Mastering the Text Complexity Challenge in Grades 4-8

(Grades 4-8) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 46T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41603

Course Description

Are you struggling to help your students master text complexity for your grade level? This online course is designed for teachers of grades four through eight who are interested in learning the best practices for helping their students master text complexity. This course begins with an overview of standards for ELA, literature, and informational texts. Teachers will learn strategies for assessing text complexity, asking and answering text-dependent questions, using textual evidence, teaching important standards-related and vocabulary building strategies. An emphasis is placed upon strategies and techniques for helping students learn how to read both narrative and information texts closely. Text exemplars are shared along with specific tools for analyzing texts. Teachers will also learn questioning techniques specific for students who struggle. Teachers will learn the importance of building vocabulary, as well as the vocabulary self-correction strategy to assist students in comprehending complex text. Finally, teachers will learn strategies for helping students explore theme and author’s message in a variety of genres. By the end of this course, teachers will be better prepared to help their students understand and master text complexity. 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 felt that the content and resources are very applicable to what I am doing in my classroom right now! I GREATLY appreciate that about PDI courses, it is hands-on and ties in with real instruction! I feel that I can use everything immediately" - Amy Bork

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$120 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD

$304 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: EDUC41603
Unit One
  • Overview of the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts
  • Standards for Literature
  • Standards for Informational Text
  • Balancing Types of Text
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Overview of Text Complexity
  • Text Exemplars and Other Tools for Analyzing Texts
  • Leveled Texts
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Asking and Answering Questions with Evidence
  • Questioning Techniques to Help Readers who Struggle
  • Overview of Disciplinary Literacy and Content Integration
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • Overview of Close Reading
  • Close Reading with Literature
  • Close Reading with Informational Texts
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Building Vocabulary
  • Vocabulary Self-Collection
  • Writing with Reading in Mind
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Understanding and Working with Theme and Author's Message
  • Exploring Genre
  • Resources for Reading in Grades 4-8
  • Assignment #4: Develop a Text Complexity Lesson
  • Assignment #5: Course Reflection

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