Improving Middle School Students’ Reading in ELA, Science, and Social Studies

The Middle School Matters team is pleased to offer a FREE SUPPORT OPPORTUNITY to middle schools located in central Texas during the 2019-2020 school year!

As part of an Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded research project, our team (in collaboration with current middle school educators) is developing a professional development (PD) model specifically for middle schools to help them implement research-based reading practices in content areas, including English/language arts, science, and social studies.  

This PD model includes:

email lesson boosters

  • An updated Middle School Matters Field Guide, which identifies and describes reading practices proven effective by rigorous research
  • User-friendly instructional tools and resources co-designed by researchers and educators
  • A Strategic Planning Process that includes self-assessment, goal setting, and action planning
  • Professional development that goes beyond “sit and get” and includes in-class lesson demonstrations, coaching, and lesson planning support
  • Follow-up support informed by observation/coaching data and includes refinement PD and coaching
  • Capacity building of teachers, instructional coaches, and administrators so that research-based practices are sustained over time

  We want to bring this support to your campus AT NO COST during the 2019-2020 school year!

We’ve Been Providing Support Since 2013

The Middle School Matters Institute has provided in-person support to 21 schools and remote support to over 100 schools since 2013.  We’re combining our “lessons learned” over the years with the expertise of a nationally-renowned Advisory Board and current educators to design a new and improved version of our professional development so that we can continue helping schools across the nation.

Watch this short video to hear how Middle School Matters supported one Texas middle school.

PD Topics

Schools will be able to choose from the following PD topics:

  • Active reader questions (comprehension monitoring)
  • Essential Words Routine (vocabulary)
  • Get the Gist (main idea)
  • Summarization
  • Text reading formats and strategies

School Requirements

  • Be a public or public charter middle school located within 1.5 hours of Austin, Texas
  • Establish a school leadership team and engage in the Strategic Planning Process with your MSM Coach in June 2019 (1 day)
  • Allow us to conduct on-site professional development with all ELA, science, and SS teachers (scheduled at a convenient time to minimize the loss of instructional time) near the beginning of the school year and at points throughout the year for refinement “booster session” PD
  • Support teachers’ implementation of practices learned in PD by helping the MSM Coach conduct classroom walk-throughs and organize follow-up support opportunities
  • Allow MSM team to collect audio recordings of typical class instruction to measure the success of PD.  (Audio recorders will be provided at no cost.)
  • Allow MSM team to assess students on measures of reading comprehension
  • Allow MSM team to collect Early Warning Indicator data (attendance, behavior, and coursework data)


Schools will receive:

  • A Middle School Matters Coach, who will coordinate all support activities with your assistance and collaboration
  • Strategic Planning, which will result in a customized Action Plan and concrete goals for the year
  • On-site professional development, PLUS in-class modeling of strategies, coaching, and refinement “booster sessions”
  • Copies of the MSM Field Guide and access to other instructional materials not yet publicly available
  • Ongoing check-in meetings and feedback to inform the implementation of research-based practices throughout the year
  • Data reports, including a final data report showing the success of the project
  • Continuing Professional Education credits for teachers that attend PD
  • The school will incur NO COSTS, as all activities are covered by funds provided by the Institute of Education Sciences

Ultimately, schools that engage in MSM Support will receive a year of completely customized HIGH-QUALITY support at their campus for absolutely FREE.

ELA, science, and SS teachers will receive materials and professional development focused on research-based practices that help them engage and support students’ text reading in their classes.


We are currently gauging schools’ interest in this opportunity and assembling a list of those interested.  Please fill out the form below if you would consider partnering with us on this support opportunity!  We will provide you with more information and keep you informed as we move closer to the 2019-2020 school year.