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Specialty Courses

Specialty Courses

Each of the MAT degrees consists of 10 courses. Six core courses focus on content that all teachers need to know regardless of grade level and/or subject area and four specialty courses focus on the content specific to each program. Descriptions for each of the courses are listed on the following pages.

CIA 601 Instructional Strategies For Successful Learning

Instructional Strategies for Successful Student Learning supports development of skillful teacher leaders by focusing on research-based teaching strategies that result in improved student achievement. Participants explore the results and classroom implications of brain-based learning, cooperative learning structures, and nine research-based instructional strategies by analyzing the instructional practices in real classrooms and customize the use of the strategies to their own teaching situations.

CIA 605 Student-Directed Learning to Foster Motivation and Engagement

Student-Directed Learning to Foster Motivation and Engagement digs deeper into concepts and theories introduced in prior courses. Now that the participants have common understanding of backward design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006), effective assessment and how to meet the needs of all students, they are ready to hone in on ways to motivate their students to be more self-directed in their learning. 

This course focuses on helping students develop the skills necessary to thrive in and out of the classroom. Participants learn strategies for helping their students develop flexible knowledge, as well as problem-solving, cooperative learning and self-motivation skills. Special attention is given to ways to engage all students in opportunities to examine and evaluate their own work and learn from the work of their peers.

Student-Directed Learning to Foster Motivation and Engagement digs deeper into concepts and theories introduced in prior courses. Now that the participants have common understanding of backward design (Wiggins & McTighe, 2006), effective assessment and how to meet the needs of all students, they are ready to hone in on ways to motivate their students to be more self-directed in their learning. 

This course focuses on helping students develop the skills necessary to thrive in and out of the classroom. Participants learn strategies for helping their students develop flexible knowledge, as well as problem-solving, cooperative learning and self-motivation skills. Special attention is given to ways to engage all students in opportunities to examine and evaluate their own work and learn from the work of their peers. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Examine the latest research on student motivation and the classroom implications of this research 

• Implement instructional strategies that enable students to be more self-directed 

• Plan and incorporate consistent peer tutoring 

• Develop tools to involve students in evaluating their work

CIA 615 Teacher as Everyday Hero

The final course of the program, Teacher as Everyday Hero, is a culmination of many strands covered throughout the degree. This course strikes a balance between the macro-and micro-concepts of teaching. Participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate how they are no longer just surviving as teachers but thriving as teacher leaders. Throughout Teacher as Everyday Hero, participants examine case studies of truly inspirational teachers who have transformed the lives of their students. Through the use of biographies, narratives, profiles and interviews with top educators and scholars, participants explore and reflect on the problems and satisfactions of teaching, which culminates in the writing of their personal teacher story.

The final course of the program, Teacher as Everyday Hero, is a culmination of many strands covered throughout the degree. This course strikes a balance between the macro-and micro-concepts of teaching. Participants will have the opportunity to demonstrate how they are no longer just surviving as teachers but thriving as teacher leaders. ThroughoutTeacher as Everyday Hero, participants examine case studies of truly inspirational teachers who have transformed the lives of their students. Through the use of biographies, narratives, profiles and interviews with top educators and scholars, participants explore and reflect on the problems and satisfactions of teaching, which culminates in the writing of their personal teacher story. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Examine the tangible effects inspirational teachers have had on students 

• Compare and contrast the characteristics of inspirational teachers 

• Complete a self-evaluation of experience in the program and personal growth as a teacher leader 

• Create a personal teacher story as part of their ongoing professional and personal development 

RDG 500 Foundations of Reading & Literacy

This course provides teachers with a comprehensive knowledge base in the reading process and facility with the most effective instructional and assessment techniques. Based on research with internationally recognized reading specialists, this course enables participants to identify effective theories and principles for teaching reading in the five major components of the reading process — literacy, phonemic awareness and phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension — and to apply the most effective instructional plans, methods and resources in their practice. In addition, the course focuses on methods for assessing reading progress in individuals and groups and ideas for differentiating instruction for diverse learners.

This course provides teachers with a comprehensive knowledge base in the reading process and facility with the most effective instructional and assessment techniques. Based on research with internationally recognized reading specialists, this course enables participants to identify effective theories and principles for teaching reading in the five major components of the reading process — literacy, phonemic awareness and phonics, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension — and to apply the most effective instructional plans, methods and resources in their practice. In addition, the course focuses on methods for assessing reading progress in individuals and groups and ideas for differentiating instruction for diverse learners. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Examine issues related to motivating students to read and create physical spaces that support reading and writing and critical thinking 

• Explore the research foundation and instructional implications of effective literacy practices including the five areas of reading identified as key to reading success 

• Examine elements of effective teaching and learning as they come together in one instructional sequence and focus on how to improve their instructional techniques 

• Plan instructional strategies and techniques based on students’ needs, teach while checking for understanding and reflect based on evidence of student achievement 

RDG 510 Reading Diagnosis & Differentiated Instruction For Diverse Learners

This course examines formal and informal literacy assessments; identifies appropriate strategies for remediation of reading disabilities; and plans differentiated instructional methods with emphasis on phonics, phonemic awareness, comprehension, fluency, and vocabulary. This course also develops a comprehensive assessment vocabulary in order to administer, interpret, and evaluate assessment instruments. Field experience and a case study component will demonstrate integration of course knowledge and classroom practices.

Request More Information about the Reading 510 Program

RDG 610 Reading in the Content Areas

This course focuses on ways to integrate effective reading strategies into all subject areas of the curriculum. Participants learn strategies for supporting the comprehension of nonfiction texts and the development of content-area vocabulary, as well as motivational techniques for reluctant learners.

This course focuses on ways to integrate effective reading strategies into all subject areas of the curriculum. Participants learn strategies for supporting the comprehension of nonfiction texts and the development of content-area vocabulary, as well as motivational techniques for reluctant learners. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Employ effective instructional strategies to engage all learners in the reading of informational texts 

• Develop subject-area vocabulary that aids in the comprehension of content-specific material 

• Utilize strategies that help students make connections to prior learning 

• Support the engagement and learning of struggling readers 

RDG 615 The Reading & Writing Connection

This course focuses on the writing process and its role in literacy development. As students become fluent readers, they need to balance their literacy time with various types of writing. Participants apply research-based instructional strategies to integrate writing into all subject areas. Specific techniques such as mini-lessons, error analysis, conferencing and using portfolios are addressed. Each step of the writing process is examined as participants design units of study for their teaching practice.

This course focuses on the writing process and its role in literacy development. As students become fluent readers, they need to balance their literacy time with various types of writing. Participants apply research-based instructional strategies to integrate writing into all subject areas. Specific techniques such as mini-lessons, error analysis, conferencing and using portfolios are addressed. Each step of the writing process is examined as participants design units of study for their teaching practice. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Identify, define and explain all stages of the writing process 

• Create learning experiences in which students respond to literature before, during and after reading 

• Employ the use of writing portfolios to measure the growth of writing ability over time 

• Examine ways to support the independence of reading and writing in the classroom 

MTH 505 Problem Solving and Number & Operations, K-5

Based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, this course establishes a foundation of mathematical content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Participants develop deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they are required to teach and engage in mathematical discourse as a means to explain their thinking and share strategies.

Based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, this course establishes a foundation of mathematical content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Participants develop deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they are required to teach and engage in mathematical discourse as a means to explain their thinking and share strategies. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Deepen personal understanding of mathematical content found in elementary grades, such as place value, the operations, fractions, decimals and percents 

• Develop strategies to teach in a problem-based classroom 

• Engage in and learn to lead mathematical discourse 

• Integrate formative assessment techniques into mathematics instruction 

MTH 515 Measurement & Geometry, K-5

Covering the Van Hiele levels of geometric thought and focusing on shapes and properties, transformations, location and visualization, as well as measurement concepts and skills, this course allows teachers to develop a profound understanding of key mathematical concepts as outlined in the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Participants engage in hands-on problem-solving activities that allow them to apply new understanding to their instructional planning and decision making.

Covering the Van Hiele levels of geometric thought and focusing on shapes and properties, transformations, location and visualization, as well as measurement concepts and skills, this course allows teachers to develop a profound understanding of key mathematical concepts as outlined in the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Participants engage in hands-on problem-solving activities that allow them to apply new understanding to their instructional planning and decision making. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Apply effective problem-solving strategies to real-world problems and situations 

• Deepen understanding of mathematical concepts such as length, area, volume, angles and coordinate geometry 

• Apply instructional strategies that help develop geometric thinking 

MTH 525 Algebra, K-5

This course focuses on developing algebraic thinking, which includes studying patterns and functions, understanding the structure of the number system, using symbolism meaningfully and using mathematical modeling to solve problems. Participants study many common misconceptions about the learning of algebra to better understand the potential gaps in students’ understanding.

This course focuses on developing algebraic thinking, which includes studying patterns and functions, understanding the structure of the number system, using symbolism meaningfully and using mathematical modeling to solve problems. Participants study many common misconceptions about the learning of algebra to better understand the potential gaps in students’ understanding. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Deepen understanding of patterns, functions and algebraic symbols 

• Analyze repeating and growing patterns and represent these patterns in words, pictures and numbers 

• Express mathematical relationships using equations 

MTH 535 Data Analysis & Probability, K-5

This course is structured around the creation and completion of a real-life data analysis project that allows participants to apply knowledge and skills from other mathematical strands. Key concepts such as data collection, graphical representations of data and measures of center are highlighted. 

This course is structured around the creation and completion of a real-life data analysis project that allows participants to apply knowledge and skills from other mathematical strands. Key concepts such as data collection, graphical representations of data and measures of center are highlighted. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Design an investigation to address a question and consider how data-collection methods affect the nature of the data set 

• Use measures of center, especially the median and understand what each does and does not indicate about a data set 

• Propose and justify conclusions and predictions that are based on data 

MTH 506 Problem Solving and Number & Operations, 6-8

Based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, this course establishes a foundation of mathematical content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Participants develop deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they are required to teach and engage in mathematical discourse as a means to explain their thinking and share strategies.

Based on the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Principles and Standards for School Mathematics, this course establishes a foundation of mathematical content knowledge and problem-solving skills. Participants develop deeper understanding of mathematical concepts they are required to teach and engage in mathematical discourse as a means to explain their thinking and share strategies. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Deepen personal understanding of mathematical content found in middle school mathematics, such as fractions, decimals, percents, ratios, proportions and developing proportional reasoning 

• Develop strategies to teach in a problem-based classroom 

• Engage in and learn to lead mathematical discourse 

• Integrate formative assessment techniques into mathematics instruction 

MTH 516 Measurement and Geometry, 6-8

Covering the Van Hiele levels of geometric thought and focusing on shapes and properties, transformations, location and visualization, as well as measurement concepts and skills, this course allows teachers to develop a profound understanding of key mathematical concepts as outlined in the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Participants engage in hands-on problem-solving activities that allow them to apply new understanding to their instructional planning and decision making.

Covering the Van Hiele levels of geometric thought and focusing on shapes and properties, transformations, location and visualization, as well as measurement concepts and skills, this course allows teachers to develop a profound understanding of key mathematical concepts as outlined in the NCTM Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. Participants engage in hands-on problem-solving activities that allow them to apply new understanding to their instructional planning and decision making. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Apply effective problem-solving strategies to real-world problems

• Deepen understanding of mathematical concepts such as volume and capacity, similarity and congruence, and solving problems with ratios and proportions 

• Apply instructional strategies that help develop geometric thinking 

MTH 526 Algebra, 6-8

This course focuses on developing algebraic thinking, which includes studying patterns and functions, understanding the structure of the number system, using symbolism meaningfully and using mathematical modeling to solve problems. Participants study many common misconceptions about the learning of algebra to better understand the potential gaps in students’ understanding.

This course focuses on developing algebraic thinking, which includes studying patterns and functions, understanding the structure of the number system, using symbolism meaningfully and using mathematical modeling to solve problems. Participants study many common misconceptions about the learning of algebra to better understand the potential gaps in students’ understanding. 

COURSE OUTCOMES 

Participants will be able to: 

• Identify functions as linear or nonlinear and contrast their properties using tables, graphs and equations 

• Model and solve contextualized problems using graphs, tables and equations 

• Use symbolic algebra to represent situations and solve problems 

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