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Reading grades studied

K – 2


Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Journeys is a comprehensive reading and language arts program designed for kindergarten to 6th grade, but it has only been evaluated in grades K-2. The program provides teachers with materials and guidelines that emphasize whole group and small group activities. Whole group activities involve a “big idea” and “essential question” for the day, a teacher read-aloud, and vocabulary, phonics, comprehension, and fluency activities. Small group activities follow up these same skills in small, homogeneous groups. Professional development consists of a 5-6 hour training at the beginning of the year, followed by a half-day follow-up.

Program Outcomes

One study evaluated Journeys in grades K-2. The study found statistically significant positive effects on ITBS scales averaging an effect size of +0.14, compared to control groups. This qualified Journeys for the ESSA “Strong” category.

Staffing Requirements

Journeys is delivered in a combination of whole-group, small-group, and independent classroom sessions with approximately 90 minutes daily of reading instruction and 30 minutes for language arts, all guided by a grade-level classroom teacher.

Professional Development/Training

A “Getting Started” course a focused on the vision of the program, use of the materials and implementation of the key components, and how the program can be used to help students learn reading and language arts.  Ongoing support with follow-up courses and coaching is available to extend professional learning and equip teachers and leaders in evaluating and improving their instructional practices.


Journeys can be implemented using only print resources or a combination of print and digital resources. Student and teacher digital materials can be accessed on desktop computers, laptops, or tablets with an Internet connection.