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Reading grades studied

6 – 10

SIM: Xtreme Reading — Struggling Readers

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Xtreme Reading is a supplemental program derived from the University of Kansas Strategic Instruction Model. It is designed to teach struggling adolescent readers step-by-step strategies for word identification, vocabulary, self-questioning, visual imagery, paraphrasing, and inference, among others (recommended for students at the 4th grade level or higher, scoring 2 grades or more below grade level). Teachers are trained in highly structured methods, and are given structured materials to support these strategies.

Program Outcomes

Five studies met the inclusion standards, with a modest total effect size of +0.09 on reading measures.  One study in Portland, OR found positive outcomes in comparison to control schools in both middle and high schools (effect size = +0.15), and this qualifies Xtreme Reading for the ESSA “Strong” category.  However, a large national study and a smaller study in western Massachusetts did not find any differences on GRADE at both levels, on state tests in high school. Two additional studies reported on variations of Xtreme Reading. A Kentucky study under the name Learning Strategies Curriculum also found significant positive effects (effect size = +0.10) and a Michigan study under the name Fusion Reading found non-significant positive effects (effect size = +0.07).

Staffing Requirements

Teachers willing and able to implement the instructional steps provided by the curriculum. Leadership willing and able to support teachers in implementation, provide time for coaching, and willing to create school schedules that accommodate such instruction. A proficient professional developer to guide implementation and coach the instructor/teacher.

Professional Development/Training

Professional development is conducted by professional developers proficient in the curriculum. Site Professional Development – 5 days of instruction (3 days in summer and 2 days in fall)

Regularly scheduled, usually monthly – 1 day/month (implementation coaching, data collection, instructional decision-making)