Posted on 10/08/2010 at 10:25 AM by Global Reach


What Is Project CRISS?
CRISS is an acronym that stands for Creating Independence through Student-owned Strategies. The project was developed by Carol Santa, Lynn Havens, and Bonnie Valdes in the 1980s in order to help their students learn more effectively in all content area classes. The objective was to teach students how to learn through reading, writing, talking, and listening. Although it began as a high school project, Project CRISS has been successful in research projects in grades 4 – 12.
What are the Philosophy and Principles of Project CRISS®?
1. Metacognition
Metacognition is the ability to regulate one’s own learning. Students understand how they learn best, know when they have understood, and know which strategies to use.
2. Background knowledge
Background knowledge plays a large role in students’ success in school. Students interpret text and new information based on their own background--or prior--knowledge. Integrating new information with prior knowledge is at the heart of comprehension.
3. Purpose Setting
When students have a goal, or specific purpose in mind prior to reading, their comprehension improves. With a specific purpose in mind, students can rely on their prior knowledge and metacognition to monitor their progress towards that goal.
4. Active Learning
When students have an opportunity to write, discuss, and/or transform their new learning through a variety of strategies, students‘ understanding and retention is increased.
5. Discussion
Students create meaning by transforming information and by building their own connections. Discussion is essential to these constructive processes.
6. Writing
Writing is a way of knowing--of deep understanding. When students can explain a concept in writing, they can claim that knowledge as their own.
7. Organization
Learning and memory depend on transforming information, and good readers know a variety of strategies to employ in this transformation.
8. Author’s Craft
Good readers understand various text structures in both fiction and nonfiction. They use this knowledge to help them in comprehending new texts they read.
9. Explanation and Modeling
Most students do not know how to learn. When teachers use explicit instruction and modeling of new strategies, students see their utility and use them to aid them in comprehension.
10. Teaching for Understanding
Students need to be able to go beyond a surface-level understanding of specific concepts--they also need to be able to work with their new learning and transform it in some way. CRISS strategies help students to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create--skills needed to be successful with the Iowa Core Curriculum.
Where Can I Get Training?
In order to implement Project CRISS, teachers should be trained in a two- or three-day workshop. Participants will be instructed in the 10 philosophical principles as well as many useful instructional strategies.
A training opportunity will begin October 19, 2010 from 4:00 – 7:00 pm at Northwest AEA. To register, please go to the Northwest AEA homepage, and click on Professional Development Opportunities. The title of the course is CRISS Level I.



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