Language Arts: A Developmental Approach

There are two major learning pathways through the course. The first, for students seeking initial certification, reinforces key foundational literacy skills and practices. You will develop a portfolio of lessons that will be assessed using the planning domain of the SCSU student teaching rubric.

The second pathway of the course, designed for those in a Master’s program, asks you to think critically about common assumptions surrounding the development language, literacy, and culture. We will then consider the implications of practices in the language arts classroom. You will complete various case studies, create a series of learning activities, and make instructional videos.

This course is broken into five different modules. The timeline for the three week class will involve you completing all of the modules. Due to the compressed nature of summer courses the workload is intense. The technology, while new, is not. I will provide all the support needed for any tool we use in class.

The Technology

We will be using web annotations, blogs, video, and a class website to analyze common practices in the Language Arts classroom. We then as a group will try and promote better practices in our own teaching.

The Web has fundamentally shifted the ways we read, write, and participate. We will confront this shift by making with new tools for language that students confront every day. This class uses three basic tools:

  • Blogging. Every teacher will set up a website as a blogging platform. Each week you will be asked to post twice. There are no parameters. No word count. If you want to use images, video, quotes, or summaries it is up to you. I just ask you think critically and base your analysis within the texts we read. For those who like a little more structure each week your peers will post possible writing topics.

  • Annotations We will socially annotate all of our readings using a tool called This will allow us to share insights and debate the meanings of texts/

  • Class Stream We have a private class stream. Each person will join. We will use it to share the artifacts we create and debate the issues at hand.

Online Doesn’t Mean Alone

This model for this class asks you to create and share your learning but it doesn’t ask you to do it alone. There will be weekly chats, an open forum and video hangouts to help our community.

I will also host an introductory session to the course Wednesday at July 29th at 5:00 pm. I will review the syllabus and will provide small group instruction in all technology required in the class.

Throughout the summer I will make myself available for face to face meeting during the day and will be available for video conferences in the evening by appointment. I can provide the support but we must build the community.

The Workflow

  • Reading Each week a series of readings (books, research, videos_ will be assigned. These are in three categories: All, Masters+Cert, and Masters. You will read and annotate the assigned texts

  • Writing You will write two posts on your personal blog each week. You will post a link along with a short summary to the class stream. You will complete a series of activities each week and share what you do on the class stream as well.

  • Participate We will interact each other to create a culture of learning. Each week a group of you will be selected to lead the class. You will post a few questions or prompts for us to consider. Then at the end of the week you will post a video of you summarizing, analyzing, and generally discussing the weeks activity.

The Modules

Pre-Course Set-Up

Join the Stream, Set up a blog, Start annotating.

Literacy and Culture

Considering the metaphors we use.

Cracking the Code

Foundational Skills and the CCSS

Fun with our Words

Spelling, Word Study, Orthography

Texts & Making Meaning

Comprehension and Text Based Discussions.

Web Literacy and Language

Read, Write, and Participate on the Web

The Tutorials


The Basic Tools for Writing on the Web


How to use Google Hangouts to Record Video

Using to annotate our readings

Background Information

Other talks and tips on reading and writing