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Content Literacy: Four Factors in Building an Effective Instructional Framework (On Demand)

Non-Member Price: $99.00

NCTE Member Price: $49.00

Presenter(s): Douglas Fisher

This Web seminar recording includes all audio, video, chat discussion, and actions from the Live presentation.

Access to the recording is available in your Digital Locker after purchase.

Level(s): Elementary, Secondary, Middle


This Web seminar focuses the idea of a Gradual Release of Responsibility and how to make this theory come alive in the classroom. First proposed 25 years ago as an alternative to worksheets and other independent tasks, the Gradual Release of Responsibility focuses on moving from teacher- to student-responsibility for learning. Over the past 8 years, this theory has been put into practice in a number of classrooms in San Diego, CA. We have developed an instructional framework that consists of: 
  • Focus lessons–designed to establish purpose and model skills
  • Guided instruction–designed to differentiate instruction for groups of students based on need
  • Collaborative learning–designed to allow students to interact with one another as they apply what they have learned in unique learning situations
  • Independent practice–designed to ensure that students use what they have learned on their own

The gradual release of responsibility stipulates that the teacher moves from assuming “all the responsibility for performing a task … to a situation in which the students assume all of the responsibility” (Duke & Pearson, 2004, p. 211). This gradual release may occur over a day, a week, a month, or a year.

Michael Graves and Bonnie Graves also note that “effective instruction often follows a progression in which teachers gradually do less of the work and students do more. It is through this process of gradually assuming more responsibility for their learning that students become competent, independent learners.”

In a gradual release of responsibility instructional framework, the teacher first models the desired learning. Over time, students assume more responsibility for the task as they move from participants in the modeled lesson, to apprentices in shared instruction, to collaborators with their peers, to independent performers.

In this session you will learn: 

  • To introduce a structured teaching model based on the Gradual Release of Responsibility
  • To view classroom video footage, and discuss with peers, the instructional moves that develop student competence
  • Determine what to look for, based on the Gradual Release of Responsibility, in classroom observations

Note: Due to the online nature of this product, purchases are nonrefundable. 

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NCTE - The National Council of Teachers Of English

A Professional Association of Educators in English Studies, Literacy, and Language Arts