Case Studies of Successful Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading (SEM-R) Classroom Implementations

Sally M. Reis
Catherine A. Little
Elizabeth A. Fogarty
Angela M. Housand
Brian C. Housand
Sheelah M. Sweeny
Rebecca D. Eckert
Lisa M. Muller

The purpose of this qualitative study was to examine the scaling up of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model in Reading (SEM-R) in 11 elementary and middle schools in geographically diverse sites across the country. Qualitative comparative analysis was used in this study, with multiple data sources compiled into11 in-depth school case studies summarizing findings from researcher observations of the SEM-R and comparison classrooms. Teachers were assigned to implement either the SEM-R for 3 hours each week as part of their reading program or to continue teaching their regular reading curriculum during their reading block. Three core student categories emerged across all schools, beginning with increased student enjoyment in reading for students using SEM-R. The second most dominant student finding related to how SEM-R was effectively used to challenge talented readers, and the third related to increased selfregulation in students as observed by teachers, coaches, and principals. Teacher findings that emerged across all schools focused on the perceived benefits of SEM-R for both students and teachers, teachers use of differentiated reading instructional practices and how they were enhanced after the SEM-R was implemented, and the professional benefits and challenges experienced during their successful implementation of the SEMR. Over 90% of the teachers implemented the SEM-R with high fidelity, and this approach was considered beneficial to all students, including those who achieved at very high and very low levels of reading comprehension by teachers, principals, and literacy coaches.


Reis, S. M., Little, C. A., Fogarty, E. A., Housand, A. M., Housand, B. C., Sweeny, . . . Muller, L. M. (2010). Case studies of successful Schoolwide Enrichment Model-Reading (SEM-R) classroom implementations (RM10240). Storrs: University of Connecticut, The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented.