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Improving Teacher Quality

Science and Academic Literacy

Grant Number: 08-510

Grant Award: $978,884

Duration of Project: Wednesday, October 01, 2008 - Sunday, September 30, 2012

Project Subject Areas: English and Science

Grade Band: K-5

Project Websites:

Institutes of Higher Education:

  • California State University, Chico

Local Education Agencies:

  • Gridley Unified, Gridley


  • Marysville Unified School District

Number of teachers/principals/highly qualified paraprofessionals participating in the project:



  1. Reduce the achievement gap between English learner and English proficient/English only student subgroups on statewide standardized tests of language arts and science
  2. Improve the science content and pedagogical content knowledge of K-5 teachers
  3. Increase teacher understanding of English language development and academic proficiency
  4. Develop a culture of reflective practice using a model demonstration laboratory
5. Enhance teacher leadership skills to maintain professional learning communities


All teachers will attend a one week summer institute (40 hours)each summer. The main focus will be inquiry based science emphasizing the use of evidence for developing explanations and development of scientific and academic language. An additional 40 hours during the academic year will focus on grade level specific content and language needs. The model demonstration laboratory at CSU, Chico will be attended by every K-5 class during the academic year and teachers will practice observational techniques in this classroom setting. During the second and third year of the project teachers will collaboratively develop and teach lessons, using a modified form of Lesson Study.

Anticipated Outcomes:

  • Increase ELA scores for all students, especially English learners, by using science as a vehicle for language instruction
  • Increase the percentage of all 5th grade students, especially English learners, in the proficient or above categories in science
  • Increase science content and pedagogical content knowledge of teachers
  • Increase use of inquiry based instruction and the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model in the classroom
  • Establish a new K-3 demonstration teaching laboratory course at CSU, Chico and augment curricula used in the existing teaching laboratory course for grades 4-6
  • Maintain the partnership through continued teacher and classroom student visitations to the demonstration teaching laboratories at CSU, Chico
  • Establish sustainable K-5 professional learning communities for reflective teaching
  • Contacts:

    Project: Joel Mintzes, Research Director,
    Institute of Higher Education: Bev Marcum, Project Director,
    Institute of Higher Education: Claudia Peralta Nash, Co-Director,
    Local Education Agency: Chris McIntire, LEA Co-Director,

    Questions, Comments, Corrections?

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