Robert C. Calfee, University of California Riverside
Roxanne Greitz Miller, Chapman University
Abstract: The Read-Write Cycle Project, collaboration between the University of California Riverside and Chapman University, is a three-year (2005-2008) IES grant program in reading comprehension that aims to raise student achievement in reading through research-based reading and writing activities in content-area subjects such as science, social studies, and mathematics.
The Read-Write Cycle Project centers around what researchers have proven to be the most critical factor influencing student achievement, the classroom teacher. The project team contends that the promotion of knowledge requires more than reliance on scripted material, such as is seen and promoted in many classrooms today. They believe that innovative practices need to be responsive to teachers' work and needs, rather than disconnected from the reality of today's classrooms and students. Therefore, all of the techniques being used in this project are designed to be efficient, effective, and adaptable, making them "teacher-friendly" while aiming for the highest quality of instruction.
Having just completed Year 1, the Project has worked with 36 teachers from the Orange Unified School District in Orange, California. Teachers were trained over ten days of professional development during this past school year in proven techniques for delivering reading comprehension instruction in the content areas. Teachers are now working collaboratively to develop lessons that they will implement with their classes in the second and third years. During these years, students will be observed and evaluated on their progress in multiple areas related to reading comprehension.