Reading and Writing Strategies for Students with Special Needs

(Grades K-5) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 134T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42383

Course Description

As more and more students with special needs find their way into inclusive classrooms, do you find yourself stretching to accommodate their diverse learning needs? This online course is specifically designed to address the myriad literacy needs of students with learning disabilities who are present in general education K-5 classrooms. The course begins by introducing teachers to the science of reading so that they can understand why so many students with learning disabilities tend to struggle with reading and writing. From there, an overview of the MTSS framework is provided to help teachers understand the process of moving struggling students through the various literacy interventions throughout the tiers. Teachers will take a deep dive into all the foundational components of literacy as they explore numerous strategies and interventions to help students with special needs succeed and exceed in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. Throughout this course, teachers will learn how to use developmentally-appropriate activities, lessons, and interventions to help students with learning disabilities increase their literacy skills, often using a multi-sensory approach. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to embed best literacy practices into their K-5 classrooms so that the needs of all students can be met. 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.

"I think the content and resources were very helpful. I have already used them in planning the writing units for this year. I liked that the resources are easy to implement." - Samantha Sullivan

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: EDUC42383
Unit One
  • The Science Behind Reading and Writing
  • Why Students Struggle
  • A Multi-Tiered System of Supports
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Phonemic Awareness
  • The Influence of Fluency on Reading and Writing
  • Vocabulary: The Key to Unlocking Comprehension
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Diving Deep into Decoding
  • Syllables
  • Encoding
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Reading-Writing Connection
  • Expanding Students’ Writing Skills
  • Extended Written Response
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Expository Text with Research
  • Expository Text without Research
  • Opinion Writing
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Using Developmentally Appropriate Activities
  • Reading Interventions for Struggling Students
  • An Overview of Multi-Sensory Instruction
  • Assignment #4: Respond to classroom literacy scenarios
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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