The study was set in first grade classrooms located in 10 public K-5 elementary schools. Each school was located in a different geographic region, or learning community, of the state.
About one-third (33%) of students were African American, 21 percent were White, 9 percent were Asian, and the remaining 37 percent had an unknown race. Additionally, one-third of the students identified as Hispanic. There were slightly more females (51%) than males (49%). Twenty-one percent were English language learners, and seven percent were receiving special education services.
The Model of Reading Engagement intervention (MORE) is a content literacy intervention, designed to increase first-grade students' science knowledge and reading engagement. MORE lessons focused on the life science topic of Arctic animal survival. The unit was 10 lessons long, conducted over a 3-week period, and each lesson was designed to take about 60 minutes. Teachers integrated five practices: conceptually related science texts, concept mapping, argumentative writing, read-alouds and discussion, and collaborative research. Students in the MS-H component chose three books to read and were assigned a homework activity.
Teachers assigned to the comparison group taught their normal literacy program, which was based on a balanced literacy program including word study, guided reading, and writing activities in small group, teacher-directed instruction, and independent reading.
Support for implementation
Intervention teachers participated in a 2-hour professional development workshop where they learned about the theory of the program and reviewed the lesson materials. Teachers received ongoing support from their school literacy facilitators during the implementation period. Each school literacy facilitator was provided with two 30-minute planning calls to prepare them to support teachers as program implementation began and prior to the administration of student assessments. Research team members visited each school at least once during the 3-week implementation period to distribute instructional materials, support the data collection process, discuss teachers’ questions and concerns, and address challenges.