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Reading to Learn: Developing Strategic Reading Skills (4-12)

Why do excellent early readers often begin to struggle when they enter the middle grades? This online course focuses on helping teachers work with students on key reading skills. Teachers will learn how to develop active instructional strategies that facilitate student acquisition and development of reading skills in a variety of disciplines. Emphasis is on vocabulary development and comprehension strategies. Teachers will also understand the importance of text structure as students move from reading primarily narrative text to much more expository text. Teachers will also learn how to create text-dependent questions to help students develop close reading skills. Assessment options for tracking reading skills and improvement will also be explored. Teachers will also learn how to establish guided reading groups. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"Excellent information! Very helpful for classroom teachers teaching reading skills. Lots of resources available. The courses you offer are excellent." - Gailene Anderson


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.

Disrupting Thinking: Why How We Read Matters” by Kyleen Beers and Robert E. Probst

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: 28T02

UCSD Course Number: EDUC41452

Unit One

  • The Process of Reading
  • Introduction to Common Core State Standards
  • Word Attack Strategies
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1

Unit Two

  • Vocabulary Development
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Focus Strategy: DRTA
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2

Unit Three

  • Content Literacy: Strategies for Working with Text
  • Close Reading
  • Focus Strategy: Word Roots
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3

Unit Four

  • Encouraging Lifelong Reading
  • Helping All Students Read to Learn
  • Focus Strategy: Graphic Organizers
  • Test #4

Unit Five

  • Reading Aloud
  • Guided Reading Groups
  • Issues with Fluency
  • Test #5

Unit Six

  • Text-Dependent Questions
  • Focus Strategy: Making Words
  • Comprehension Assessment
  • Assignment #4: Develop comprehension questions
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)