Archive for August, 2014

Standards for Reading Professionals From My Children’s Literature Syllabus

College of Education

Department of Literacy

Boise State University

ED-LTCY 346- 1154 Children’s Literature

CLICK HERE to see the full syllabus.

Instructor: Michael Strickland, M.A.

Here are the International Reading Association Standards for Reading Professionals as they apply to classroom teachers.

Through participating in this course, you should be able to:

  1. Understand major theories and empirical research that describe the cognitive, linguistic, motivational, and sociocultural foundations of reading and writing development, processes, and components, including word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading–writing connections (Standard 1.1); in particular, we will address central theories that inform our understandings of how readers engage with a text, including but not limited to reader response theory and critical literacy and, more generally, a constructivist view of learning.

    2. Understand the historically shared knowledge of the profession and changes over time in the perceptions of reading and writing development, processes, and components (Standard 1.2); in particular, we will address the constantly changing landscape of children’s literature and the role that such literature has played and continues to play in effective literacy instruction for diverse learners.

    3. Understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students’ reading development and achievement (Standard 1.3), use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum (Standard 2.1) and use appropriate and varied instructional approaches (Standard 2.2). In particular, we will address the role of the teacher (grounded in knowledge about literature, learning, and learners) in selecting quality literature and effective engagements with such literature for diverse learners. We will engage in a variety of learning experiences that will serve as models for your own best practice (learning through doing) and you will develop and implement a literature-based lesson with learners in your placement classroom.

    4. Use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources (Standard 2.3); you will become familiar with a wide range of texts across genres and with resources for selecting high quality texts for elementary and middle school readers.

    5. Recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write (Standard 4.1); use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students’ knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity (Standard 4.2) and; develop and implement strategies to advocate for equity (Standard 4.3). In particular, we will focus on multicultural literature that illuminates multiple perspectives with the goal of expanding your understandings and strengthening your ability to select literature that both reflects and expands learners’ experiences. Using a critical literacy perspective, we will explore how engagement with literature can bring about social change.

    6. Understand a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students’ opportunities for learning to read and write (Standard 5.2); in particular, we will address pedagogical approaches that fully engage learners in engaging thoughtfully with texts in ways that are meaningful to them and that allow them to grow as readers, writers, and thinkers.

    7. Display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors (Standard 6.2). Effective literacy teachers must be enthusiastic, thoughtful readers and writers themselves. By reading and responding to a variety of high quality literature, engaging thoughtfully with other readers, and developing scholarly insights about literature and literacy, you will have the opportunity to grow your own literacy while you grow your knowledge of how to teach children’s literature. You are expected to demonstrate awareness of and mastery of skills you will teach (NCTE/IRA Standards for English Language Arts,; Idaho Common Core Standards for English and Literacy,, and these competencies, both your ability to do and teach, will be developed through class engagements.

Beliefs about learning for my children’s literature class

Experiences in ED-LTCY 346 class at Boise State University are based on the following beliefs about learning: (adapted from Dr. Kathy Short)

Learning is an active process.

o We will immerse ourselves in reading and responding in a variety of ways.

Learning is a social process of collaboration with others.

o We will explore our thinking about our reading through dialogue in small groups. Opportunities for informal interaction and sharing about literature will also occur in both small and whole group experiences.

Learning occurs when we make connections to our own experiences.

o We will respond to literature by making personal connections to our reading and then by exploring and critically examining those responses in literature circles with other readers.

Choices allow learners to connect to their experiences and feel ownership in the curriculum.

o We will have choices in what we read, how we respond, and the specific focus of projects and small group activities.

Learning occurs in a multicultural world that honors many ways of knowing.

o We will explore literature from a multicultural perspective, expanding our understanding of the cultural pluralism in children’s lives and in literature.

Learning is reflective as well as active.

o We will have many opportunities to reflect on what we are learning through writing, art, talking, reflections and self-evaluations.

Learning is a process of inquiry.

o As learners, we search out questions we care about and we develop strategies for exploring those questions and for sharing our learning and understanding with others.

Learners bring a variety of linguistic and cognitive strengths from their families, communities and nations into the classroom; these strengths are resources to be appreciated as such by educators.

Education must expand on the linguistic and cognitive strengths that learners already possess and bring with them to the classroom, rather than ignore or try to replace them with others.

Respect and appreciation for cultural and community knowledge means that universities serve the interest of education when they allow for an exchange of views, rather than rely exclusively on a transmission model of instruction.

Middle schoolers a mystery? An educational seminar with Cynthia Tobias

Click on image to read this book.

Click on image to read more about this book.

The Northwest Nazarene University Wesley Center in partnership with Focus on the Family is pleased to offer an educational seminar for youth pastors, teachers, parents and anyone interested in better understanding the mysterious world of middle school.  The event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Brandt Center on the campus of NNU. Attend in person or participate via online simulcast.

The seminar will feature wit, wisdom and practical advice from Cynthia Tobias, NNU alumna, best-selling author and learning-styles expert. Tobias is co-author of a new book “Middle School: The Inside Story” and a regular guest on the topic for Focus on the Family.
In their book Tobias and co-author Sue Acuña reveal the inside story on puberty, the Internet, romance, faith, grades and homework, and more, while offering practical tips on how to:
• Phrase things so your middle schooler can hear you
• Allow the flexing of wings while applying appropriate discipline
• Know and empathize with your middle schooler’s greatest fears
• Start conversations instead of confrontations
• Understand the “unwritten rules” middle schoolers try to follow
• Detect warning signs of more serious issues
• Build the kind of parent/child relationship your middle schooler needs and wants—even when he or she doesn’t act like it
On September 6, you can look forward to hearing from these two experts, getting questions answered and interacting with other attendees on the above topics and others facing students in this critical transitional period of life.
Early registration closes August 26 and costs $25 with lunch or $15 without lunch. The first 50 registrations receive a free copy of the book. Registration after August 25 is available for $20 without lunch. Register online at For those unable to attend in person, the free simulcast is planned and will be available to join at the same link.
Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a middle schooler? Come get the inside story.unnamed (1)
Northwest Nazarene University, a comprehensive Christian university, offers over 60 areas of study, 19 master’s degrees in seven different disciplines and two doctoral degrees. In addition to its 85-acre campus located in Nampa, Idaho, the University also offers programs online as well as in Boise, Idaho Falls, Twin Falls and in cooperation with programs in 10 countries. Founded in 1913, the university now serves over 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students, more than 6,000 continuing education students, and 2,300 high school students through the concurrent credit program.
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