Engage Students in Reading the Canon through Student-Centered, Research-Based Backward Design

Whether your district is requiring you to teach specific texts each year or 80-year-old texts are the only class sets you have in your school library, this online professional development will help you leverage what you have to engage student in reading and responding to texts. Sign up for the waiting list to be the first in line to access our online PD.

What You’ll learn in this course

You know you have to teach the canon, the books in your school’s library that have been decorating the shelves for the past 30 years. But your students aren’t having it. How do you encourage students to value reading and writing when your materials are limited? This course is based on student-centered learning,  backward-design and central-design research. It will help you create reading units that will engage your students in authentic, research and standards-based reading and writing processes and assessments.

Lesson 1 Theory of Backwards Design

Synthesize the research and focus on the WHY of both your unit design and of the outcomes for your students.

Lesson 2 Student Centered Learning

Synthesize research and focus on the importance of starting with your students: Who are they? What do they need to know right now? What do they need to be able to do?

Lesson 3 Processes/Unit Tasks/Templates

Learn how to create processes and tasks that will guide students in an authentic and meaningful journey from the beginning of the unit to the learning goal.

Lesson 4 Canon Text Selection

Consider the print and non-print, canon and modern text options and implications for student-centered choice in the context of where you are teaching.

Lesson 5 Scaffold Design

Learn how to leverage student generated data to design the scaffolding students need to learn, grow, and succeed at every step of the process.

Lesson 6 Praxis: Reflection, Relationship, Action

The most important step of the design process (that is often forgotten about in the hectic school year) is reflection. Learn how to reflect and partner with students to create next steps.

Your Course Creators

Danielle O'Rourke, M.Ed. & Michelle Boyd Waters, M.Ed.

Dani and Michelle, both Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum master's program graduates from the University of Oklahoma, collaborate to bring you the professional development you need create authentic learning communities in your classroom.