CMS has partnered with Professor Jimmy Kim and the Harvard READS Lab on the Model of Reading Engagement (MORE) curriculum for four years. Previously, this research study included 26 elementary schools, a representative sample of all learning communities and socioeconomic levels. Due to strong engagement and promising outcomes, MORE will be expanded to all third-graders in 2021-2022.
There are three general pillars of MORE: lessons, the MORE app and family outreach. MORE is aligned to the district's literacy strategy and follows best practices with using nonfiction rigorous texts tailored to state standards. The MORE lessons foster development of vocabulary, foundational skills and equitable discussion, and build students' content knowledge through collaborative activities.
To respond to the challenging circumstances of 2020-2021, all third-grade students in the study received access to the MORE curriculum and app, as opposed to utilizing a student control group. This year's study focused on increasing teacher practice. Treatment group teachers received extra training and coaching, while the control group teachers did not receive this extra support. The results from this year's study were very promising. Student engagement with the MORE app was high across the board, with upward of 90% of students using the app across the diverse set of schools, totaling more than 1,500,000 student responses to questions on the app. Students of the third-grade teachers who received extra training and coaching had higher reading comprehension scores compared to the control group of teachers who did not receive additional support.
MORE has consistently shown positive increases in student vocabulary and reading performance, including the 10-day curriculum leading to a two-week increase in reading comprehension relative to the control group in 2018. This upcoming school year, all third-grade teachers and students will benefit from the MORE curriculum. All principals and third-grade teachers will receive ongoing training for effective implementation.