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Reading grades studied

6 – 10

Strategic Instruction Model (SIM)

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

The Strategic Instruction Model (SIM), created by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning, is a multi-tiered approach to adolescent literacy. SIM emphasizes teaching routines that allow teachers to organize and present curriculum content in straightforward, easy-to-learn ways and provide students with tools to solve problems independently. In combination with SIM tools, additional interventions to affect schoolwide literacy efforts are organized through the Content Literacy Continuum (CLC). Instructional routines and learning strategies are applied across classes by content and support teachers. Further support and intensive instruction is provided to struggling readers through the Learning Strategies Curriculum (LSC), which is currently disseminated under the names Xtreme Reading and Fusion Reading. These provide an additional daily period of reading instruction focused on SIM Strategies.

Whole Class/Whole School

Content Literacy Continuum (CLC)


Xtreme Reading

Learning Strategies Curriculum


All of the SIM approaches emphasize teaching students decoding, reading comprehension, and other reading objectives with step-by-step strategies, such as word identification, visual imagery, self-questioning, paraphrasing, vocabulary learning, and writing. In each case, students are taught mnemonics to help them remember the steps in each routine. Targeted versions of SIM focus on students reading two to five years below grade level and provide an additional daily class period for reading instruction, replacing electives such as art, music, or study hall.

Program Outcomes

A total of six studies met standards. Five involved targeted forms of SIM and one involved CLC. Outcomes were remarkably consistent, with four of the six effect sizes falling in the range from +0.07 to +0.15, with an average of +0.10. Several of the outcomes were statistically significant, qualifying SIM for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Staffing Requirements

Content and support teachers willing and able to implement the routines and strategies. Leadership willing and able to support teachers in implementation, provide time for coaching, and willing to create school schedules that accommodate such instruction. A Literacy Leadership Team created by core content and support teachers and school leadership to guide implementation.

Professional Development/Training

Planning Activities: 2-3 days

Site Professional Development – 2-3 days/month (PD and coaching)

Literacy Leadership Team PD and work sessions – 1 day/month

Xtreme or Fusion Reading PD – 5 days/year + coaching

Initial adoption takes place over a three-to five-year period as staff work through activities associated with the phases of planning, implementing, and sustaining a literacy improvement initiative.


There are no specialized technology requirements other than what most schools provide already – computers or tablets with the ability to view or download videos and documents.