Read Oregon: An Oregon Collaborative for Improvement of Literacy

formerly known as CREADE
Collaborative Reading Education And Distance Education

ONLINE COURSE (Desire to Learn! - D2L)

READ 509-P: PSU Reading Practicum (3 credits)
This course is offered fall, winter, and spring terms as necessary

Dr. Dot McElhone - Portland State University

The practicum is carried out in schools and/or districts and consists of reading endorsement candidates working directly with students, other faculty, administrators, and the school community to fulfill various roles of the reading specialist. Among the roles to be demonstrated during the practicum are: 1) teaching reading; 2) literacy testing; 3) developing curriculum for various groups of readers including ELL, struggling readers, average and/or gifted readers; 4) assessing and making recommendations for a school's reading program; and 5) developing literacy-focused professional development sessions for faculty, administrators, instructional assistances, and parents.
PREREQUISITES The practicum may not be taken until a candidate has completed a minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework, specifically, 3 hours from the Literacy Strategies/Methods thematic area, 3 hours from the Literacy Assessment thematic area, 3 hours from the Literacy Leadership thematic area and 3 hours of electives. Typically, the practicum is the final capstone course of the reading endorsement course of study.
Reading Endorsement students upon completion of the practicum will demonstrate:
1. Expertise in assessing and instructing readers, particularly struggling readers.
2. Professional development/leadership experience in working with fellow teachers, instructional assistants, administrators, and parents.
3. Fulfillment of a variety of reading specialist roles, e.g., designing/assessing/implementing literacy programs, working with parents/community members, evaluating literacy materials, mentoring, action research, etc.
STANDARDS This course supports the following International Reading Association's 2010 Standards for Reading Professionals:
1.3 Candidates understand the role of professional judgment and practical knowledge for improving all students' reading development and achievement.
2.1 Candidates use foundational knowledge to design or implement an integrated, comprehensive, and balanced curriculum.
2.2 Candidates use appropriate and varied instructional approaches, including those that develop word recognition, language comprehension, strategic knowledge, and reading-writing connections.
2.3 Candidates use a wide range of texts (e.g., narrative, expository, and poetry) from traditional print, digital, and online resources.
3.1 Candidates understand types of assessments and their purposes, strengths, and limitations.
3.2 Candidates select, develop, administer, and interpret assessments, both traditional print and electronic, for specific purposes.
3.3 Candidates use assessment information to plan and evaluate instruction.
3.4 Candidates communicate assessment results and implications to a variety of audiences.
4.1 Candidates recognize, understand, and value the forms of diversity that exist in society and their importance in learning to read and write.
4.2 Candidates use a literacy curriculum and engage in instructional practices that positively impact students' knowledge, beliefs, and engagement with the features of diversity.
5.2 Candidates design a social environment that is low risk and includes choice, motivation, and scaffolded support to optimize students' opportunities for learning to read and write.
5.3 Candidates use routines to support reading and writing instruction (e.g., time allocation, transitions from one activity to another, discussions, and peer feedback).
6.1 Candidates demonstrate foundational knowledge of adult learning theories and related research about organizational change, professional development, and school culture.
6.2 Candidates display positive dispositions related to their own reading and writing and the teaching of reading and writing, and pursue the development of individual professional knowledge and behaviors.
6.3 Candidates participate in, design, facilitate, lead, and evaluate effective and differentiated professional development programs.
Candidates will:
a. Complete a diagnosis of the reading proficiencies and difficulties of the student population being served.
b. Develop a literacy instructional plan to meet the needs determined by this diagnosis.
c. Plan and implement specific literacy work with struggling readers.
d. Develop and implement specific plans to communicate with the concerned community: parents, caregivers, colleagues, administrators.
CORE/ELECTIVE This graduate-level practicum is a university and TSPC requirement for teachers seeking a Reading Endorsement.
INSTRUCTOR Dot McElhone, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor in the PSU Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She teaches courses on elementary literacy instructional methods, assessing and instructing struggling elementary readers, paradigms of research, and children's literature. Dr. McElhone earned her doctorate in Curriculum and Teacher Education with a focus on literacy at Stanford University in 2009. She won a National Academy of Education/Carnegie fellowship to support her dissertation research, which explored relationships between patterns of teacher talk and student reading engagement and achievement. She is currently researching an approach to helping teachers improve classroom talk through examination of video and the use of conceptual tools for analyzing discourse. Dr. McElhone earned her teaching credential at Vanderbilt University, served as an AmeriCorps member in a rural elementary school, and taught for several years in Oregon before pursuing her doctorate. She is a board member for the Portland Reading Council.
Teachers seeking a reading endorsement. Candidates must complete the practicum that is offered through their home institution.
90 hours of university-approved literacy fieldwork.
TEXTBOOK A textbook is required for this course. Please check with PSU's ReadOregon program.
COST No course in the ReadOregon curriculum will cost more than $359 per credit, including fees, for students in the ReadOregon program.
CONTACT For more details on this course, please contact Dot McElhone at or Elizabeth Snyder at
Please submit a Practicum Sign-Up Form to PSU when you have taken 12 credits of your reading endorsement course of study.

For further questions about ReadOregon programs, email Bonnie Morihara or call 503-838-8413.

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