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This course addresses the ways in which language, cognition and the emotional development of children shape and are shaped by effective reading, writing, and language arts instruction. Employing a social constructivist perspective, it prepares teachers to meet the needs of children from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Participants will work with individual children, plan for small and large groups, and create classroom environments that support a balanced approach to literacy. Particular emphasis will be paid to the ways in which linking assessment and instruction enables teachers to meet the developing needs of individuals and groups. Opportunities will be provided for exploring the relationship between technology and literacy development. Through the experiences in this course, participants will gain a deeper understanding of the reading process and the roles of the teacher, the family, and the child in that process.