Approaches to Content Area Literacy

self-paced online course for all subjects grades 6-12

This self-paced online course is available on the Oakland Schools sponsored platform mi PLACE (Michigan Professional Learning and Collaboration Environment). Instructions for enrolling are below.

The course is FREE and SCECHs are available. Enrollees can take as long as they wish to complete the ten-hour course.

Ways educators might use the course and its materials:

  • complete individually for credit
  • complete in collaboration with a group (department or PLC)
  • select modules or materials for use during a PD workshop
  • adapt and use specific materials in the classroom

Who can take this course?

This 10 hour course is designed for teachers of science, social studies, and English language arts grades 6-12. Curriculum coordinators, administrators, and instructional coaches are encouraged to take the course as well.

What does the course cover?

As you move through modules 1-5 you will learn about:

  • what metacognition is and why it matters so much while students read inside and outside your classroom;
  • habits of mind that turn students from passive into active readers;
  • the benefits of nurturing a culture of inquiry through discourse in your classroom;
  • and several strategies you can use tomorrow for your students to read more carefully.

What's the format?

In the course's five modules you will:

  • watch presentations about metacognitive strategies;
  • read texts about metacognition and literacy;
  • take short quizzes;
  • analyze and discuss sample texts and lessons;
  • adapt activities and materials for your own students; and
  • design lessons for improved literacy, more thoughtful reading, and more in-depth discourse in your classroom.

How do you enroll in and complete the course?

This course lives in the Oakland Schools sponsored platform called mi PLACE (Michigan Professional Learning and Collaboration Environment).


  1. Before going to mi PLACE, use your browser to log in to your school (or personal) Google account. This is the Google account you’ll use in the mi PLACE community.

  2. Go to

  3. Click on the red Google button to log in, use your school email address and network password (or personal Gmail address and password).

  4. Give mi PLACE permission to use your Google username for mi PLACE.

  5. Complete the profile screen - including your city, district, role, and picture.

  6. Be sure to set your default settings for receiving individual emails versus a daily email digest from mi PLACE, as well as your preferences for forums notifications and subscriptions. These are some of the first fields on the profile screen.


  1. Click on the green tab for the Hub.

  2. Click “Search the Course Catalogue.”

  3. Use the “search by” field and type in "content area literacy." The Approaches to Content Area Literacy course will show up.

  4. Click on the lower case “i” icon to read a course description and get the enrollment key (literacy).

  5. Click “view course” to enroll.

  6. The courses you register for show up on the “My Learning” page when you log in for easy future access.