EDEX 424: ​Strategic Assessment & Instruction ​in Expository Texts

Andrew Weaver

This course is designed to develop student’s knowledge of assessment and teaching methodologies and to provide experiences in designing and implementing instruction in expository texts for students with reading and learning disabilities. This course is also designed to address the demands of educational environments in which teachers are expected to collaborate in providing direct services to students. Our work will focus on the growth and development of collaborative practices. In addition, students are expected to collaborate with each other in planning, designing, adapting, and evaluating assessment and instructional activities in a range of expository texts.


Archer, Anita L. & Hughes, Charles A. (2011) Explicit instruction: Effective and Efficient Teaching. New York: The Guilford Press. (Supplemental)

Fisher, D. & Frey, N. (2016). Improving adolescent literacy: Content area strategies that work, 4th Edition. Boston: Pearson. (Required for Project)

Course Requirements & Resources

In-Class Workshop Activities (30%)

This class emphasizes the importance of in-class learning activities. Class sessions include workshop projects (individual and group), lectures, discussions, and short “Please Do Now” activities that are graded based on in-class participation and completion. Because students are allowed to miss the equivalent of three total hours of unexcused absence (one class in a 15-week semester or approximately ⅔ of a class in a 10-week session), one week of “Please Do Nows” are “free” and awarded even if absent for the allowed time. However, it should be stressed that exams and projects are based on what is covered in class (including the in-class workshop projects), so it is important that students find out what content was missed in any lecture/class activity. Students also may choose to enrich their class preparation by completing textbook readings in advance of class. The class textbooks are helpful and supplemental, but not required. Participation in class discussions is required and attendance at all classes is an expectation of full participation.

IEP Development Project (20%)

Students will be given a Case Study/Sample Evaluation Report and are required to develop particular sections of an IEP. The purpose of this assignment is to familiarize students with the assessment tools and processes typically used in evaluating and planning for students identified for special education services in the categories of learning disabilities, other health impairment (OHI), and/or emotional/behavior disorders. Students will become familiar with an Evaluation Report (ER), as well as developing critical components of an IEP. First, study the Case Notes & ER for Jack Casey (under "Project Links"). Then, consult the IEP Checklist & Idea Bank. Follow this carefully. Finally, open the IEP Template and "Make a Copy" (under FILE tab). Include your full name in title. After completing, print a paper copy to be evaluated by instructor.

Resource Links:

Project Links:

Explicit Instruction Literacy Lesson (10%)

Students will create an Explicit Instruction lesson plan for a 20-minute, 8th grade small group literacy intervention. Students may have opportunity to share & discuss their lesson plan with the class. Use the EI Template for your lesson plan. (Make a copy of the file and insert your lesson notes in the appropriate boxes.) Use the EI Slideshow as the basis of your slideshow. (Make a copy of the file and then create your slideshow from the template.) Print your EI Lesson AND your slideshow (6-slides per page format). Bring both to class on due date. Be prepared to present an overview of your lesson in class.

Content Learning/Assessment Project: Interdisciplinary Mini Unit (Key Assessment) (20%)

Students will work in pairs (or small groups) as co-teachers to create an integrated language arts thematic mini unit which demonstrates understanding and ability to integrate language arts across the curriculum, and plan accommodations for struggling learners. The mini unit should be designed for students between 4th through 8th-grade.

Exams (20%)

A midterm and final exam will be given. Exams may consist of multiple choice, short answer items, fill-in-the-blank, or essay questions. Exams will cover material emphasized in class activities and lectures, as well as instructor-designed resources.