Throughout the building of field, students are engaged in extended discussions about their reading and provided with opportunities to use and reuse subject-specific language in supported and contextualised ways. Modelling the structure and features of a text In the modelling stage of the TLC also known as deconstruction the focus shifts from the field of study to the genre being explored.
The modelling phase can also include further opportunities for supported reading as described above. What is important here is the careful selection of extracts and the explicit teaching about the language choices. It is during this stage that students are taught the technical metalanguage — a language to identify, describe and interpret how language choices are working within a text.
Tasks within this stage further contribute to building field knowledge as well as linguistic knowledge which students will later draw upon in the composition of their own texts. This definition is in keeping with the teaching and learning approach outlined here. Guided practice Guided practice is a critical stage of the teaching and learning cycle, bringing together learning that has occurred in other stages.
Field knowledge is reviewed to be certain students have the background knowledge to be able to contribute to the text. Using the metalanguage and knowledge about text structure and language features of the genre examined in the modelling stage, the teacher takes a leading role to guide the jointly constructed text.
Important processes of writing such as drafting and editing are also modelled during this phase. Time taken to co-construct a text will vary according to year level. For guided practice, students helped me to analyze these same elements in "The Jacket" by Gary Soto. I ensured accountability by using a silent discussion technique see an example and read more about that here. Finally, students independently applied this analysis to their own narrative nonfiction writing.
Practice with Writer's Style includes two practice worksheets, each with four passages for analyzing the aspects of writer's style: diction, sentence structure, language choices, and tone. The first worksheet includes four passages on the same topic, so students can see how differently the same idea can be written about.
The second worksheet includes excerpts from famous writers like Ernest Hemingway and William Faulkner. A focus lesson could be done with the first passage on each worksheet, guided practice done with the second passage, and collaborative practice with the third and fourth passages. However, this should not be happening every day, and on the days it does happen, students need to be reminded of the purpose of the lesson, experience a brief episode of expert thinking, and interact with their peers.
Even in classrooms that most people would consider "good" or "good enough," the gradual release of responsibility instructional framework is seldom fully operationalized. As noted, the most frequent omission is the collaborative learning phase, leading to the instructional approach represented in Figure 1. In Some Classrooms … In these classrooms, the teacher provides modeling and then meets with small groups of students. But students don't have the opportunity to collaborate, as they are all required to complete independent tasks while waiting their turn to meet with the teacher.
For example, the teacher might model comprehension strategies useful in understanding scientific texts I do it and then meet with two or three small groups of students to guide their understanding We do it together. As this is going on, the rest of the students are more likely to be assigned independent reading from a textbook You do it than they are to work in collaborative learning groups You do it together. We believe that all four phases of the gradual release of responsibility framework—focused instruction, guided instruction, collaborative learning, and independent learning—are necessary if we want students to learn deeply, think critically and creatively, and be able to mobilize learning strategies.
But we didn't always understand this. Our teaching histories are replete with all of the ineffective models of instruction that we've just described. When the Importance of Gradual Release Became Real for Us The gradual release of responsibility instructional framework has been around for decades, and we have long used it with both the education students in our preservice classes and our public school students. But we can remember very specifically when we fully grasped its importance.
The two of us were in Las Vegas at a conference. We were staying at the Venetian Hotel, a very nice place to stay. Doug had a cell phone on his hip, the old kind of cell phone that did one thing only—it made phone calls. While we were walking through the lobby, Doug's phone rang. As he tried to answer it, it fell from his hip into the Venetian's lagoon, and down the drain it went. Given that Doug couldn't imagine a weekend without a cell phone even one that couldn't do anything fancy , we took a taxi to the local Sprint store.
Doug's plan was to exercise his insurance policy and get a free replacement phone. The salesperson at the Sprint store saw the situation differently. Wanting to make a new sale, he directed Doug away from the "old school" phones and toward the new, high-tech models. The sales guy—we'll call him Steve—was very persistent and noted that the newer phones also sent text messages. Doug had never sent a text message in his life, nor had the need ever arisen. But Steve was skilled. He said, "You know, the young people all send text messages.
It's the new way of communicating. Within minutes, he was the proud owner of a Treo As Doug watched, Steve the salesperson demonstrated the phone's various fancy features. Doug felt pretty proud of his high-tech purchase. About an hour later, back at the hotel, the new phone rang.
There it sat, buzzing away, but Doug didn't know how to answer it. It didn't flip open like his old phone had, and there wasn't any obvious button labeled "Answer.
Of course, Doug couldn't bear to tell Steve the sales guy who seemed to be about 12 years old that he didn't know how to work the phone. He just held it up and said, "I think it's broken. Doug was suddenly struck by a wave of guilt.
Turning to Nancy, he said, "How many times have I modeled comprehension for my students only to take back the task when they had difficulty? When learners experience difficulty and confusion, they need guided instruction, not more modeling. Frustrated learners already know that their teachers can complete the tasks; they've seen their teachers do so several times over.
What a frustrated learner needs is direction and practice, with scaffolding in place to ensure success. Back at the store, Doug turned to Steve and said, "I really don't need another model. I need some guided instruction. Can I hold the phone while you talk me through the operation? He guided, prompted, questioned, and cued Doug on how to use the phone. Nancy got so caught up in the experience that she decided, on the spot, to buy a new Treo as well.
Of course the combination of focused instruction and one guided instructional event did not ensure that either of us could use our new technology independently. What we needed now was the opportunity to practice without the teacher in this case, Steve providing cues. As Doug said to Nancy, "I'm too embarrassed to ask him how to do it again. Learner diversity is embraced by supporting interests, learning profiles, and readiness. Gradual Release is a way to apply differentiated instruction principles to writing instruction as the responsibility for independent writing shifts to the learners as illustrated in Figure 9.
Deborah shared that she has hers posted in the classroom. When I return to work tomorrow, I will be moving the pyramid! What was I thinking keeping it all to myself?!
Guided Instruction The guided instruction phase of a lesson is almost always conducted with small, purposeful groups that have been composed based on formative assessment data. Sadly, there is a classroom model even worse than this, at least in terms of instructional development.
But this three-phase model omits a truly vital component: students learning through collaboration with their peers—the you do it together phase. As such, they are critical to the successful implementation of the gradual release of responsibility instructional framework. The teacher can also get a sense of who is "getting it" and who will need additional instruction. Teachers often reorder the phases—for example, begin a lesson with an independent task, such as bellwork or a quick-write, or engage students in collaborative peer inquiry prior to providing teacher modeling.
The Institute for Learning n. The gradual release of responsibility instructional framework is recursive, and a teacher might reassume responsibility several times during a lesson to reestablish its purpose and provide additional examples of expert thinking.
Doug had a cell phone on his hip, the old kind of cell phone that did one thing only—it made phone calls. As noted, the most frequent omission is the collaborative learning phase, leading to the instructional approach represented in Figure 1. Graves and Fitzgerald note that "effective instruction often follows a progression in which teachers gradually do less of the work and students gradually assume increased responsibility for their learning. After analysis of three poems, students will then write a thesis summing up the poet's style and outline their essay. Accountable talk is a framework for teaching students about discourse in order to enrich these interactions.
Accountable talk is a framework for teaching students about discourse in order to enrich these interactions. At one point in the group's discussion, he provided this prompt: Consider what you know about the Earth's surface. This might involve guided practice of an action reaction pattern in a narrative, a particular sequence in an explanation or a section of an information report about animals, for example, habitat.