Applying The Science of Reading Principles in the Content Areas

(Grades 6-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 155T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC42493


Course Description

Are you looking for ways to use evidence-based science of reading principles to assist your struggling readers? As every middle and high school teacher knows, there are a variety of texts that students interact and struggle with daily. This online course is designed to guide teachers of every content area through a variety of strategies and interventions, all of which are based on reading science so that students’ overall comprehension is positively impacted. The course begins by demystifying the science of reading, and from there, takes a deep dive into both the word recognition strand and the language comprehension strand of Scarborough’s Reading Rope. Teachers are guided through each strand so that they completely understand how decoding, background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge all weave together to create the complex process known as reading. Teachers will also understand how to address the needs of struggling students in any content area through the exploration of root words, prefixes, suffixes, academic vocabulary, and direct instruction. Teachers will learn specific strategies to access students’ background and cross-curricular knowledge as they work to improve their analytical reading and writing skills as they engage with complex texts. Finally, teachers will learn a variety of literacy routines that support content literacy, such as CLOZE activities, choral reading, text puzzles, and student-created tests. By the end of this course, content area teachers will gain increased confidence and proficiency in effectively facilitating the science of reading principles to increase students’ proficiency as they continue their journey in reading to learn. 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 content of this course has been very useful for my pedagogy and practices as a teacher. Literacy is essential to every content area, but especially to English, the subject I teach. I now have more insight into the science of teaching reading and look forward to implementing these strategies in my class." - Eric Torruella


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: EDUC42493
Unit One
  • What is the Science of Reading?
  • Brain Science Behind the Science of Reading
  • Demystifying the Science of Reading
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Word Recognition and Decoding
  • Language Comprehension and Background Knowledge
  • Language Comprehension and Vocabulary
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Language Comprehension and Language Structures
  • Language Comprehension and Verbal Reasoning
  • Language Comprehension and Literacy Knowledge
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Addressing the Needs of Struggling Readers: Root Words, Prefixes, and Suffixes
  • Addressing the Needs of Struggling Readers: Academic Vocabulary
  • Addressing the Needs of Struggling Readers: Direct Instruction
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Accessing Background and Cross-Curricular Knowledge
  • Accessing Complex Texts
  • Best Instructional Practices to Improve Analytical Reading and Writing
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Subject-Area Reading Comprehension
  • Transforming Interventions through PLCs
  • Instructional Routines to Support Content Literacy
  • Assignment #4: Design three activities that apply the science of reading practices and principles
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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