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At the beginning of the 2017-18 school year, I was called upon to create a series of introductory videos to help new teachers understand the SAISD FIT Teaching model and the accompanying instructional practices implemented in classrooms across the district. This short series of presentations was designed to encourage Crucial Conversations with and between teachers at all 90 campuses in the San Antonio Independent School District.

Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR)

The Gradual Release of Responsibility model provides teachers with an instructional framework for moving from teacher knowledge to student understanding and application.

The teacher guides the students to a point of 'planned obsolescence' on the part of the teacher "...where the student accepts total responsibility for the task, including the responsibility for determining whether or not she is applying the strategy appropriately.

Also referred to as Scaffolded Instruction, GRR can be summed up with the following statement:
" I do, We do, You do."

Focused Instruction

Focused Instruction is a time for students to hear the teacher model his or her thinking about a skill, strategy or task and not a time to answer questions about their own thinking.

This is the time for students to actively listen, take notes and ask for clarification. "I think...", or "I wonder...", or "I predict...." are the types of statements students will hear.

The key to a quality Focused Instruction lesson is in the direct explaining and modeling of the skill, strategies, and task.

Guided Instruction

The goal of Guided Instruction in the Gradual Release of Responsibility model is to guide students toward using different skills, strategies and procedures independently.

Teachers group students together based on the results of formative assessments, and guide student in their thinking in order to support students as they progress toward completing the outcome or skill independently.


Independent Practice

The last phase of the Gradual Release of Responsibility model allows students to demonstrate their learning, using a variety of independent tasks.

These tasks should also support other instructional content. Teachers can circulate among the students while they work to listen and make observations, providing support only when necessary.