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Think Aloud, Think Along, Think Alone: Gradually Releasing Students to Use Comprehension Strategies in Elementary Classrooms

The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice

ISBN: 978-1-78769-448-4, eISBN: 978-1-78769-447-7

ISSN: 2048-0458

Publication date: 26 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore an application of the gradual release of responsibility (GRR) to the reading comprehension of students in kindergarten to grade five.

Findings – In this chapter, the author provides a brief review of think-alouds as a way for proficient readers to model the comprehension strategies that they apply to a text. The author introduces a three-step process in which students gradually take ownership for such strategies through think-alouds, think-alongs, and think alones. The author demonstrates that when students in kindergarten through grade five have strong models of comprehension through think-alouds, they are able to apply these strategies to their own independent reading. Though a case study of one English language arts teacher, the author shows how the teacher released responsibility to students through think-alouds.

Research limitations/implications – The examples within this chapter are from a second-grade classroom in an urban charter school.

Practical implications – This three-step process is applicable to all content areas as well as text genre and reading levels. This approach is a valuable model for teachers to understand how to gradually release comprehension strategies to students across grade levels.

Originality/value of paper – This chapter provides research-based examples of using the GRR model to build students’ ability to inference. Additionally, the chapter provides “I” language and sentence starters to help students internalize comprehension strategies and apply them to independent reading.

Keywords

Citation

Ness, M.K. (2019), "Think Aloud, Think Along, Think Alone: Gradually Releasing Students to Use Comprehension Strategies in Elementary Classrooms", McVee, M.B., Ortlieb, E., Reichenberg, J.S. and Pearson, P.D. (Ed.) The Gradual Release of Responsibility in Literacy Research and Practice (Literacy Research, Practice and Evaluation, Vol. 10), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 217-227. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2048-045820190000010014

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019 Emerald Publishing Limited