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Reading grades studied

6 – 8

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR)

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Collaborative Strategic Reading (CSR) teaches reading comprehension strategies to students working in small cooperative learning groups. Teaching focuses on metacognitive comprehension strategies such as activating prior knowledge, identifying breakdowns in understanding, finding the main idea, and generating questions. The program is used 50 minutes a day, two to three times a week, during regular English language arts or content area instruction. In secondary settings multiple teachers can implement CSR so that students practice reading strategies throughout the week (e.g., one day in language arts, one day in science, and one day in social studies). Two days of initial training are followed up by school-based booster sessions and in-school coaching for teachers.

Program Outcomes

The studies evaluated CSR in and around Denver and in Texas. Compared to control groups, small positive effects were found on GMRT and TOSREC, but the average effect size across the three evaluations was only +0.04.

Staffing Requirements

No additional school staff are required to implement CSR.

Professional Development/Training

Two days of professional development for teachers includes learning to teach the core components of CSR. Four 2-hour follow-up booster sessions are recommended throughout the school year. Individual coaching and support for school-based teams and literacy coaches is also available. Online teacher support materials are available for free that include study modules for each CSR component, a video library featuring teachers using CSR in their classrooms, introductory mini lessons to introduce the CSR strategies to students, and resources to help teachers scaffold instruction for learners from diverse learning and language backgrounds.


There are no technology requirements for CSR though introductory lessons and tune up lessons are available in PowerPoint and interactive whiteboard formats.