One of my favorite books is “Better Learning Through Structured Teaching” by Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey. It is focused around how to implement The Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework. The following section is one I would like to share from this text:
When teachers are gradually releasing responsibility to students, formative assessment is especially critical. Guided instruction is dependent on insight into students’ learning status; it’s how teachers form groups and how they decide what to teacher to these groups. We also know that systematic use of formative assessment data improves student achievement. Black and Williams (1998) analysis of findings from 250 journal articles and book chapters concluded that the regular use of formative assessment raises academic achievement. Classrooms that use formative assessment data to flexibly group students use a situational process, meaning that students are taught first and then grouped for reteaching or extension, based on the most current information. Mason and Good (1993) compared the effects of both approaches on mathematics learning with 1,700 intermediate students and found that learners in the situational approach outperformed those in classrooms that used a structural approach.”
This idea of having flexibility while grouping students is very important! I feel like once I group students those groups can become stagnant. I will work to keep these groups more flexibly based on day to day data.
The Gradual Release of Responsibility Framework. I think we feel we are not doing our job unless we are doing more work than the students, but truth is learning doesn’t take place unless the learner assumes responsibility. No way around it. One way to look at this is our work goes on behind the scenes and creating the learning environment. In the end perhaps we work harder, but in different ways with greater student learning. This has been an evolution/revolution in my own thinking over the years.