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2006Research Conference | June 15–16

This conference highlighted the work of invited speakers, independent researchers who have received grant funds from the Institute of Education Sciences, and trainees supported through predoctoral training grants and postdoctoral fellowships. The presentations are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Education or the Institute of Education Sciences.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, N.W.
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The Read-Write Cycle Project: Bridging the Literacy and Content Area Divide

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.