Series Supporting SIFE with Developing Literacy: Gradual Release of Responsibility for SIFE with Developing Literacy

Gradual Release of Responsibility for SIFE with Developing Literacy

Lesson Objective: Use centers and differentiated instruction to support students with inconsistent/interrupted education (SIFE)
Grades 9-12, ELA, ELL


Enjoy your first video for free. Subscribe for unlimited access.

Have questions about subscribing? Click Here to learn more.

Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How do the Bridges courses support SIFE with developing literacy?
  2. How does gradually releasing responsibility increase independence?
  3. How do students learn through working together?


  • Private message to Abel Gebremariam

Keeping students responsible on their actions and choices allows them to discover their future. 


Recommended (0)
  • Private message to Cade Patterson

Gradually releasing responsibility to the students increases the independence of the students because it begins to let them explore who they are going to be. It also makes sure that the students aren’t overloaded with these responsibilities. These students need to be able to have a sense of independence by the time they graduate and head of to college or work so that they will achieve out in the real world. This is a great video in showing how they need to value themselves and their success.

Recommended (0)


  • Transcript

    Speaker 1:                              ... [inaudible 00:00:27] to learning and write.

    Speaker 1:                              ... [inaudible 00:00:27] to learning and write.

    Katja:                                        Students in my class are all newcomers. They come from different countries, from South America and Central America. They bring a vast amount of pragmatic knowledge to the classroom. They come from very closely knit communities where their roles were clearly defined. Many of them speak indigenous languages.

    Speaker 3:                              This is for the [inaudible 00:00:53]

    Katja:                                        However, all of them have limited or interrupted schooling. In Spanish, they're reading level range from being new to print to third/fourth grade.

    Speaker 4:                              [foreign language 00:01:09]

    Speaker 5:                              Integrated ENL/ELA is a companion course with standalone ENL. The two courses are designed to meet the needs of seif with developing literacy. Our goal is to prepare seif with developing literacy to participate meaningfully in secondary high schools.

    Speaker 5:                              Gradual release of responsibility is an approach to teaching and learning. For all students, the goal of learning is independence and for our students who are less familiar with academic thinking skills and academic language, as well as just the culture of a school, starting a class with a physical model using resources in the room and showing students how to do something but not stopping there, inviting them to collaborate and build knowledge together and then releasing the work to them to negotiate with their peers. Finally ending with an opportunity for the students to show what they can do on their own. Reinforcing the message that their learning is about them and they're empowered as learners.

    Katja:                                        We often to devise a warmup where the instructions from a teacher are almost unnecessary. We want the students to come in and be able to do something very quick on their own. It's usually a review from the previous lesson. A review of something that they'll need for this lesson.

    Katja:                                        Today we're going to compare and contrast. Compare and contrast is one of our targets. One of our goals. We have to compare and contrast characters and then we need to explain using transition words to connect ideas. Okay? So we're going to use our language structures, alright? We have the strength for Nazreen, the strength for Emmanuel ...

    Katja:                                        When I model, I want to show my students the thinking that has to go in their head in order to complete a task. So I show them, I verbalize ... what I think about is I'm doing this and at the same time I need to show them what resources to use.

    Katja:                                        Nazreen is good at going to school, but Emmanuel is good at riding a bike. Sergio, can you do another one like this?

    Sergio:                                      Nazreen is good at going to school, but Emmanuel is good at ... ride? Riding a bicycle.

    Katja:                                        Okay. Correct!

    Speaker 5:                              So, when planning this lesson, Katja and I decided to focus on compare and contrast. Identifying similarities and differences or finding connections is really at the heart of learning and building new knowledge so we want to empower our students to take the ability to identify something similar among two characters and bring that with them as they leave the bridge's classroom.

    Speaker 7:                              Nazreen. So Nazreen and Emmanuel. [inaudible 00:04:26] Is intelligent [crosstalk 00:04:30]

    Speaker 8:                              Yes, good. Alright.

    Speaker 7:                              Example, [Maret 00:04:37] he don't understand, but I understand, I help the [Maret 00:04:41] but I don't understand but he understand but he help me.

    Katja:                                        It is very inspiring to teach these students because the progress they make in their thinking ... it always surprises you as a teacher. You see them, you know, really believing in themselves as learners, believing in each other, valuing each other, valuing the identity of each other and that creates this beautiful culture of mutual support and joined success. But they understand that they are in it together and that's powerful.

    Speaker 7:                              [inaudible 00:05:22] People can

    Speaker 12:                           People can be

    Speaker 7:                              Many things

    Speaker 12:                           Many things.

    Ms. Delones:                        Riding. Bike. [foreign language 00:05:31]

    Katja:                                        Today my class, I had help of parent professional, Ms. Delones. She provided that oral support for them because they ... it was difficult for them to read the words on the cards. So they succeeded at completing academic tasks even though there were still struggling readers. That was important for me for them to be able to feel successful.

    Ms. Delones:                        [foreign language 00:05:59] makes friends. As a result, Nazreen makes friends.

    Katja:                                        And we practiced saying the sentences, and now we're going to write the sentences in our writing notebook, okay? So, I'm going to start comparing Nazreen and Emmanuel and I'm going to write in my notebook "Nazreen is good at ... " because that's my structure that I was using "is good at ... " and I will use one of these sentences "going to school," right? Or "learning," ... "Nazreen is good at learning."

    Katja:                                        Independent practice is very important. We want our students to be independent. It empowers them. It gives them opportunity to practice, to give it a go at whatever they were practicing together in pairs or in groups.

    Speaker 9:                              [inaudible 00:07:04] Nazreen decides to go to surfing school [inaudible 00:07:11]

    Speaker 14:                           Nazreen is good at learning and to go to school and ... but Emmanuel is good at re- ride a bicycle.

    Katja:                                        Emmanuel decides to help disabled people, yeah? See this?

    Speaker 10:                           [inaudible 00:07:38]

    Katja:                                        ... an education. Mm-hmm (affirmative), good. I like that you say that because it helps you to pronounce.

    Speaker 15:                           [inaudible 00:07:46]

    Speaker 5:                              If you want to develop your practice and improve the way that you're applying gradual release of responsibility in your classroom, one way to start would be to think very specifically about what you want your students to accomplish in that classroom and to break it down into smaller steps that you can then show students, model how to do, and get their feedback on how to do it and then release it to them. Think very specifically and strategically about what you want to do and how you want to train them to think academically.

    Speaker 11:                           [foreign language 00:08:29]


Related Blogs

English Language Learners

English Language Learners/ Professional Learning

School Details

Newtown High School
48-01 90th Street
Queens NY 11373
Population: 1941

Data Provided By:



Kateryna Haggerty


TCH Special
46 MIN

Webinar / Teacher Wellness / Summer Learning

TCH Special

Webinar / SEL / Leadership

TCH Special

Webinar / SEL / Professional Learning

TCH Special
45 MIN

Webinar / Professional Learning / Resources


Summer Learning


Lesson Planning


English Language Arts