Development and Validation of the Systemic Assessment of Book Reading

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Posted on September 1, 2018 by childrenslearninginstitute

Timeline: 2014-2018

Principal Investigator:

Jill Pentimonti, PhD, American Institutes for Research


Ryan Bowles, PhD, Michigan State University

Mileidis Gort, PhD, Ohio State University

Laura Justice, PhD, Ohio State University

Sherine Tambyraja, PhD, Ohio State University

Tricia Zucker, PhD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth)

Funding Agency:

Institute of Education Sciences (IES)

Description of Project:

The purpose of this project is to expand and validate the first standardized, observational assessment of the quality of shared book reading in early childhood classrooms, called the Systematic Assessment of Book Reading (SABR) 2.0. Earlier versions of the SABR were developed within previous studies funded by the Institute of Education Sciences. This earlier work demonstrated the predictive validity of the pre-kindergarten measure when used to predict language and literacy outcomes in kindergarten and first grade. This and decades of research on the importance of reading to young children make measure of the quality of interactive shared book reading a dimension of teacher-child interactions that is of great interest to researchers and practitioners. However, there are very few standardized tools available to describe young children’s reading experiences.

The SABR 2.0 will measure the quality of teacher and child behaviors during shared book-reading sessions. In this study, the tool will be revised for greater ease of use and accuracy by improving training materials and scoring protocols that will be disseminated at no cost via the Internet. In addition, a short version will be iteratively designed for use by practitioners (e.g., coaches and other education professionals), and for use to support professional development. Participating teachers and school leaders in the validation study will be invited to attend a training on improving the quality of shared book reading.


We will be observing book reading sessions in 75 Pre-Kindergarten and 75 Kindergarten classrooms per year for a total of 300 classrooms across the two sites and two years of data collection. 


Ohio State University and University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

How Can I Get Involved:

If you are interested in participating in this research, please contact our Project Coordinator by calling 713-500-3634 or by emailing

Pre-k and kindergarten teachers who take part in this study will be videotaped reading aloud texts with their students at two conveniently scheduled days that are about four months apart. Additionally, three to four students per classroom will be randomly selected to participate in language and literacy assessments on the same day as the book reading observations. Participating teachers will receive a thank you gift pack of books while each participating child will receive a thank you gift book to take home.

Dates for “Intentional, Interactive Shared Reading” workshops will be announced in 2015 and 2016 that provide participating teachers or literacy leaders at participating schools with tools to improve book reading. Participants will receive a SABR Discussion Toolkit, designed for educators to set goals to improve shared book reading. Coaches/leaders will receive a slide deck to use as trainer-of-trainer materials.