of grade), the following list outlines the additional requirements of this course.  The weight attached to each course component is in parentheses.
Weekly Responses (20%):  You will write weekly responses pertaining to the readings and/or respond to discussions and activities we do in class. These can be informal, but should be thoughtful. At times, I will give you a specific way I’d like you to respond, and at other times, you will choose. When I give you the opportunity to choose how you’d like to respond, I would suggest looking at the “A Bajillion Ways to Respond” handout I give you.

Reaction Papers—2 (10%):   You will write two “formal” one-page reaction papers.  I will give you the reading material that you will be writing your reaction paper on.  You will receive specific instructions for these papers in class.

Textbook Lesson (10%): You will choose a small section of a textbook you are using in a class you're taking at Park this semester that you would like to teach to two members in your class who may not be in your content area.  The goal of this lesson is to think about how we can make textbook material more engaging and relevant for our students.
Content Area Text Set (20%): You will choose an area of interest in your content area for the grade level you would like to teach and create a text set of a minimum of 15 books.  Additionally, you will write two lessons (one vocabulary and one reading) you would teach using at least two texts from your set.  You will present your set in addition to your lesson plan ideas.
Young Adult Integrated Literature Team Project (15%): If possible, you will work with peers who are not in your content area to create an integrated unit based on a young adult novel.  Your team will choose the novel, and each team member will be responsible for creating a reading lesson from his/her content area that highlights the novel in some way.  Ideally, the reading lessons should cover pre-, during, and post- reading strategies.  The type of lesson each team member chooses to write will be based on where the information fits best in the integrated unit.  You will teach the lesson you write to the class (15-20 minute maximum).

Final Project—Individual Literacy Portfolio (15%): You will investigate literacy in your content area in greater detail in addition to thinking about yourself as a content area reader and teacher of literacy.


Final grades are calculated by points only.  Each assignment will be assigned a point value.  Students will receive rubrics for each assignment before points are determined to aid them in earning the grade they desire.  Additionally, students will receive points for attendance and participation.  A student's grade will be lowered half a letter grade upon the fourth unexcused absence and/or late entry to class. 

Late Submission of Course Materials:

Assignments should be submitted on time even if a student is absent (excepting emergencies).  Use email or ask a fellow classmate/friend to deliver the assignment to class or Dr. Cuff's mailbox on her office door. 

Five points will be deducted each class period until the assignment is submitted.  Students may speak to Dr. Cuff individually if an emergency prohibits the submission of an assignment.  Late assignments will be noted, and if you are an education degree-seeking student, may be reflected in your teaching dispositions evaluation.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

You are expected to be on time and refrain from leaving early.

Classroom participation is part of your grade in this course.  To participate, you must attend class having prepared the materials for the day. 

Classroom discussion should be respectful to everyone and relevant to the topic we are discussing.  Classroom discussion is meant to allow us to hear a variety of viewpoints.  This can only happen if we respect each other and our differences.

Electronic devices must be turned off during class, unless you have informed me ahead of time that you are expecting an emergency message.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

The following is a general overview of this course.  Students will receive a detailed schedule of course topics and assignments monthly.  Please note our schedule is flexible and will be determined based on students' needs.


Topics and Due Dates for Major Assignments

Weekly Responses are due every Thursday unless otherwise instructed.
Week 1—What is Literacy?

Week 2—Why is Literacy Important? (Due: Chapter 1 Tovani, Chapter 1 Daniels, Response)

Week 3—The Process of Reading (Due: Chapter 2 Tovani, Chapter 2 Daniels, Response)

Week 4—Building Background Knowledge (Due: Chapters 4-6 Tovani, Response)

Week 5—Questioning (Due: Chapter 7 Tovani, Wiggins article)

                           Reaction Paper #1 Due (no weekly response)                             

Week 6—Questioning and Inferences (Due: Chapter 8 Tovani, Response)/Begin Young Adult Integrated Unit discussions

Week 7—Choosing the Right Material (Due: Chapter 6 Daniels, Response)

Week 8--Vocabulary and Purpose (Due: Words, Words, Words chapter by Janet Allen, Reponse)                             

                                                                I will provide this.              

                      Textbook Lesson Due

Week 9—Spring Break! :)

Week 10--Purposeful Learning (Due: Chapter 3 Daniels, Brooks article)

                      Reaction Paper #2 Due (no weekly response)

Week 11—Alternative Texts (Due: Chapter 4 Tovani—Do I Really Have to Teach Reading?, Response)

                                                     I will provide this.
                       Young Adult Integrated Unit Presentations

Week 12—Writing to Learn (Due: 3 letters [content area articles])

Week 13—Writing

                          Due Date for Text Sets

Week 14—Finish Text Set presentations/lessons


Week 15—Assessment (Due: Chapter 10 Daniels, Response)
Week 16Final Project Due

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life. Park University students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93
Dr. Cuff reserves the right to use anti-plagiarism software to determine the authenticity of students' assignments.

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
A student's grade will be lowered half a letter grade upon the fourth unexcused absence and/or late entry to class.

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .


  • Allen, J. (2004). Tools for teaching content literacy. Portland, ME: Stenhouse.
  • Atwell, N. (1998). In the middle: New Understandings about writing, reading, and learning. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Atwell, N. (2007). The reading zone: How to help kids become skilled, passionate, habitual, critical readers. New York: Scholastic.
  • Beers, K. (2003). When kids can’t read: What Teachers Can Do. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Burke, J. (2000). Reading reminders: Tools, tips, and techniques. Portsmouth,NH: Heinemann.


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Last Updated:1/7/2011 10:32:18 AM