Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® is a reading and writing
program for students in grades 2 through 6. It has three principal elements:
story-related activities, direct instruction in reading comprehension, and
integrated language arts/writing. Daily lessons provide students with an
opportunity to practice comprehension and reading skills in pairs and small
groups. Pairs of students read to each other; predict how stories will end;
summarize stories; write responses to questions posed by the teacher; and
practice spelling, decoding, and vocabulary. Within cooperative teams of
four, students work to understand the main idea of a story and work through
the writing activities linked to the story. A Spanish version of the program is
available for grades 2 through 5.
Two studies of Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® that fall
within the scope of the Adolescent Literacy review protocol meet What Works
Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards with reservations. The two studies
included approximately 1,460 students in grades 2 through 6 who attended
nine schools3 located in two school districts in the United States.
Based on these two studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence for
Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® on adolescent learners
to be medium to large for the comprehension and general literacy achievement
domains. No studies that meet WWC evidence standards with or without
reservations examined the effectiveness of Cooperative Integrated Reading
and Composition® on adolescent learners in the alphabetics or reading fluency
Cooperative Integrated Reading and Composition® was found to have
potentially positive effects on comprehension and general literacy achievement
for adolescent learners.
1 The descriptive information for this program was obtained from a publicly
available source: the WWC Beginning Reading intervention report (July 2007).
The WWC requests developers to review the program description sections for
accuracy from their perspective. The program description was updated by the
developer in December 2008. Further verification of the accuracy of the
descriptive information for this program is beyond the scope of this review.
The literature search reflects documents publicly available by March 2010.
2 The studies in this report were reviewed using WWC Evidence Standards,
Version 2.0 (see WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook, Chapter III),
as described in protocol Version 2.0.
3 The Adolescent Literacy topic area reviews studies of interventions
administered to students in grades 4–12 (or 9–18 years of age). For studies
that include samples of students that span both the Adolescent Literacy
(grades 4–12) and Beginning Reading (grades K–3) topic areas and cannot
be disaggregated by grade level, the Adolescent Literacy topic area also
reviews any studies that include 5th-grade students or higher. For example,
this report includes a combined sample of students from grades 2–6
(Jewell, 1994; Stevens & Slavin, 1995).
4 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research.
Findings and conclusions may change as new research becomes available.
5 These numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement
indices for all findings across the studies.
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