Bringing It All Together
Gradual Release of Responsibility in Reading and Writing
Most students will make gains in their reading and writing proficiency through time and practice. However, following an explicit gradual release of responsibility model will accelerate student gains and maximize the overall literacy level of the class as a whole. By explicitly modeling effective reading and writing strategies and then following a sequence of steps where you gradually provide less and less coaching, and then progress to peer interactions and autonomous work, students will more fully engage and take responsibility for their own reading and writing. As students become more confident about their reading and writing, they will accept peer and instructor feedback and come to fully appreciate how essential it is to improving the quality of their work.
Two previously mentioned models (the lab meeting and the journal club) are useful formats for a classroom of students advancing to intermediate scientific literacy and beyond. You can model how a short presentation is made, encouraging interruptions and questions, and provide students with a rubric for taking notes. You should openly discuss how you prepared your presentation and how long it took. As audience members, the students are learning to actively listen, while also taking notes, and observing how a presentation is made, including how a presenter responds to questions. As students give their own presentations, they each come to appreciate the challenges in giving a good presentation, while the audience continues to hone their questioning and note-taking skills. As students take turns, practice and skills for the entire class strengthen irrespective of individual differences in literacy levels. It’s possible to add components of collaborative work to the process, where students compare notes, or the instructor leads a whole class exercise to collate and categorize the variety of questions that arose from the lab meeting or the journal club.
Video and Reflection: Watch Peer Teaching again. You may want to take notes on the questions below.
- Before you watch: How do you differentiate instruction for students of differing interests and abilities? What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having students present in class?
- Watch the video: As you watch, notice the quality of the student presentation and the audience questions. How could less vocal students be encouraged to give a presentation or ask questions?
Dr. Amanda Micsenyi raises the bar for a particularly eager student, challenging him to read additional articles about HIV/AIDS and share his findings with the class.
Teacher: Amanda Micsenyi
School: Millennium Brooklyn High School, Brooklyn, NY
Discipline: Science (Quantitative Research)
Lesson Topic: HIV literature review
Lesson Month: March
Number of Students: 28
- Reflect: The student presenting does not always use the appropriate vocabulary in his or her presentation but seems to have good overall understanding of the topic. Some of the audience questions reveal misconceptions or incomplete understanding. In what ways do you think that this does or does not undermine the value of the activity?