Adventures in Literacy Land: Gradual Release of Responsibility

Showing posts with label Gradual Release of Responsibility. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gradual Release of Responsibility. Show all posts

5 Reasons to Text in their Hands...EVERYDAY!

5 Reasons to Text in their Hands...EVERYDAY!

Teachers know text is the key.  

Teachers are quick to incorporate Read Alouds, both fiction and non-fiction, into lessons for reading skills, math, science and social studies.  We practice words, but we have to make sure we are practicing words in text. Here are 5 reasons.


If you want a child to be better at piano, you make them practice.  If you want a child to be better at soccer, you make them practice.  If you want to child to be better at dance, you make them practice.  If you want a child to be better at reading, you make them practice.  You would not give them a piece to play on the piano ONCE.  You would not have them kick a soccer ball ONCE.  WHY would you expect a student to become a successful reader with one glance at a book.  Students need to have the books from small group at their disposal to develop comprehension, fluency and expression.  They need practice every day...with new books every day!  I provided each student with a gallon-sized Ziploc(R) bag.  Each day they get give me the oldest book in their bag and they get a new book.  There are always 5 books in their bags.  They need LOTS and LOTS of exposure to text on their level!  Practice makes permanent.

Practice with Known or Familiar Words

Word wall words or sight words CANNOT be learned in isolation.  Well, they can be…but, why would you?  When students are just beginning to connect letters to sounds and sounds to words every connection made clear makes an impact on their learning.  Typically a word or two is repeated in predictable text can not only provide further practice with fluency, students are practicing sight words on every page.  As they become more and more familiar with these books the sight words become easily recognized and 


Responsibility is another key skill for early learners.  Giving them the responsibility of their book baggie allows them to have a part in their learning.  They need to bring the book baggie to the small group table.  They need to make sure their book baggie is put in the proper place.  They need to make sure their books are kept in the baggie.  


Independence is one of the most important skills students can acquire through books.  After a small group lesson students keep the book in their book baggie (a Ziploc® bag with their name).  These bags are kept in a specific place in the room.  When students are finished with their work, they can get their book baggie and sit in the classroom library to read.  They know how, when, and where to read their books and it’s up to them to do it.  


Finally, putting books in the hands EVERYDAY creates a routine of reading.  When the routine is created a love of reading can grow.  Students who know they will read every day and they will be successful every day.  Success feels good…so reading will feel good, too. AND will grow!

Give them the books.  Don't be afraid!  It will make all the difference!


The Gradual Release of Responsibility Model

Hello Everyone! It is Amy from Eclectic Educating. Today I am blogging about something very near and dear to my heart - the gradual release of responsibility model. All of my instruction centers around this very philosophy. I was first exposed to the concept in college while studying the work of the amazing Debbie Miller.

The graphic above is a great visual representation of the gradual release of responsibility model. At the beginning of the lesson, the teacher has a high amount of control. Slowly, the teacher begins to release the control over to the student, allowing them to take responsibility for the learning. Let me break the process down for you. It can be divided into three distinct phases.

1. Modeling
The teacher begins by modeling the concept for the students. This is often done through read alouds and anchor charts. The teacher will demonstrate the skill for the students and if applicable, present a finished product.

2. Guided Practice
Now, the teacher begins to release the responsibility to the students. At this point, the teacher prompts students and asks questions to guide students. In the beginning, the teacher asks more direct questions and provides explicit prompts. Over time, the student requires less support and guidance.

3. Independent Practice
During this phase, the student demonstrates his or her independent abilities. At this point, the teacher wants to see what the student can do without any support from the teacher.

Let me demonstrate with one of my lessons.


I introduced the concept of summarizing using an anchor chart and explicitly explained the elements of a summary.Then, I provided students with a model of a summary I had already written. We labeled the parts of the summary together.

Guided Practice
Next, the students and I constructed a summary together. I prompted students to help guide them and make sure they included all the key elements of a summary.

Independent Practice

Lastly, students wrote an independent summary of a text they had read. I did not prompt or guide students at all with this summary. It was a true picture of what the students were able to do on their own. I often think that we as teachers focus too much on the guided practice portion of the lesson. We need to see what students are able to do independently. Only then can we know if students have mastered the material. We should not be afraid of seeing students fail. If we see that they need more instruction, we can certainly go back and reteach, (and should!) but we will never know if we don't test their limits!

If you would like more information on the gradual release of responsibility, I highly recommend Debbie Miller's Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades. She is the master!

How do you incorporate the gradual release of responsibility model into your lessons?