Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition

An Effective Practice


Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition (CIRC) is a school-based program that targets reading, writing, and language arts in grades 2 through 6. CIRC is built around a cooperative learning model that actively engages students in rigorous discussion of their reading. Reading comprehension strategies are directly taught and reinforced through team interaction. Writing for a variety of purposes is integrated throughout. Purpose-specific graphic organizers and rubrics guide well-structured peer input. All activities follow a cycle that involves teacher presentation, team practice, peer pre-assessment, and additional practice followed by assessment and celebration of progress. Students are encouraged to cooperate and help one another, because students' scores on individual assessments are summed to form team scores.

Several years ago, CIRC was adapted to form Reading Wings, which is one component of the comprehensive reading program in the Success for All whole-school reform model. The Success for All model consists of reading and language arts instruction built around cooperative learning, , schoolwide systems for goal-setting and progress monitoring to insure achievement by all students, tutoring for struggling readers, and family support and parent involvement strategies.

Goal / Mission

The goal of this program is to help all students achieve at the highest levels.

Results / Accomplishments

The evaluations demonstrate that treatment-group students scored significantly higher than control-group students on standardized tests of reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, language expression, language mechanics, and spelling. Analyses of students' writing samples indicate that CIRC students exhibited superior performance as compared with control students on organization of their writing and presentation of written ideas.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Nancy Madden, President
Success for All Foundation
200 W. Towsontown Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21204
(410) 616-2330
Education / Student Performance K-12
Education / Literacy
Education / School Environment
Success for All Foundation
Promising Practices Network
Date of publication
Nov 2004
Baltimore, MD
For more details
Target Audience