Course 1: Reading and the Brain

This course is part of the Online Professional Development Certificate Program

 Research-Based Reading Instructions and Interventions: Elementary Level

About this Course

This course is designed to provide an overview of how the brain creates meaning with print and to describe and demonstrate eight pedagogical strategies as follows:


Course goals:

As a result of taking this course, students will be able to -

1. Describe the salient processes related to creating meaning with print

2. Compare and contrast meaning-first vs. code-first approaches

3. identify and implement new pedagogical strategies

4. Engage in a reflexive analysis and response related to three pedagogical strategies

Get Started

Reading Assignments

• Introduction
• Chapter 1: Creating Meaning with Print – The Neurocognitive Model
• Chapter 2: Eye Movement and Neural Pathways
• Chapter 3: Understanding Reading From a Cognitive Perspective

Text:  10 Essential Instructional Elements for Students with Reading Difficulties: A Brain-Friendly Approach’ (Johnson, 2016)


Video Mini-Lectures

1. Cloze and Maze (2:43)

2. Sentence Mix-Up (1:10) 

3. Semantic Features Analysis (1:15)

4. Assisted Writing (2:22)

5. Facilitated Writing (1:22)

6. Scaffolded Writing (2:38)

7. Language Experience Approach (2:45)

8. Pre-Reading: Semantic Impression (1:49)



Reflective Analysis and Response Assignment

Select any three of the eight strategies above to try in your classrooms. Implement each strategy for at least two weeks (you can do this simultaneously).  Then, conduct a reflective analysis using the below template.  Share your results on the FlipGrid discussion.  This discussion format allows you to share your ideas using short, recorded videos (90 seconds or less).  It is simple to use.  Go to the site below to record your ideas:      Use the password: ReadingAJ

Report and Analysis Form

Date(s) of implementation:
1. How did you use the strategy?
2. What seemed to work well?
3. What would you do differently?
4. Other observations and analysis:

Discussion Web Responding Guide

1. Interesting.  Find and describe some part of the entry that you like or find to be interesting or useful.

2. Question.  Find and describe some part of the entry about which you’d like more information or have questions.

3. Extension or application.  Identify and describe other ideas, applications, or extensions you might have related to the entry.

4. Other.