Nonfiction Readers Workshop, Fall 2018

Course Number: EDU 5620 C08
Instructor: Melinda Robinson
Location: Online
Dates and Times: October 1 - December 14, 2018
Credits: 3 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $925

Note: Course payment or purchase order of $925, payable to RRWIB, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form. Credit card payments can also be made online. Please mail a check to the Castleton Center for Schools, Stafford Academic Center, Castleton University, 251 South Street, Castleton, VT 05753

Course Description

This online course, geared for 2nd-8th-grade teachers, will be exploring how to help our students engage in nonfiction readers workshop. We will explore the research behind the use of nonfiction in the classroom and how to set up a nonfiction readers workshop in your classroom. You will use the resources and the learning to create a series of units to use throughout the year that will get your students independently selecting good sources, asking questions to drive their research, taking notes and sharing what they have learned. The ultimate goal of the course is to develop strong readers of nonfiction texts.

Course Objectives/Goals

Essential Questions:

How has the approach to nonfiction changed under the Common Core?
What is the nonfiction workshop approach and what benefit does it present to our students?
How can we help our students to ask deeper questions as they approach their nonfiction reading?
How can we create a year of nonfiction readers workshop incorporating our common core standards.?
How can I assess my students reading, notetaking and presentation of their knowledge?

Course Expectations

Weekly Focus and Expectations:

Week 1 - 8 Practices of a Great Reader

  • We will explore the 8 practices of a great reader.
  • We will explore how a readers workshop approach could help students’ use of these practices
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 2 - Why do we need a nonfiction readers workshop.

  • We will explore the research behind the changes in approaching nonfiction with Common Core.
  • We will research why nonfiction readers workshop is important in our classrooms.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 3 - Explore the steps of nonfiction readers workshop.

  • We will explore the steps of nonfiction readers workshop.
  • We will reflect on the scale of the teacher to student control in each step.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 4 - Importance of good questions

  • We will explore the research behind teaching our students to ask good questions.
  • We will look at the hierarchy of good questions.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 5 - Starting our spreadsheets

  • We will consider the timing available to schedule in nonfiction readers workshop.
  • We will explore choices in notetaking for our students.
  • We will brainstorm how to get nonfiction texts for our classroom.
  • Students will begin the first step of their year-long spreadsheet. The unit titles and focus questions will be added.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 6 - Mini-lessons

  • We will explore resources for mini-lessons. Participants will begin a mini-lesson idea bank.
  • We will gather materials for the first nonfiction readers workshop which should begin by the first week in November.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 7

  • We will review the common core informational text standards for their grade.
  • We will review different organizations for the standards, how to group them.
  • Participants will add standards to their year-long spreadsheet.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 8 - Publishing

  • We will explore the resources for sharing-out or publishing the students’ research.
  • Participants will start teaching their first nonfiction unit and share out their progress.
  • Participants will add the possible publishing ideas to their year-long spreadsheet.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by that Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 9 - Assessment

  • We will explore different rubrics and progressions to consider how to assess students’ progress.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by that Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 10 - Guided Reading and Conferencing

  • We will explore articles and videos about guided reading and conferencing with nonfiction.
  • By the second Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt and by that Sunday they will respond to at least two others’ posts.

Week 11 - Conclusion and Reflection

  • We will reflect on our learning and growth throughout the course.
  • By Thursday the students will post their reflection to the prompt


Course Requirements:

  • Attendance and Participation (20%):
    This course expects students to participate online. Students should respond to a specified prompt on or before the specified date each week. Students who miss more than one class response may be required to drop the course.
  • Student Learning Prompts (30%):
    Students will be expected to respond weekly to the prompt or questions that are presented for that week. Students are also responsible for responding to at least 2 other classmates’ prompts weekly. It is important that we communicate and discuss what we have learned with our colleagues so that the group can grow in our knowledge together. There will be a rubric that will be used to assess the professional level of discourse being shared each week.
  • Instructional Project (50%):
    Students will create a spreadsheet throughout the course in order to plan a year-long nonfiction readers workshop. By November 5th the participants will begin teaching their first unit.

GRADING:

Attendance and Participation 20

Student Learning Prompts 30

Instructional Project 50

Total: 100

Required Texts

Books, Articles, and Websites that will be used in the course (all materials will be provided, there are no materials that will need to be purchased.) This is a small sampling of what will be used.

Young, Terrel. The Classroom Library: A Place for Nonfiction, Nonfiction in its Place. Reading Horizons, Berkeley Press, 2007.

McConnel, Caroline. The Essential Questions Handbook. Scholastic Teaching Resources. 2011. Print.

Cox, Janelle. “Teaching Strategies to Use Inquiry-Based Learning.” Web Blog Post. Teachhub.com.
Boaler, Jo. Mathematical Mindsets. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2016.
Print.

Seeley, Cathy. Making Sense of Math. Alexandria: ASCD, 2016. Print.

Seeley, Cathy. Building a Math-Positive Culture. Alexandria: ASCD, 2016.
Print.

For additional course

Melinda Robinson

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!