• Learn how each of these is utilized within STARI.


Throughout each STARI unit, students are exposed to both nonfiction and fiction texts through partner reading and guided reading. This combination of guided and more independent work allows students to gain greater skill and confidence with reading strategies and workbook assignments. Units generally conclude with structured classroom discussions and debates where students compile evidence and build perspective-taking skills. Building a positive classroom culture is critical to developing productive daily discussions, as well as unit debates.

To deepen comprehension, the STARI program uses learning strategies for deriving meaning, such as Reciprocal Teaching (RT) and the Question-Answer Relationship (QAR). Word study mini-lessons on basic reading topics such as syllable-chunking connect the theme and readings of the unit to the practical skills that struggling readers need. In addition, STARI fluency materials build word study skills for the decoding strategies taught throughout the unit, while also fostering oral reading accuracy and stamina.

How STARI Works

STARI aims to accelerate the progress of struggling readers by addressing both basic reading skills such as fluency and decoding, and deep comprehension skills simultaneously. A guiding theory of the STARI intervention is that talking to peers about what is read gives students access to multiple perspectives on a text and can promote more complex reasoning. Peer-to-peer talk is also helpful in supporting student motivation and engagement with text. Opportunities for talk are embedded in every component of the curriculum: fluency, word study, partner work, guided reading, and debates that are linked to unit themes. Each unit has a different overall theme or topic that is meaningful and engaging for students.

THE STARI TEAMDevelopment of STARI was led by Lowry Hemphill (Wheelock College) through a SERP collaboration with Harvard University and four Massachusetts school districts. The research reported here was supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305F100026 to the Strategic Education Research Partnership as part of the Reading for Understanding Research Initiative. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent views of the Institute or the U.S. Department of Education.

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