Course details

Sp 15, Su 16, Su 17
Course number
READ 570
Course title
Classroom Assmnt and Reading Instruction
Course description

This course provides teachers with an understanding of issues related to reading instruction and assessment. Practicing educators will be provided research-validated strategies and assessment tools to inform instruction, meet the needs of individual learners, and develop an understanding of the issues related to effective reading instruction. A major focus of this course is the integral relationship between informal classroom assessments and effective instructional strategies within the context of a balanced reading approach.

Amy Belcastro
Instructor bio

BA in History, 1988, University of California, Santa Cruz; Mult. Subjects and Social Science Teaching Credential, 1989, C.S.U. Sacramento; MA, Behavioral Science 1996, C.S.U. Sacramento; PhD at UC Davis in Educational Policy and School Organization, 2009.

Amy has been a member of the educational system for over 25 years. Her background includes working as a member of the research and development team for the California Department of Education; teaching in an alternative secondary setting, middle school PDS and an elementary school; and teaching at the post-secondary education in California and Oregon. She is an active member of numerous professional organizations, presenting nationally and internationally on higher education and teacher education reform. Currently, she is coordinating the MAT Program and teaching curriculum, instruction and assessment classes in the under-graduate and graduate programs. Her professional interests areas of research include: Higher education policy and curriculum; Higher education retention: Non-traditional and first-generation students and adult learning theory; K-12 curriculum and assessment policy and instructional effectiveness; Social-emotional learning theory and intelligence; and issues of social justice and democratic schools.


There are no required prerequisites for this course. However, learners are assumed to be teachers with access to students in the pk-12 grade level.


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.
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).
6.2 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.

Practical applications

Learners will be able to make informed and critical use of literacy assessments and their data that will inform their instructional practices. This course incorporates assignments that require practical application of ideas learned.

Time commitment

Students should expect to spend 9 hours per week for 10 weeks in course-related activities (e.g., reading the text and course materials, posting to discussion forums, completing written reports/papers and assignments). This course is online and does not require in-person attendance. Assignments are completed on the learner’s time schedule and are due as posted.


A textbook is required for this course. Please check with SOU’s ReadOregon program.

Historical offerings

Spring 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Summer 2006
Fall 2008, 2010