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975 Snelling Avenue South
St. Paul


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Reading Strategies Syllabus

Syllabus: Reading Strategies

Teacher: Ms. Blomquist/Ms. Carow

Email: or



Course Description:

Read 180 is intensive supplemental English Language Arts course designed to assist struggling readers in moving toward grade level in reading skills. It is designed for students whose MCA test scores and classroom-based assessment results indicate he/she is reading at one or more grade levels below his or her grade level. Read 180 course activities focus on expanding vocabulary skills, improving comprehension skills, and strengthening listening, viewing, speaking, and writing skills. Students will learn reading strategies to use with a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts and respond orally and in written form.  They will further develop academic writing skills by improving language mechanics and grammar usage. 

This course prepares students for success in the IB Middle Years Program (MYP) by further expanding their reading, writing and vocabulary. The development of these skills will enable them to become better critical thinkers and learn to research information and use it properly.

This class focuses on skills and strategies to meet the MN Language Arts Standards in Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Preparing for Standardized tests in Reading and Writing is also an integral part of the course. This class is also designed to prepare students for success in mainstream classes. 

Course Objectives:

  1. Continue to apply multiple reading strategies to Fiction and Non-Fiction texts.
  2. Improve academic vocabulary
  3. Participate in discourse using “Accountable Talk”
  4. Meet the MN Language Arts Standards grades 7-8
  5. Create and maintain intercultural awareness- Students will learn about respect and tolerance towards themselves and others. 
  6. Focus on communication-Use effective spoken and written communication as students inquire, reflect on, and express their thoughts.

Units of Study:

  1. The New Americans

Guiding Question: How do immigrants affect our community socially, economically, and culturally?

  1. When Disaster Strikes

Guiding Question: What is the impact of an angry mother nature?

  1. Identity Crisis

Guiding Question: How do your choices affect your identity?

  1. Stolen Childhoods

Guiding Question: What Impact does child labor have on health, economy, and human rights?

  1. Under Pressure

Guiding Question: How does peer pressure effect our actions?

  1. Poe: The Master of Horror

Guiding Question: How do the choices of character, plot, and setting affect the story?

Priority Standards that we will focus the most on in this course:

  2. Acquire (learn), understand, and use new vocabulary through Ms. Gregor teaching us new words, using context clues, using dictionaries, and from independent reading.
  3. Determine (figure out) new vocabulary words by using their definitions, restating (retelling) the meanings to each other, giving examples of what the words mean and don’t mean, talking about how two words are the same (synonyms) or how they are different from one another (antonyms).
  2. Summarize and paraphrase (put into your own words) the main idea and supporting details of a text.
  3. Comprehend (understand), interpret (make sense of), and evaluate (to judge) information in a variety of texts using a combination of strategies before, during, and after reading.
  4. Make inferences and draw conclusions from texts even when the author doesn’t specifically tell you 100% of what is going on in the text.
  5. Critically read and evaluate (judge) the author’s purpose, point of view, audience (who the text was written for), and message/theme.
  2. Understand, identify (pick out), and analyze (carefully look at) the relationships among the elements of fiction including setting, character, plot, conflict/resolution, theme, and tone and how they relate to the text we are reading.
  3. Understand and analyze (carefully look at) how figurative language (pie in the sky; raining cats and dogs) and literary devices contribute to the meaning of the text.
  4. Identify and understand themes that get repeated in texts that we read while citing evidence from the text.
  2. Create compositions (papers) that have multiple paragraphs that state (tell) the main idea and use details in a logical order (in a sequence/order that makes sense) to support the main idea.
  3. Formulate (form/come up with) a position (opinion) and provide supporting arguments and evidence for that position (opinion).
  4. Using your Writer’s notebook, you’ll do prewriting (graphic organizers, outlines, lists, notes, etc. BEFORE writing the paper), drafting (writing drafts), revising (changing drafts after self and peer reviews), editing (correcting mistakes), and publishing (writing final copies and doing Author’s share).
  2. The student will apply standard English conventions when writing and speaking.
  2. Participate in and follow agreed-upon rules for conversation and formal discussions in large and small groups.
  2. Critically analyze (think carefully about) the messages and points of view employed (used) in different media, including advertising, news programs, web sites, and documentaries.

Resources used:

 Scholastic read 180 R book, Read 180 independent reading paperbacks and audio books, and Read 180 computer software will serve as the fundamental text for this unit. We will use a variety of other texts to supplement our materials as well.


  1. Rubrics
  2. Tests, quizzes, discussions, debates
  3. Teacher observations
  4. Oral reports/presentations
  5. Essays, notes, journals, reflections
  6. Projects
  7. Reading logs
  8. Computer software data
  9. Fluency recordings

HPJH Grading scale:

A 100-90%

B 89-80%

C 79-70%

D 69-60%

N 59-0%

How is my grade determined?

Small group station: 40%

Independent reading station: 30%

Computer station: 30%

Materials needed every day:

  1. A writing utensil
  2. A Planner 

Policy for missed homework:

If you were not in class when I handed out the work, it is your responsibility to ask me what you missed so I can get you the make-up work. The make-up work will be due the next time class meets and you will receive 100% credit.

Overview of the Reading Strategies curriculum:

1. Whole class instruction: Teacher introduces a concept, strategy, or Guiding Question

2. Students rotate among three different stations(5 students at each station)

  1. Computer station-Students use the computer program independently, practicing phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, word study, spelling, and recording their own reading.
  2. Independent Reading or Books on tape-Students read books at their lexile levels independently or on tape. As they read, they practice the skills/strategies that I taught them in the Whole class instruction. Students also fill out a Quick Write at certain parts of the books. Quick Writes consist of comprehension questions and graphic organizers to make sure the students have understood what they have read.
  3. Small group station-Students will meet with me at the table and we will work more on the skill/strategy that the teacher introduced in the whole class lesson.

3. Whole Group Wrap-Up-We review what we learned and I answer any questions that students may have and students fill out their Independent Reading Log. (5 minutes)