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Education 304

EDUC 304: Foundations of Teaching Language Arts

Prerequisite or Co-requisite: EDRD 314; 2.5 GPA in previous coursework

Credit Hours: (3)

Designed to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to implementing a comprehensive approach to language arts instruction in Pre-K through grade 6 classrooms, the course focuses on principles and practices of comprehensive approaches to language arts instruction including literacy acquisition and development, the social context of literacy, literacy assessment, the needs of English language learners, critical literacy, and the integration of the language arts - oral language (speaking and listening), reading, writing, word study, and visual literacy - through the use of best practice strategies and high quality children’s literature.
 

Detailed Description of Content of Course

Designed to provide teacher candidates with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions essential to implementing a comprehensive approach to language arts instruction in Pre-K through grade 6 classrooms the course focuses on:

I. Principles and Practices of Comprehensive Approaches to Teaching and Learning the Six Language Arts

• Integration of listening, speaking, writing, reading, viewing, and visual representation in the PK-6 grade classroom
• Working towards national, state, and local literacy standards by which students will be assessed
• Understanding the relationship between assessment practices and developmentally appropriate literacy instruction
• Understanding and implementing best practice teaching and learning approaches for literacy

II. Language Acquisition Theory and Developmentally Appropriate Literacy Instruction

• Theorists such as Vygotsky and Piaget
• Development of oral language and communication skills
• Understanding the relationship between literacy development PK-6 and developmentally appropriate practice

III. The Social Context of Literacy

• Accepting, valuing, and reinforcing students’ diverse home language and discourse styles
• Understanding and implementing literacy instruction that is culturally responsive

IV. Principles and Practices of Second Language Acquisition Theory

• Theorists such as Krashen and Cummins
• Characteristics of the stages of second language development and second language learners
• Understanding and implementing best practice approaches to second language literacy instruction

V. Principles and Practices of Writing Instruction

• Theorists such as Lucy Calkins, Ralph Fletcher, and Nancie Atwell
• Characteristics and stages of writing development
• Assessment and evaluation of writing process, author’s craft, and conventions/mechanics
• Utilization of assessment results for planning instruction
• Understanding and implementing best practices for writing instruction including writers’ workshop

VI. Principles and Practices of Vocabulary Development

• Theorists such as Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, and Linda Kucan
• Utilization of assessment results for planning instruction
• Understanding and implementing best practices for vocabulary instruction

VII. Professional Competencies
 
• Professional use of standard forms of the English language in oral and written forms
• Professional use of technology to support student learning and home-school communication


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course format will include modeling, lecture, demonstration, small group work, active student participation, reflection papers, philosophy statements, analysis of case studies, analysis of developmental stages, lesson planning, performance assessment, and writing samples created by the teacher candidates.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standards:

• NCATE Standard 1b - Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates
• NCATE Standard 1g – Professional Dispositions for All Candidates.  

Objectives below also refer to the following standards:

• Association of Childhood Education International (ACEI)
• International Society for Technology Education, National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (ISTE/NETS-T)
• Virginia Department of Education Program Status Matrix – 2007 Early/Primary Prek-3 Education, Elementary Education, PreK-6, and Middle Education, 8VAC20-542-80 (VPS)
• Virginia Department of Education Program Status Matrix – 2007 Elementary Education PreK-6, 8VAC20-542-110 (VGC)

Having successfully completed this course, the teacher candidate will:

a. Become familiar with and use local, state, and national language arts standards in planning instruction for PK-6 students throughout the six Language Arts. (ACEI: 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5; VGC:2[a]; VPS:1[a])
b. Study and apply principles of visual literacy to reading, writing, and word study. (ACEI 2.1)
c. Understand and apply principles of language acquisition theory including oral language development and the role of oral language in literacy learning, including teaching approaches such as shared/choral reading, storytelling, drama (VPS:2.2[a,d])
d. Understand and apply principles that support culturally responsive literacy instruction. (ACEI 3.2, VPS:2)
e. Acquire knowledge of the characteristics of English Language Learners and skill in using appropriate strategies for teaching English Language Learners (ACEI: 1.0, 3.2; VGC:2[a] ; VPS:1[f]; VPS:2.2[c])
f. Demonstrate knowledge of the stages of writing development and skill in teaching developmentally appropriate writing instruction (ACEI: 1.0, 2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, 4.0; VGC:2[a]; VPS:1g, 2.4[a,b,c])
g. Use knowledge of assessments, literacy standards, and writing instruction to plan best practice approaches to writing instruction that is developmentally appropriate. (ACEI 4.0, VPS:1[g], 2.4[a,c])
h. Use multiple assessment tools and analyze results in order to plan instruction that is developmentally appropriate. (ACEI 4.0; VPS:1[g])
i. Use of professional and standard forms of the English language in oral and written forms. (ACEI 2.1)
j. Integrate the K-12 ISTE National Education Technology Standards for Teachers. (ISTE/NETS-T: 1-5; VGC:2[a]; VPS:1[b,j], 2.5)


Assessment Measures

Assessment in this course is both formative and summative and will include:

• Analysis of participation and active engagement in whole and small group work using The Professional Characteristics and Dispositions form.
• Evaluation of content, mechanics, and conventions of written assignments including a genre portfolio, reflection papers, lesson plans, and the family newsletter.
• Demonstration of technology utilization for communication, instruction, development of instructional materials, and research.  
• Analysis and evaluation of teacher candidate-created lesson plans (based on grade-appropriate Virginia Standards of Learning) that must include the following components – objectives, procedures, assessments, considerations and accommodations for both learning-  and culturally-diverse students.
• Writing Assessment and Instruction: Teacher candidates will analyze elementary student writing samples and plan instruction based on this analysis. Teacher candidates create lesson plans for both the drafting and revision stages of the writing process.
• Genre Portfolio: Teacher candidates will demonstrate their writing competency across several genres they will be expected to teach. Their writing ability will be evaluated through the completion of a portfolio of their personal writings created to be used as exemplars with PreK – grade six students.
• Literature Appreciation & Integration assignment: Teacher candidates demonstrate their ability to foster an appreciation for a variety of literature and use technology for both process and production in reading, writing, and research. Teacher candidates select age-appropriate multicultural literature and plan a read-aloud lesson which they demonstrate in class.
• Speaking and Listening: Oral and Receptive Language project: Teacher candidates work in small groups to design and implement a lesson using research-based strategies that provides support for the development of speaking and listening skills of students in grades pre-kindergarten through six.
• A comprehensive, final examination.

Alignment of Assessments with competencies listed in the Virginia Department of Education Program Status Matrix – 2007 Elementary Education PreK-6 (8VAC20-542-110 Virginia General Content):

Endorsement Competency
    

Assignment/Assessment
    

Additional Assessment

    1. Methods

        a. Understanding the needed knowledge, skills, and processes to support learners in achievement of the Virginia Standards of Learning in English, mathematics, history and social science, science and computer/technology.
    

Final Exam    

Applications of knowledge, skills, and processes of English methods assessed by both the Cooperating Teacher and the RU University Supervisor on the Elementary Education Student Teaching Experience Teacher Candidate Evaluation form.

    1. Methods

        a. The ability to use formal and informal assessments to diagnose needs, plan and modify instruction, and record student progress.

    
Writing Assessment and Instruction
    

    2.  Knowledge and Skills.

        a. Reading/English. Understanding of the content, knowledge, skills, and processes for teaching the Virginia Standards of Learning for English including: oral language (speaking and listening), reading, writing, and literature, and how these standards provide the core for teaching English in grades preK-6 (elementary licensure).
    

Course-based Examinations    

Understanding of knowledge, skills, and processes for teaching Virginia Standards of Learning for English assessed by both the Cooperating Teacher and the RU University Supervisor on the Elementary Education Student Teaching Experience Teacher Candidate Evaluation form.

Virginia Communication and Literacy Assessment

    2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(2) Oral communication.  The individual shall:

(a) Be proficient in the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary for teaching oral language (speaking and listening).
    

Speaking & Listening – Oral and Receptive Language Project

    

Reading for Virginia Educators

    2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(2) Oral communication.The individual shall:

(c) Demonstrate effective strategies for facilitating the learning of standard English by speakers of other languages and dialects.
    

English Language Learners Demonstration Lessons Project    

    2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(2) Oral communication.  The individual shall:

d) Demonstrate the ability to promote creative thinking and expression, as through storytelling, drama, choral/oral reading, etc.

    

Speaking & Listening – Oral and Receptive Language Project

    

Endorsement Competency
    

Assignment/Assessment
    
Additional Assessment

        2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(3) Reading/literature.  The individual shall:

(f) Demonstrate the ability to foster appreciation of a variety of literature.

    

Literature Appreciation and Integration Assignment    

    2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(4) Writing.  The individual shall:

(a) Be proficient in the knowledge, skills, and processes necessary for teaching writing, including the domains of composing, written expression, and usage and    mechanics and the writing process of planning, drafting, revising, editing, and      sharing.
    

Writing Assessment and Instruction
    

Participation in regular seminars and completion of seminar-related readings, assignments, and activities.

Virginia Reading Assessment

    2. Knowledge and Skills

        a. Reading/English.

(4) Writing.  The individual shall:

(c) Demonstrate the ability to teach the writing process: plan draft, revise, edit, and share in the narrative, descriptive, and explanative modes.               
    

Writing Assessment and Instruction

Genre Portfolio

    

Observation & evaluation of intern teaching of writing lesson plans that they have created

Other Course Information

Praxis I and VCLA REQUIREMENT:
In order to get a license to teach in the state of VA, teacher candidates are required to pass various proficiency exams – specifically the VCLA and the math portion of Praxis I.  In order to complete this course, you must show proof of having attempted the VCLA and Praxis I Math test (passing scores not needed – just proof of having attempted each) before the end of the semester; otherwise, you will get an incomplete (I) for the course.
You may be exempt from taking Praxis I if your SAT scores are 1100 total with a minimum of 530 in verbal and in math. Since 530 x 2 does not equal 1100, either the verbal or math score will need to be more than the minimum of 530. You may also qualify if your ACT scores are high enough. You need a composite score of 24 or higher, math scores no less than 22, and English and Reading combined no less than 46.   Note that you are considered passing if your individual math test score is reached OR if a composite score of 532 across the Praxis I Reading, Writing, and Math tests is reached. We only recommend that you take all 3 sections of the Praxis I if you cannot initially make the 178 points needed for the Math portion.

Review and Approval

Date

Action

Reviewed By

April 2011

Minor change to course

Holly Robbins

October 2009

Course description change, course syllabus change

Holly Robbins, Dana Rose, Glenna Gustafson

October 2008

Course description change, course syllabus change

Holly Robbins, Dana Rose, Glenna Gustafson

September 2005

Course revision

Sandra Moore

May, 2011