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Comprehension: The Key to Successful Reading (K-3)

Do you have students who read all the words correctly and then have no idea what they just read? This online course focuses on improving students’ comprehension skills. The course begins by offering three different options for assessing comprehension including retelling, cloze procedure, and miscue analysis. Then, teachers are introduced to a wealth of strategies that can improve and support a reader’s comprehension. Strategies presented include: anticipation guides, DRTA, guided reading, and reciprocal teaching. Teachers will also learn how to effectively formulate comprehension questions across a variety of different levels. Teachers will understand the role that text structure plays and how it impacts students’ comprehension. Finally, teachers will understand how vocabulary affects comprehension. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Content provided valuable information on current practices and strategies utilized for reading comprehension in the lower elementary grades. It could be used immediately in the classroom. The format was easy to follow and understand from beginning to end." - Carolyn Leslie


Enrollment Options

Register] Course Registration Only $120 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $304


Required Resource Book: This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

The Reading Mind: A Cognitive Approach to Understanding How the Mind Reads” by Daniel T. Willingham

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List


Topical Outline / Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

PDI Course Number: 70T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41474

Unit One

  • Focus on Comprehension: Putting Research into Action
  • Levels of Comprehension
  • Introduction to the Common Core Reading Standards
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Assessment Through Retelling
  • Cloze Procedure and Maze Technique
  • Miscue Analysis
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Pre-Reading Strategies
  • Directed Reading Thinking Activity (DRTA)
  • Questioning Levels and Techniques
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Anticipation Guides
  • Text Structure
  • How Vocabulary Affects Comprehension
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Early Readers
  • Struggling Readers
  • Guided Reading
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Focus on Nonfiction Literature
  • Reciprocal Teaching
  • Using Literature to Engage and Inspire Young Readers
  • Assignment #4: Write two DRTA lessons
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)