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Understanding Students with Dyslexia + Written Expression: Scaffolded Strategies for Beginning Writers – 6-weeks – Fall 2020/Winter 2021 Bundle 2

Understanding Students with Dyslexia
October 6 – November 17, 2020

Written Expression: Scaffolded Strategies for Beginning Writers
January 12 – February 23, 2021

$450 for both courses (savings of $140)

Each Course – 15 Hours/PDPs, with an option to add 1 graduate credit from Colorado State University – Pueblo


Understanding Students with Dyslexia

**Previously titled Understanding Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and Dysgraphia**

This professional development course provides educators with an overview of dyslexia, which falls under the diagnostic umbrella of a specific learning disability (SLD). The first half of the course will define the learning disability, debunk associated myths, and explore the benefits of early identification and intervention. The neurological origins and common manifestations of dyslexia, as well as the comorbidity of dyslexia and other learning challenges (such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia), will also be explored. The second half of the course will introduce general best practices for supporting students with dyslexia, cover special education laws related to the SLD, and offer alternative perspectives for consideration.

 This course will help you:

  • Define the term dyslexia and debunk myths associated with the learning disability
  • Understand the neurological origins of learning challenges for individuals with dyslexia
  • Gain awareness of common co-occurring learning challenges among students with dyslexia, such as dyscalculia and dysgraphia
  • Explore general best-practice instructional strategies to support students
  • Build an understanding of the state and federal statutes that are in place to support students with dyslexia
  • Consider alternative perspectives of learning disabilities

Given this unprecedented time and due to COVID-19, the instructor will encourage participants to consider how to best adapt instructional strategies for remote teaching when completing discussions, assignments, and written reflections.

The course is divided into six, self-paced modules:

  • Module 1: Definition of dyslexia and other related learning disabilities
  • Module 2: Neurological origins and manifestations
  • Module 3: Comorbidity of dyslexia and other challenges
  • Module 4: Overview of general best classroom practices
  • Module 5: Special education laws
  • Module 6: Alternative social perspectives

 Each module will follow the same basic outline:

  • Reading of course content followed by a group discussion
  • A reading of additional course content followed by a brief quiz
  • A viewing of additional resources followed by a related application assignment
  • An opportunity to submit concluding thoughts/reflection responses about the relevance of the course content

Specific Assignments:

  • Pre and Post-Assessments: These ungraded questionnaires will be completed at the beginning and end of the course in order for participants to self-assess knowledge and application of course content.
  • Quizzes: The quizzes will assess comprehension of the content from the required reading.  The quizzes will be automatically graded within the course platform. Although participants must earn 80% or higher to move on to the next section of the course, there are unlimited attempts allowed.
  • Discussion Posts: The discussions will require participants to post an initial response and reply to at least one other post.  These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Application Assignments: The assignments in each module will require participants to apply their understanding of course content to follow the assignment directions and use examples provided as a guideline for format length, and quality of writing. These tasks will be assessed using specific rubrics.
  • Concluding Thoughts/Reflection Responses: These tasks require participants to briefly synthesize takeaways and/or make connections between course content and will be assessed using specific rubrics.

MATERIALS

The following is required only for those seeking graduate credit:
Redford, J. (Director). (2012). The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia [Documentary]. KPJR Films.


Written Expression: Scaffolded Strategies for Beginning Writers 

This professional development course explores diagnostic assessment, process writing, and specific instructional strategies for teaching basic writing skills to struggling writers, particularly students with language-based learning disabilities (LBLD), which fall under the diagnostic umbrella of specific learning disabilities (SLD). This course is intended for educators who wish to help students develop grammar knowledge and build expertise at the word choice and sentence structure levels before stringing sentences together in various forms of written expression. Content would be primarily beneficial for teachers of younger students, but it would also benefit those who teach older writers who need remediation in beginning skills. As a result of the learning experiences in this course, participants will be more competent in their ability to:

  • Identify the hidden demands of writing and understand how they impact the skills of students with specific learning disabilities, such as LBLD
  • Assess student strengths and weaknesses with written expression as a means of informing instruction
  • Scaffold the process of written expression through targeted instruction at the word, sentence, and paragraph levels
  • Employ effective instructional strategies to help students with diagnosed learning disabilities build and develop their writing skills

Given this unprecedented time and due to COVID-19, the instructor will encourage participants to consider how to best adapt instructional strategies for remote teaching when completing discussions, assignments, and written reflections.

The course is divided into six, self-paced modules:

  • Introduction to Teaching Writing provides an overview of the hidden demands that make writing a challenging task for students with learning disabilities. This module also introduces diagnostic assessment, process writing, and an appropriate hierarchy of writing skill instruction.
  • Teaching Basic Parts of Speech helps educators understand how to provide targeted instruction in nouns, verbs, prepositional phrases, and adjectives.
  • Sentence Level Instruction introduces the construction of kernel sentences, as well as other advanced sentence techniques and more complex parts of speech.
  • Expository Paragraph Instruction breaks down the elements of a paragraph and provides strategies for helping students craft logical, organized, detailed paragraphs.
  • Multi-Paragraph & Narrative Writing applies the same process for paragraph writing to longer writing assignments, as well as introduces the new strategies necessary for stringing paragraphs together.
  • Revision & Diagnostic Assessment emphasizes strategies for making the revision process more tangible, as well as reviews the process for assessing diagnostic writing samples and connects the writing process to the Landmark Teaching principles™

Specific Assignments:

  • Pre and Post-Assessments: These ungraded questionnaires will be used to self-assess knowledge and application of course content.
  • Quizzes: The quizzes will assess comprehension of the content from the required reading. The quizzes will be automatically graded within the course platform. Although participants must earn an 80% or higher to move on to the next section of the course, there are unlimited attempts allowed.
  • Discussion Posts: The discussions will require participants to post an initial response and reply to at least one other post.
  • Assignments: The assignments in each module will require participants to put theory into practice as they read and follow specific directions and use rubrics provided as guidelines for format, length, and quality expectations.

MATERIALS

The following text will be provided in the course.
Jennings, T.M. & Haynes, C.W. (2018). From talking to writing: Strategies for scaffolding narrative and expository writing. Prides Crossing, MA: Landmark School Outreach Program.


We are excited to offer an optional (1) graduate credit for each course through Colorado State University – Pueblo. Graduate credit may be added by selecting the check box labeled “Grad Credit Fee” before clicking “Register.” The cost of 1 graduate credit is $125 per course ($250 total) and may not be added after the start date of the course.

See our FAQ page for specific information about our online courses.

Course Information

Credits
15 PDPs/Hours per course
1 Graduate Credit
(optional for an additional fee of $125 per course)
Dates/Time Price
Oct. 6 - Nov. 17, 2020 (Dyslexia)
Jan. 12 - Feb. 23, 2022 (Writing)
$450

Teachers Say...

"I really appreciate the practical approach. The videos, written descriptions, shared templates, and discussion threads are all invaluable."

Tara Montgomery
Instructional Coach

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