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Reading Interventions for Middle School Students (6-8)

Do you have readers in your class that are reading far below grade level? This course is designed for teachers who work with readers in grades 6-8 who are one to four years behind the appropriate reading level. The course materials are based on current best-practices research on helping students with reading difficulties. Topics addressed in the course include assessment and diagnosis of reading difficulties, differentiation strategies, fluency skills, vocabulary development, and cognitive reading strategies. Key comprehension strategies such as how to summarize and infer are presented along with fix-it strategies students can use when they begin to struggle. Specific vocabulary topics presented include the three tiers of words, self-collection, using context clues, and the importance of direct instruction. Teachers will also learn how to develop individual reading profiles and reading plans based on assessment data. Finally, teachers will learn how to best select appropriate reading materials for those who struggle. By the end of this course, teachers will know how to help students become better readers with improved comprehension skills. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Of all the reading courses I've taken, this one completely surpassed my expectations. I learned teaching strategies that I could use right away. I can definitely say that I have learned very valuable information to assist me in helping struggling readers in the middle grades." - Jan Slusher


Enrollment Options

Register]Course Registration Only $112 with the discount

Register]Course Plus Credit from UC San Diego Extension Only $284


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 Vocabulary-Enriched Classroom: Practices for Improving the Reading Performance of All Students in Grades 3 and Up ” by Cathy Collins Block and John N. Mangieri

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: 25T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41433

Unit One

  • Introduction to Reading Data Collection
  • Commonly Used Assessments: Part One
  • Commonly Used Assessments: Part Two
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Using Assessment to Drive Instruction
  • Individual Reading Profiles
  • Zone of Proximal Development and Leveled Reading
  • Individual Reading Plans
  • Reading Groups
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Fluency Fundamentals
  • Fluency Teaching Strategies
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Reading Comprehension and Cognitive Strategies
  • Strategies to Teach Summarizing
  • Strategies to Teach Inferring
  • Strategies to Help Readers Make Connections
  • Fix-It Strategies
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Teaching Vocabulary
  • Three Tiers of Words
  • Direct Vocabulary Instruction
  • Using Context Clues
  • Vocabulary Self-Correction
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Voice and Choice in Reading
  • Using Hi/Lo Materials
  • Using Non-Fiction Books
  • Assignment #4: Develop an individual reading profile
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)