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November 2, 2020 @ 9:00 am December 23, 2020 @ 3:30 pm

Linking Assessment to Teaching: Reading, Writing & Word Study

Teachers sitting at tables at a professional development training.

Design your literacy instruction to meet the needs of all students.

In this 8-week online graduate course, teachers develop skills in systematic observation and analysis of student reading, writing, and language behaviors in order to plan effective teaching to meet student needs.

November 2 – December 23, 2020
Number of Days:
8 weeks
Grade Levels:
Literacy Teaching
  • Classroom Teachers, Interventionists, & Specialists
  • Literacy Coaches & Teacher Leaders
Must be taken for graduate credit
Online: On-Demand Learning
$2,050 ($650/credit + $20 registration fee + $30 technology fee + $50 copyright fee) + required texts
  • Course Number: EEDUC 6165.80
  • Fees are subject to change
Course Description & Outcomes
Cancellation Deadlines & Refund Policies


Authentic, standardized assessment and analysis of reading records, writing, and talk provide teachers insight into how students process, comprehend, and craft meaningful text.

In this online graduate course, you will learn how to use systematic observation and analysis of student reading, writing and language usage. Using the Fountas and Pinnell Literacy Continuum, you will be able to identify the behaviors and understandings that are essential to the way words and language work. Then, you can use these understandings to design appropriate literacy instruction that meets the diverse needs of all students.

By enrolling in an online graduate course, you have the flexibility to learn at your own pace with the support of a virtual community and have access to a variety of educational resources and materials at your convenience.

Course Outcomes

  • To learn that observing reading, writing, and language behaviors is a foundational skill for planning differentiated and targeted instruction
  • To learn how to code, score, and analyze reading records using systematic, standardized assessment
  • To build an understanding of the reading process and the systems of strategic actions that enable students to become effective readers
  • To learn how to gather evidence of the use of the systems of strategic actions from observing students reading, talking and writing about text.
  • To think about how second language acquisition impacts assessment and how to observe and analyze the behaviors of English language learners (ELLs) to inform differentiated instruction
  • To learn how to assess phonological awareness and concepts related to word study and vocabulary development
  • To develop an understanding of the demands of texts increasing in difficulty across a gradient
  • To learn to use The Continuum of Literacy Learning as a resource to help analyze reading and writing behaviors and link the assessment data to instruction
  • To develop an understanding of how reading, writing and language behaviors change over time
  • To begin thinking about designing individual, small group and whole group literacy instruction to meet the needs of all students

You’ll need access to a student at this grade level (K–8) to complete assignments successfully.

Required Texts

You are responsible for purchasing/having access to the following professional texts for this course:

  • Fountas, I.C. & Pinnell, G.S. (2016).  The Fountas and Pinnell literacy continuum, expanded edition: A tool for assessment, planning, and teaching. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Fountas, I.C. & Pinnell, G.S. (2006). Teaching for comprehending and fluency: Thinking, talking, and writing about reading, K-8.  Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.
  • Anderson, C. (2004).  Assessing writers. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

Also required (choose one):

  • Fountas, I.C. and Pinnell, G.S. (2016) Assessment guide 1: A guide to Benchmark Assessment System 1, (3rd edition). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann
  • Fountas, I.C. and Pinnell, G.S. (2016). Assessment guide 2: A guide to Benchmark Assessment System 2,  (3rd edition). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.


This option must be taken for 3 graduate credits. Take the course individually or as a required course in our 18-credit Online Graduate Certificate in Developing Literacy Expertise Through Responsive Classroom Teaching.

Interested in professional learning at your school 
or district? Schedule a meeting with one of our faculty trainers.