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Iowa Electives and Professional Development

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Elective Course Descriptions

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EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Standards-Based Teaching I:  Instructional Strategies
This course offers research-based instructional strategies designed to help teachers optimize student learning through standards-based instruction. Participants will gain knowledge and practice in aligning standards and instruction, evaluating existing instructional activities, and prioritizing learning based on the Core standards in order to foster maximum student engagement and achievement. – 1 credit

EDUC510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Standards-Based Teaching II:  Assessment and Grading
This course offers participants the opportunity to learn how to use standards as a basis for lesson and assessment design in order to foster maximum student engagement and achievement. Participants will gain knowledge and practice in aligning standards and assessments and implementing standards-based grading. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Understanding Multi-Tiered Systems of Support/RtI I
This course familiarizes educators with the RtI system for redesigning systems to meet the needs of struggling students through a pyramid of interventions. The course provides a practical RtI model for teachers, administrators and parents with clear examples of strategies to implement the RtI system components into a school setting. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Understanding Multi-Tiered Systems of Support/RtI II
This course allows participants to investigate techniques for implementing and monitoring the implementation of the district/school’s RtI process. The role of the PLC in the implementation and monitoring of RtI will be included. Participants will gain knowledge in how to facilitate the incorporation of Tier I and II interventions in the classroom.  – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Role in Assessment/MtSS/RtI I
This course will allow participants to learn how to use the date from formative assessments to drive instruction and to design intervention for students as part of the RtI process. Learners will also develop an understanding of how to collaborate within their PLCs to integrate Tier I and II interventions within their classroom instruction and structure. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) Role in Assessment/MtSS/RtI II
This course will provide opportunities for participants to be involved in collaborative scoring and analysis of data, and gain knowledge in the use of formative assessment data for instructional planning and to design interventions for students as part of a comprehensive RtI process. Participants will gain knowledge in ongoing monitoring of instruction and interventions to make data-based, collaborative decisions. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Effective Teacher Mentoring and Coaching
This course will provide an overview of effective teacher mentoring strategies and methods for enhancing instructional coaching for new as well as experienced teachers. Participants will gain knowledge in how to use observation, feedback, modeling, collaboration, and professional dialog to support teachers in continuous improvement. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546: (Face-to-Face)  Using Formative Assessments to Drive Instruction and Design Interventions
This course will define formative assessment and discuss the benefits of using a variety of formative assessment to increase student learning. Learners will reflect on current assessment practice and will gain knowledge in identifying and creating formative assessments and incorporating formative assessment into instructional activities. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Face-to-Face):  Incorporating Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy to Increase Learning
This course will provide an overview of Bloom’s revised taxonomy and will allow participants to gain knowledge in how to design instruction that is aligned with various dimensions of knowledge and higher levels of cognitive processing.  Participants will learn strategies to move instructional activities to higher levels of cognitive complexity to engage students and increase learning. – 1 credit

EDUC 510 (Online) & EDUC 546 (Online) Quality Questions for Student Engagement in Learning
This course will examine effective techniques for questioning that lead to higher levels of thinking and student engagement.  Participants will gain knowledge in developing “thick,” pre-planned questions, engaging students in generating questions, and using quality questions to facilitate rich student-led discussions. – 1 credit

EDUC 546:  Literature Across Cultures
This course is designed to help the middle level educator expand his/her cultural horizons and be able to discuss the cultural themes of literature with their students. The course will cover the characteristics of many diverse cultures including African, African American, Asian, Bosnian, Latino, Native American, and Middle Eastern. Books that are appropriate for middle schoolers embracing these cultures will also be covered. Guest speakers, DVDs and field trips will enhance this course. – 3 credits

EDUC 546:  Teaching Language Usage and Composition at the Middle School Level
This course focuses on the knowledge of oral language and grammatical usage as they relate to the development of effective oral and written communication and standard English usage; students will learn current research-based strategies and instructional technology for teaching these important components of middle school development. – 3 credits

EDUC 510:  Making Reading Connections
Reading is thinking. Good readers use the strategies of metacognition, schema, inferring, questioning, determining importance, visualizing and synthesizing throughout the reading process. Participants of this course will read, implement, dialogue and reflect upon using the gradual release of responsibility in their classrooms. All teachers in reading classrooms, as well as in other content areas, will benefit from the course. Using the text, learners will explore different techniques for launching strategies and explicitly teaching reading as a thinking process. – 2 credits

EDUC 510:  Poverty:  Impact on Students and Strategies to Support Classroom Success
Participants will increase their knowledge and skills in understanding the impact of poverty on student performance and specific strategies that support at-risk student classroom success. During the course, students will become aware of poverty indicators in their state, community and school district; specific effects of poverty on student emotional, social, physical and academic development; success stories of communities and schools who have implemented programs that have had great success; components in schools and classrooms that support at-risk students success. Students will learn specific strategies that have been proven successful in at-risk schools that support high expectations, effective lesson delivery, increased student engagement, strong classroom climate and strategies that build character and trust. – 3 credits

EDUC 546:  Everyone Communicates, Few Connect Leadership Course
Based on world renowned leadership expert, John Maxwell’s leadership principles, this course focuses on learning how to connect with people in order to become successful in your personal and professional life. Five principles and practices of connecting will be highlighted and the course will focus on learning how to make every communication an opportunity for a powerful connection. – 1 credit

EDUC 546:  Multicultural Approach to Teaching
This course is designed to give teachers the opportunity to explore other cultures in order to gain a deeper understanding of diversity of students within our classrooms. This course will examine multicultural literature, parental involvement, lesson planning, and hands-on experience. Course literature and activities will address several cultural groups. This course is also designed to break down cultural barriers that may exist between teachers, students and parents. – 3 credits

EDUC 546:  The Extra-Curricular Connection
This course is designed to give coaches, fine arts directors, and activity sponsors a deeper understanding of how they impact the education of students. The course will examine the theory behind offering extra-curricular activities and will deal with relevant issues such as fundraising, scheduling, competition, and working with booster organizations to build support for your activity. – 1 credit

EDUC 546:  Tribes:  Strategies in Active Student Engagement
Tribes is a process that creates a culture that maximizes learning and human development. This workshop trains PreK-12 teachers, administrators and community educators to use a community building process (Tribes) as the foundation for teaching academics, motivating students, managing classrooms and groups. – 2 credits

EDUC 510:  Maximizing Your Potential: Going from Good to Great
Participants will increase their personal and professional effectiveness by learning strategies developed by national leaders: learn how to develop a clear definition of the results that you want, increase the balance and fulfillment in all segments of your professional and personal life, build team/classroom skills that find faster and better solutions through clear expectations, shared responsibilities and understanding of priorities. Learn your personal strengths and how to maximize their use and impact on your personal and professional goals and outcomes. Discover the components of “Great Work,” the work that is calling you and how to create new possibilities and plan for implementation into the classroom. – 3 credits

EDUC 510:  How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms
Classrooms of today are filled with students who come from differing cultures and learning styles. They arrive at school with an extremely varied background and level of experience.  Some students are ready to learn with great interest, while others do not have access to the knowledge or the eagerness to seek new information. Teachers of all ages in these mixed-ability classrooms are faced with multiple challenges. Carol Ann Tomlinson gives insights to the teacher who is faced with such an unfathomable range: she leads you from one practical possibility to another, covering important angles, such as creating the essential classroom environment; developing classroom management strategies to enhance your offering of choices; communicating with parents and giving grades; and planning lessons that may differentiate in the elements of content, process and/or products. – 2 credits