Project CRISS By: Lauren Mauritz

CRISS - CReating Independence through Student-owned Strategies

From the creators

"We designed Project CRISS to help our students learn more effectively throughout the curriculum. Our project focuses on teaching students how to learn through reading, writing, talking, and listening. Students learn to apply CRISS principles and philosophy in all subject areas" (Santa, vii).

My experience with Project CRISS

Philosophy of CRISS - Metacognition

Good readers are metacognitive. They know how to look at words to create meaning and are goal-directed.

Building Background Knowledge
"Integrating new information with prior knowledge lies at the heart of metacognition and comprehension" (Santa, 7).
  • Teacher's can't give meaning to students
  • Students need to create meaning
  • Brains build personal connections with new information
  • Examples - poetry, WWII
Purpose Setting

Setting purposes gives students focal points

Active Learning

"Learning happens when students actively process information through writing, talking, and transforming by using a variety of organizing strategies" (Santa, 8).
"ENGAGEMENT, at its core, is the observable evidence of a learner’s interest and active involvement in all lesson content and related tasks, with clearly articulated “evidence checks” of concrete, productive responses to instruction" (Richards).
CRISS Strategies

Not "just another thing to do"

Format: Introduction, modeling, and reflection (metacognition)

KWL Charts
Venn Diagrams (graphic organizers)

One-Sentence Summaries

  1. Read a selection aloud.
  2. Put the selection aside and list for or five ideas/words from it.
  3. Model how to combine these ideas/words into a One-Sentence Summary.
  4. Delete any extraneous words from the Summary.
  5. Ask students, "How did putting the material aside and writing down key words help you begin transforming the information?" (metacognition question)
Power Notes - "Helps students differentiate between main ideas and details" (Santa, 38).
  • Power 1: Main idea
  • Power 2: Detail or support for a Power 1
  • Power 3: Detail or support for a Power 2
  • Summary - Putting it all together

Example with sports (very simple example)

Frayer Model
Mind Streaming


  • Richards, Dean. "Increasing Student Engagement Through Opportunities to Respond." Oregon RTI Project. PBIS Conference 2013. Accessed 31 Jan. 2017.
  • Santa, Carol M.; Havens, Lynn T.; Valdez, Bonnie J. Project CRISS. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company 1988.
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