Education 619

EDUC 619: Language Arts and Writing in the Elementary Classroom

Credit Hours: (3)

Examines current research and practices in the teaching Language Arts. Provides teachers and teacher candidates with the knowledge and skills essential to teaching and assessing writing for students in PreK through grade six. The course focuses on writing instruction, assessment of writing, and the unique needs of boy writers and reluctant writers.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

Focuses on current issues in teaching writing, such as planning instructional units based on the Standards of Learning, utilizing the Writers’ Workshop format, assessing students’ writing, using technology to support writing, and developing supports for students with special needs.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course readings and demonstration lessons will be used to explore specific teaching methods and the most appropriate contexts for these teaching methods. Peer teaching will be used to explore current issues in writing instruction. Technology applications for supporting student writers will be examined. A variety of assignments will be used to assist students in refining their personal philosophy of writing instruction. Group and individual tasks will be utilized as appropriate.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address the following NCATE Standard:

·        NCATE Standard 1c – Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Candidates


Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address the following National Association for the Education of Young Children standards:

·        NAEYC Standard 3a-Understanding assessment goals, benefits, and uses

·        NAEYC Standard 4b-Using developmentally effective approaches

·        NAEYC Standard 4d-Building meaningful curriculum


Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address the following Association for Childhood Education (ACEI) standards:

·        ACEI Standard 1.0 – Development, learning, and motivation

·        ACEI Standard 2.1 – Reading, writing, and oral language

·        ACEI Standard 3.2 – Adaptation to diverse students

·        ACEI Standard 4.0 – Assessment for instruction


Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address the following Standards for Reading Professionals as articulated by the International Reading Association:

·        Standard 1: Foundational Knowledge – Candidates have knowledge of the foundations of reading and writing processes and instruction.

·        Standard 2: Instructional Strategies and Curriculum Materials – Candidates use a wide range of instructional practices, approaches, methods, and curriculum materials to support reading and writing instruction.

·        Standard 4: Creating a Literate Environment – Candidates create a literate environment that fosters reading and writing by integrating foundational knowledge, use of instructional practices, approaches and methods, curriculum materials, and the appropriate use of assessments.


Goals, objectives, and assignments in this course address the Virginia Department of Education [VDOE] Teacher Licensure Standards:

·        Virginia Department of Education Program Status Matrix – 2007 Early/Primary Prek-3 Education, Elementary Education, PreK-6, and Middle Education (Know and use methods of improving communication between schools and families, ways of increasing family involvement in student learning at home and in school and the Standards of Learning (or Foundation Blocks for Early Learning)shall be included (VA D.O.E. – 8VAC20-542-80);

·        Virginia Department of Education Program Status Matrix – 2007 Elementary Education PreK-6 (8VAC20-542-110 Virginia General Content); and

·        Virginia Department of Education – Regulations Governing the Review and Approval of Education Programs in Virginia (8VAC20-542-290 English as a Second Language preK-12).


Having successfully completed this course, the student will develop the following skills and knowledge:

1.      Know, understand, and use the major concepts, principles, theories, and research related to development of children and young adolescents to construct learning opportunities that support diverse students’ development (including but not limited to boy writers and reluctant writers), acquisition of knowledge, and motivation (ACEI 1.0);

2.      Ability to plan developmentally-appropriate writing instruction and assessment in a variety of genres using the Writer’s Workshop model (NAEYC 3a, 4b, 4d; ACEI 3.2, 4.0; IRA Standards 2 and 4);

3.      Develop lesson plans for various steps in the writing process (ACEI 2.1);

4.      Anticipate and address major challenges that occur when teaching writing using the Writer’s Workshop model (ACEI 2.1);

5.      Understand the major components of writing conferences (ACEI 2.1); and

6.      Articulate current issues and research in the area of writing instruction (ACEI 2.1 and 3.2).


Assessment Measures

All instructors of this course will assess students using the following tasks:

  • Development of individual writing lesson plans
  • Development of writing unit plan
  • Crafting personal pieces of writing to use in writing mini-lessons
  • Peer instruction on current issues in the teaching of writing
  • Small-group, web-based discussions related to book study


Additionally, instructors may choose additional assessment measures from the following:

  • Written responses to assigned case studies.
  • Small group projects related to best-practices instruction
  • Class participation in discussions and small group activities.
  • A research paper related to course content.
  • Final examination on course content.


Review and Approval
April 24, 2009