The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading Study

Sally M. Reis
Rebecca D. Eckert
Fredric J. Schreiber
Joan Jacobs
Christine Briggs
E. Jean Gubbins
Michael Coyne
Lisa Muller

In this study, a cluster-randomized design was used to investigate the effects of an enriched reading program on elementary students’ reading fluency, comprehension, and attitude toward reading. The Schoolwide Enrichment Reading Model (SEM-R) provides enriched reading experiences by exposing students to exciting, high interest books, encouraging them to increase daily independent reading of appropriately challenging, self-selected books through individualized reading instruction, and providing interest-based choice opportunities in reading. This research was conducted in 3 urban schools with a diverse student population of children from predominantly low socioeconomic income families and one suburban school with a large group of students with special needs. Students and teachers were randomly assigned to either the SEM-R treatment group or a control group in which they continued with the schools’ established reading instruction. In Year 1 (2001-2002) of the study, all students in grades 3-6 participated in a district-mandated direct instruction reading program, Success for All, in the morning. Throughout the approximately 12-week intervention, the control group continued with remedial reading and test preparation during an additional afternoon literacy block while the treatment group implemented the SEM-R. During Year 2 (2002-2003), students and teachers were randomly assigned to either a treatment or control group for 1 hour of a regularly scheduled 2-hour language arts block. For 14 weeks, the treatment group implemented the SEM-R while the control group continued with previous instruction using a traditional basal reading series. Results indicate that students in the SEM-R treatment group in urban schools scored significantly higher than those in the control group in reading comprehension, reading fluency, and attitude toward reading. These results suggest that supplementing reading instruction with systematic reading enrichment that challenges and engages students may produce more favorable reading achievement, fluency, and attitude for students at all achievement levels, including talented readers.

Reference:

Reis, S. M., Eckert, R. D. Schreiber, F. J., Jacobs, J., Briggs, C. Gubbins, . . . & Muller, L. (2005). The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading study (RM05214). Storrs: University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.

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The Schoolwide Enrichment Model Reading Study
Sally M. Reis
Rebecca D. Eckert
Fredric J. Schreiber
Joan Jacobs
Christine Briggs
E. Jean Gubbins
Michael Coyne
Lisa Muller

 

Conclusions

  1. Students using the SEM-R outperformed students in control classrooms using traditional basal reading instruction in reading comprehension.
  2. Students at all achievement levels in the SEM-R treatment group read with greater fluency and higher comprehension at the conclusion of the SEM-R treatment than control group students who received traditional basal reading instruction.
  3. Students in the SEM-R group could self-regulate their reading behaviors to read 30-45 minutes at a time in an appropriately challenging book.
  4. Students in the SEM-R developed more positive attitudes toward reading than peers in more traditional basal reading programs.
  5. Individualization of instruction increased as SEM-R teachers moved from primarily whole group instruction to individual conferences.
  6. Students in the SEM-R group were encouraged to explore their own reading interests.
  7. Teachers using the SEM-R were able to provide individualized conferences with higher-order thinking strategies that challenged students to think deeply about what they read.