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Reading Edge — Struggling Readers

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

The Reading Edge, a whole-school cooperative learning approach to reading instruction, was adapted from an earlier cooperative learning approach called Student Team Reading. In both programs, students work in 4-5 member teams to help each other build reading skills. Students engage in partner reading, story retelling, story-related writing, word mastery, and story-structure activities to prepare themselves and their teammates for individual assessments. Teams are recognized based on the average of all members’ scores on these assessments. Instruction focuses on explicit teaching of metacognitive skills, such as clarification, summarization, predication, and graphic organizers. Two days of initial training is followed by in-class coaching about once a month.

Program Outcomes

One study evaluated The Reading Edge/Student Team Reading in terms of specific effects on struggling readers. It was a study in high-poverty rural schools in Florida and West Virginia. This study found significant positive effects for struggling readers in comparison to control groups, with an effect size of +0.26, which qualifies the program for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Staffing Requirements

Reading Edge (Student Team Reading) is provided by classroom teachers during time usually allocated to Language Arts/Reading, so no additional staff is required.

Professional Development/Training

Professional development is provided through a combination of onsite workshops, email and telephone support, “just-in-time” online resources, and onsite observations and consultation. Two days of workshop participation per teacher is required to begin implementation.  A strong focus is the development of regular peer support structures within the school.


None required, although software to facilitate program management and record keeping is available.