Comprehension Strategies for Middle and Upper Grades

(Grades 4-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 74T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41476

Course Description

Are you concerned about students who read the assigned text or chapter yet have little or no comprehension of the content upon completion? Effective comprehension skills are critical for students in the upper grades, as they are exposed to more difficult content reading. This online course begins by providing teachers with an overview of why essential learning targets should be used in tandem with state standards. The course then provides teachers with excellent strategies designed to boost both comprehension and retention. Teachers will learn successful comprehension-building strategies such as DRTA, SQ3R, and close reading. Teachers will also learn tools and techniques to help students learn how to infer, draw conclusions, and summarize. Teachers will receive resources that can be used to teach students about the different text structures and patterns of organization, and how they can use that information to improve their comprehension. Guided comprehension strategies will also be explored. Teachers will also learn how to conduct quick assessments so that they can identify struggling readers more quickly, which gives them the opportunity to offer the necessary support(s) to help those students find success. Teachers will also be presented with ways in which students can perform their own self-assessment, so that they learn how to discover when their comprehension is off track. Finally, teachers will learn how to help build students’ vocabulary to better improve comprehension skills. By the end of this course, teachers will have gained many strategies so that they are better prepared to support their students as they continue to build with their comprehension schemas. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from University of California San Diego (UCSD) Division of Extended Studies. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"The strategies in the course will be extremely helpful to me. I am excited to get started. My students will never be bored!" - Donna Snyder

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$127 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$323 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UCSD.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.

Click here to view the course syllabus.

Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41476
Unit One
  • Essential Learning Targets
  • Focus on Comprehension: Putting Research into Action
  • Levels of Comprehension
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Focus Strategy: DRTA
  • Focus Strategy: SQ3R
  • Focus Strategy: Close Reading
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Strategies to Teach Inferring
  • Questioning Levels and Techniques
  • How to Summarize Text
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Text Structure and Patterns of Organization
  • Focus on Nonfiction Text
  • Note-Taking and Outlining Skills
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Comprehension Assessment
  • Working with Struggling Readers
  • Guided Comprehension
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Effects of Vocabulary on Comprehension
  • Teaching Content Vocabulary
  • Self-Assessment of Comprehension
  • Assignment #4: Design a content lesson that incorporates a comprehension strategy
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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