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Better Learning Through Structured Teaching (2/e)

  • Title:Better Learning Through Structured Teaching: A Framework for the Gradual Release of Responsibility (2/e)
  • Author:Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey
  • Publication Date:December 2013
  • ISBN:9781416616290
  • Publisher:ASCD

In this updated 2nd edition of the ASCD best-seller, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey dig deeper into the hows and whys of the gradual release of responsibility instructional framework. To gradually release responsibility is to equip students with what they need to be engaged and self-directed learners. On a day-to-day level, it means delivering lessons purposefully planned to incorporate four essential and interrelated instructional phases:

  1. Focused Instruction: Preparing students for learning by establishing lesson purpose, modeling strategies and skills, thinking aloud, and noticing how students respond.
  2. Guided Instruction: Strategically using prompts, cues, and questions to lead students to new understanding.
  3. Collaborative Learning: Allowing students to consolidate their understanding through exploration, problem-solving, discussion, and thinking with their peers.
  4. Independent Learning: Requiring students to use the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired to create authentic products and ask new questions.

The authors explore each phase, using real-life examples from a variety of disciplines. You’ll find tips and tools for classroom implementation, including checklists for planning and assessment; advice on feedback, homework, group work, differentiated instruction, and blended learning; answers to frequently asked questions; and examples that align to Common Core State Standards. No matter what grade level or subject you teach, Better Learning Through Structured Teaching is your essential guide to helping students expand their capacity for successful and long-lasting learning.

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Author Bio

Douglas Fisher is professor of language and literacy education in the Department of Teacher Education at San Diego State University and a classroom teacher at Health Sciences High & Middle College. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association Celebrate Literacy Award, the Farmer Award for excellence in writing from the National Council of Teachers of English, as well as a Christa McAuliffe Award for excellence in teacher education. He has published numerous articles on reading and literacy, differentiated instruction, and curriculum design, as well as books, such as Creating Literacy-rich Schools for Adolescents (with Gay Ivey), Checking for Understanding (with Nancy Frey), Better Learning Through Structured Teaching (with Nancy Frey) and Content-area Conversations (with Carol Rothenberg), Text Complexity (2/e) (with Nancy Frey) and Text-Dependent Questions, Grades 6-12 and Grades K-5 (with Nancy Frey, Heather Anderson, Marisol Thayre).

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Literacy in the School of Teacher Education at San Diego State University. She is a recipient of the Christa McAuliffe award for excellence in teacher education from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. She has co-authored several books on literacy such as Teaching Visual Literacy and Checking for Understanding (with Douglas Fisher), Text Complexity (2/e) (with Doug Fisher) and Text-Dependent Questions, Grades 6-12 and Grades K-5 (with Dou Fisher, Heather Anderson, Marisol Thayre).


She was a co-recipient (with Doug Fisher) of NCTE’s 2004 Kate and Paul Farmer award for outstanding writing for their article, “Using Graphic Novels, Anime, and The Internet In an Urban High School,” published in The English Journal. She teaches a variety of courses in elementary and secondary literacy in content area instruction and supporting students with diverse learning needs.

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