Click Here to Access Your Online Course

 

>> PDI Home > Reading-Language Arts Courses

 

 

FLASH SALE through September 29th

Be Prepared: October is Anti-Bullying Month

All Anti-Bullying Related Flex Courses are only $99 or $271 with credit

PLUS: Register for PDI's Distance Learning: How to Survive and Thrive Course for Only $25!

Red Arrow Building Critical Social and Emotional Skills Using Literature (K-12)

Do you wish you had an appropriate and engaging way to address social and emotional issues? Do you like to use authentic literature in your classroom teaching? SEL is a process for learning essential life skills such as decision making, problem solving, effective communication, empathy, perseverance, and coping, just to name a few. Teachers are searching for the most effective ways to introduce and teach appropriate social and emotional skills in the classroom as they relate to sensitive issues, many of which are beyond their control. This course provides the perfect approach by using high-quality literature to deal with sensitive issues from tattling and appropriately developing friendships, to depression, stress and anxiety, bullying, substance abuse, and others. Teachers will be provided with thorough background information on each topic as well as the implications for the classroom environment and teaching. Then, a minimum of two books are shared for each topic along with three-to-five lesson plans for each title. The course introduces lesson plans for over twenty chapter books and thirteen picture books. An additional list of picture books and novels are shared for every single social and emotional topic presented in the course.

Red Arrow Comprehension: The Key to Successful Reading (K-3)

Do you have students who read all the words correctly and then have no idea what they just read? This online course focuses on improving students’ comprehension skills. The course begins by offering three different options for assessing comprehension including retelling, cloze procedure, and miscue analysis. Then, teachers are introduced to a wealth of strategies that can improve and support a reader’s comprehension. Strategies presented include: anticipation guides, DRTA, guided reading, and reciprocal teaching. Teachers will also learn how to effectively formulate comprehension questions across a variety of different levels. Teachers will understand the role that text structure plays and how it impacts students’ comprehension. Finally, teachers will understand how vocabulary affects comprehension.

Red Arrow Comprehension Strategies for Middle and Upper Grades (4-12)

Are you concerned about students who read the assigned text or chapter yet have little or no comprehension of the content upon completion? Effective comprehension skills are critical for students in the upper grades, as they are exposed to more difficult content reading. This online course provides teachers with excellent strategies designed to boost both comprehension and retention. Teachers will learn successful comprehension-building strategies such as DRTA, SQ3R, and close reading. Lessons are presented to teach students how to infer, draw conclusions, and summarize. Teachers will receive resources that can be used to teach students about the different text structures and how they can use that information to improve their comprehension. Teachers will also learn how to conduct quick assessments in order to identify struggling readers so that they may offer the necessary support to help those students find success.

Red Arrow The Daily 5 (K-3)

Do you find that working with small reading and writing groups at the primary level is a less than ideal situation? Are students constantly interrupting your small group instruction for directions and clarifications? This online course introduces the Daily 5, a framework for structuring the time students spend working on literacy. This literacy block routine is structured in such a way that an entire classroom of students is engaged in deliberate, thoughtful, interesting, and fun activities which are focused on literacy while the teacher meets with small groups or individuals to provide targeted instruction. This course provides an in-depth look at the core components of the Daily 5 structure including Read to Self, Work on Writing, Read to Someone, Word Work, and Listen to Reading. Participants will learn about the overall structure of the Daily 5, including how to introduce all five components through specific foundation lessons. Strategies will be offered for differentiation and assessment.

Red Arrow Developing Phonemic Awareness in Emergent Readers (PreK-2)

Do you find yourself struggling to find effective strategies for teaching the foundational skills of reading? This online course focuses on developing a child’s phonemic awareness to prepare him or her to be a successful reader. The course begins with phonemic awareness assessment options. Based on the assessment results, the teacher can determine which strategies are most appropriate for each student. Instructional strategies presented in the course include: blending, rhyming, alliteration, onset and rime, syllable segmentation, and many more. Teachers will also be introduced to the connection between phonemic awareness and writing. Teachers will also learn how to use the language experience approach to reinforce basic phonemic skills and concepts. Teachers will understand the importance of teaching high frequency and sight words. Finally, teachers will learn how to build the important home-school connection so that basic skills learned in the classroom can be practiced and reinforced at home.

Red Arrow Developmentally Appropriate Content Activities for Early Learners (PreK-2)

As long as a classroom activity is designed for a specific grade level, then that must mean it is developmentally appropriate, right? Wrong! Developmentally appropriate activities are designed to be at the correct developmental level of the student, presented in an appropriate way so that s/he has access to the learning. This may or may not “mesh” with his/her grade or age level and applies to a broad spectrum of students including those with learning disabilities as well as students who are gifted and talented. This online course is designed for PreK-2 teachers who are looking to explore how to update their current curriculum to make it more developmentally appropriate for all their young learners. This course begins by defining exactly what developmentally appropriate means. As teachers progress through the course, they will learn about the importance of play. They will learn specific strategies for bringing developmentally appropriate activities into phonological awareness, phonics, and sight word instruction. Teachers will learn about the developmental stages of writing and will be introduced to a variety of activities to supplement their writing instruction. Additional developmentally appropriate strategies and activities are discussed for each of the content areas including mathematics, science, and social studies. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to implement developmentally appropriate activities into their own teaching practices.

Red Arrow Focus on Phonics (K-3)

Do your students lack basic phonics skills? This online course focuses on effective ways to teach children to decode unknown words. Phonics basics will be emphasized along with specific ways to help students who are struggling in this area. Using context clues and structural analysis as a means of decoding will also be introduced. Suggestions for teaching sight words, high frequency words, and instant words will be shared. Teachers will also learn how to use the making words and chunking strategies as well as how to implement reader’s workshop and literacy stations. Teachers will gain ideas for using the language experience approach to reinforce phonics and spelling skills. The course will also focus on assessment strategies for phonics and decoding, including running records, miscue analysis, and informal reading inventories.

Red Arrow Guided Reading 101 (K-5)

Is the push for individualized differentiated instruction making it difficult for you to address the various learning needs and ability levels of your students during your reading block? Perhaps you feel frustrated because "teaching in the middle" seems to alienate a whole spectrum of learners? Guided reading is a way in which teachers can guide their students throughout the entire reading process, in a targeted and personalized manner. This online course is designed for K-5 teachers who wish to explore the guided reading strategy in detail. Teachers will be introduced to the basic framework of guided reading and will learn a variety of strategies to meet all their students' needs in the building block areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Teachers will learn about the importance of using data to find their students' reading levels and how to determine the readability of leveled text so students can be appropriately matched to high-interest books. The course takes teachers through the entire process of guided reading. Additional topics include how to organize a shared guided reading library, how to incorporate writing into the guided reading framework, and how to further differentiate for English language learners.

Red Arrow Implementing the Workshop Model in Reading, Writing, Math, and Science (4-8)

Are you wondering what the word workshop has to do with reading, writing, mathematics, and science? After all, a workshop is typically a messy place where people come to imagine, apply, and create. The fact of the matter is that the whole process of teaching and learning can and should become “messy,” as students grapple with rigorous concepts and ideas within the confines of a predictable, motivating, and engaging routine. This online course is designed for teachers in grades 4-8 who want to learn how to better engage their students as they examine and investigate a variety of interesting and engaging concepts and activities on a daily basis using the workshop model. The focus of the course is on helping teachers implement a workshop model for reading, writing, math, and science that includes a mini-lesson, student-directed independent work (while the teacher meets with small groups or conferences), and sharing. Some of the additional highlighted topics include backwards planning and organization, goal setting, project-based learning through the use of STEM activities, and tapping into students’ natural curiosity using makerspaces, all under the auspices of a rigorous, supportive, and engaging classroom.

Red Arrow Interventions for Middle Grade Struggling Readers (4-6)

Do you have struggling readers in your class? Are you challenged to find strategies that can truly help these readers become successful? This online course begins by introducing the building blocks of the reading process and the role that each of them plays in effective reading instruction. Evidence-based interventions are explored as they relate to deficits in phonological awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension skills. Teachers will learn how to incorporate the use of think-alouds, interactive read-alouds, graphic organizers, and hi-lo books to improve their students' background knowledge, vocabulary knowledge, and understanding of text structure will be explored. Teachers will also learn how to weave a variety of strategies into their content curriculum so that students can more effectively comprehend informational texts. Teachers will explore the critical role that informal assessments play in the teaching of reading and how these assessments can be used to create targeted remediation plans for struggling readers. By the end of the course, teachers will understand how to best help their struggling readers so that they can make dramatic improvements in reading skills and comprehension.

Red Arrow Mastering the Challenge of Text Complexity in Grades 4-8 (4-8)

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 covers strategies for implementing the Common Core State Standards in reading literature and informational texts. Teachers will learn strategies for assessing text complexity, asking and answering text-dependent questions, using textual evidence, teaching important Common Core-related vocabulary building strategies, and helping students learn how to read closely. Teachers will learn the importance of increasing vocabulary 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.

Red Arrow A New Approach to Spelling Instruction (K-6)

Are you bored with teaching the same spelling lessons each week? This online course is designed for educators interested in learning a variety of ways to teach essential spelling skills to their students. Spelling is an essential and complex skill and an important component of the overall language arts curriculum. Instead of looking at spelling as a memorization process, spelling should be thought of as a building block of literacy development. In this course, teachers will learn a variety of proven ways to increase students’ spelling skills using interactive, developmental, and fun activities. Strategies such as word families, mnemonics, and self-correction model will all be shared. Teachers will also understand the developmental levels of spelling and how invented spelling fits in. Teachers will also be introduced to a variety of technology resources that can be used to promote spelling and vocabulary development.

Red Arrow Reading Foundations for Emergent and Early Readers (PreK-2)

Do you ever wonder what you can do to help young students gain a better foundation in reading? This online course is designed for teachers in grades PreK-2 who want to build a solid foundation in reading for each of their students from the very beginning. Information on the building blocks of reading is shared together with specific strategies for incorporating these foundational skills into everyday practice. Teachers will gain a solid understanding of such concepts as phonemic awareness, phonics, decoding, sight words, vocabulary, and fluency, just to name a few. Teachers will also learn assessment strategies such as retelling and asking students to answer questions using textual evidence. Finally, teachers will also learn how to help their students choose “just right” books for their individual reading levels. By the end of this course, teachers will more fully understand how to best help their students with learning how to read and will have gained valuable classroom ideas to incorporate these skills into their everyday teaching.

Red Arrow 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.

Red Arrow 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.

Red Arrow Reading Workshop Approach in the Middle Grades (4-8)

Are you interested in learning the whys, whats, and hows of implementing a reader's workshop approach in your classroom? This course is designed for teachers who work with readers in grades 4-8. It details the basics of implementing a reader’s workshop approach in your classroom.  The course materials are based on current best-practices research. Topics addressed in the course include an overview of the workshop approach, using multiple and varied assessments, differentiation strategies, whole class, small group, and independent work teaching strategies, as well as tips and hints for record-keeping. There is also an emphasis on management and routines to help the reader’s workshop run effectively and efficiently.

Red Arrow Response to Intervention in Reading (K-6)

re you in need of strategies to help your struggling readers? Do you want to know more about the Response to Intervention (RtI) model? This online course is designed for teachers who are beginning to implement the Response to Intervention model in reading. The course materials are based on current best-practices research. Topics addressed in the course include an overview of RtI and the importance of using multiple and varied assessments. The focus is on progress monitoring and specific interventions for the big five ideas in reading including phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Interventions for struggling readers and English language learners will also be presented. Additionally, interventions for reading math content are included. A variety of scheduling models are also shared.

Red Arrow Teaching Critical SEL Skills Using Picture Books (PreK-3)

Does the prospect of finding a way to incorporate the teaching of critical social-emotional issues send you into a quandary? Do you have a deep love for using authentic children’s literature in your current teaching practices? If so, look no further! Social and emotional learning (SEL) is a process for learning essential life skills such as decision making, problem solving, effective communication, empathy, perseverance, and coping, just to name a few. Teachers are searching for the most effective ways to introduce and teach appropriate social-emotional skills in the classroom as they relate to common classroom issues, some of which can be quite sensitive, and which almost always are beyond their control. This online course provides the perfect approach by using high-quality picture books to deal with a variety of SEL issues from separation anxiety, kindness, and tattling, to poverty and homelessness, divorce, anger management, childhood health and obesity, teasing and bullying, and others. Teachers will be provided with thorough background information on each topic as well as the implications for the classroom environment and teaching. Then, each topic shares three authentic children’s books, together with lessons for each title. The course introduces lesson plans for forty-seven picture books. An additional list of picture books is shared for every single social-emotional topic presented in the course, as well as links to additional resources, as applicable. By the end of this course, teachers will feel more confident and successful in their quest to embed the teaching of social-emotional skills into their own teaching practices.

Red Arrow Vocabulary-Building Strategies for Students in Grades 4-12 (4-12)

Do your students struggle with academic vocabulary? Does vocabulary instruction often get set aside for more “important” literacy-related instruction? This online course is designed to increase the effectiveness of vocabulary instruction in grades 4-12. This course teaches about the importance of explicitly teaching vocabulary and what teachers can specifically do to enhance their literacy programs so that vocabulary development is constantly nurtured. Teachers will learn specific strategies such as Greek and Latin roots, structural analysis, and morphology in order to increase comprehension. Teachers will learn how to incorporate graphic organizers such as concept maps and word webs into their daily instruction in order to boost students’ vocabulary knowledge, both in reading and across all content areas. The idea of using vocabulary games will also be explored. Differentiation and assessment are also discussed, resulting in an in-depth understanding of just what it takes to foster a quality vocabulary program.

Red Arrow Word Play: Vocabulary Instruction in the Primary Grades (K-3)

Are you looking for ways to rapidly grow your students' vocabulary? This online course focuses on ways to improve students' vocabulary. The course begins with options for vocabulary assessment. The results of the assessment will be used to guide instruction and select appropriate and effective instructional strategies. Strategies presented include word parts and word roots, semantic feature analysis, categorization, analogies, concept maps, traditional resources, and the cloze procedure. Teachers will also be presented with information regarding the strong connection between vocabulary development and comprehension. Teachers will understand the importance of reading aloud to students and establishing a print-rich classroom environment in order to build student’s vocabularies. Finally, specific intervention strategies for struggling students are also shared.