Practicum in Reading Difficulties

RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties
In this Section

Online Course 
Instructors: Dr. Paula Harms, Jaimie Howe, Kristen ConradTera Ellison
3 semester hours graduate credit 
Tuition: $441 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,323 per course)

Summer: May 6 - August 2, 2019
Tuition: $441 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,323 per course)
Tuition Due - July 17, 2019

Fall: September 9 - December 6, 2019
Tuition: $452 per semester hour graduate credit ($1,356 per course)
Fall Tuition Due - October 2019

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development or call 715-642-0209.

Course Description

The practicum course is offered online with a requirement that course participants develop and instruct twelve one-hour lessons with a struggling reader. Participants will assess a reader's strengths and needs and then provide individualized instruction designed to assist the student in becoming a more proficient reader. The identified student needs to be in second grade or above. **Background check or current teaching license is required.

Course Requirements

During the first two weeks of the course, you will explore the principles of effective one-on-one intervention programs, as well as criteria for choosing a client. A struggling reader should NOT be selected or contacted until the end of the second week of the course. Information will be provided regarding the details of the client selection process and demographic requirements.

During Modules 3-5, you will assess the student, interpret the assessment results, and determine learning outcomes..

During modules 6-11, you will develop and teach twelve one-hour lessons and analyze each lesson’s results using a detailed lesson plan form. During the 12 lessons, you will administer 5 running records using familiar text.  In addition, you will do a miscue analysis of errors for 2 of the 5 running records.  All of these forms will be submitted as part of the course requirements.

At the conclusion of twelve lessons, a summary of assessment and instruction will be compiled and submitted as a capstone artifact in your Reading Teacher ePortfolio. All artifacts from your previous reading courses will be updated prior to submitting your final ePortfolio for the Benchmark III end of reading program assessment.

How do I register?

Complete the Online Registration Form.

If you need a copy of the syllabus for your employer to approve enrollment in the class, email: Online Professional Development or call 715-642-0209.

When is the registration deadline?

Reserve your spot now. This program is very popular, and courses fill well before the start date.

The RDGED 707 Reading Practicum is offered during the fall, spring and summer semesters. Consider the advantage of enrolling in the practicum during the summer semester when you will not have the pressure of preparing for your daily teaching assignments in addition to the practicum lessons.


Software and Microphone Required

All lesson plans must be created in Microsoft Word. All materials used during the lessons must be scanned to create PDF files and submitted with the lesson plan Word documents in the course Dropbox.

Audio recordings of selected lessons that include running records will be submitted electronically to the course Dropbox in mp3 file format along with a self-evaluation form as part of course requirements. A good microphone, more than any other single piece of hardware, will impact the quality of recorded sound.

  1. Blevins, W. (2017). Phonics from A-Z. (3rd ed.) New York, NY: Scholastic. ISBN: 978-1338113495 Available from
    (Also used in RDGED 701 Developmental Reading, RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques for Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties, and RDGED 706 Assessment & Evaluation)
  2. Leslie, L. & Caldwell, J. S. (2017). Qualitative reading inventory - 6th edition. New York, NY: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 978-0134539409
    Also available as an e-text. ISBN-13 978-0-13-702857-3
    Note: This is the bound book only and does not include access to the Enhanced Pearson eText. To order the Enhanced Pearson eText packaged with a bound book, order ISBN 0134539400. The Enhanced Pearson eText features and QRI electronic resources include embedded video and audio clips, forms, and figures. Also used in RDGED 706 Assessment and Evaluation).
  3. Caldwell, J.S., & Leslie, L. (2013). Intervention strategies to follow informal reading inventory assessment: So what do I do now? 3rd edition. New York,NY: Pearson Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 13: 9780123907088 Available from Pearson or new and used from (This book is also used in RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques for Assisting Students with Reading Difficulties and RDGED 707 Practicum in Reading Difficulties.)
  4. Fox, Barbara. (2012). Word identification strategies: building phonics into a classroom reading program, 5th edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. ISBN 9780132611282. 
    (Also used in RDGED 705 Instructional Techniques)
  5. National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) booklet: Put reading first: The research building blocks for teaching children to read.
    (Also used in RDGED 701 Developmental Reading and RDGED 705 Assessment and Evaluation). Free download 56 pg. booklet color PDF (1.25 MB)
  6. Shea, M. (2016). Where's the glitch? How to use running records with older readers, grades 5-8. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. ISBN: 978-0-325-09258-4

An e-textbook is included in the tuition and will be provided after you login to the course. You will access the e-textbook to read online from your tablet, laptop or desktop. The e-textbook software is compatible with an iPad, Kindle Fire or fully internet capable device. It is not compatible with a Kindle Reader.

McCormick, S. & Zutell, J. (2015). Instructing students who have literacy problems. ( 7th edition) Boston, MA: Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Allyn & Bacon. ISBN 13:9780133830934

If you prefer to read a hard copy of the textbook, instead of reading via your computer or tablet, you may purchase the book from or an online bookstore such as
Be sure to allow for delivery time, and note the ISBN number and 7th edition.

Additional readings will be available online within the text of each module.

This is one of the required courses for individuals pursuing reading teacher certification, Wisconsin #1316

Our Students Say. . .

"I enrolled in the reading certification program with a desire to strengthen my knowledge base in the areas of developmental reading. In doing so, I made myself a better teacher and a better teaching partner. 

I wanted to open the possibilities of what my teaching role could be by adding a reading license to my special education license. With both licenses, I can provide enhanced support to more students. "
~ Sandra Buxton, Special Education Teacher, Verona, Wisconsin

No travel to campus required
  • Participate 24/7 from your home or work computer during hours that are best for your work and family schedule.
  • The class is highly interactive with a significant discussion component.
  • All discussion postings, projects, and assignments will be submitted via the course discussion board and Dropbox.
  • Activities are conducted according to a schedule with specific due dates each week.
  • There are no required "live" chat sessions.
  • This is not a self-paced class.