I am a nosy Tweeter so I butted in and shared this video on GRR by Jeffrey Wilhelm:
My first introduction to this teaching and learning model was at a workshop on content literacy put on by The Learning Network. Margaret Mooney was the keynoter and she described the model using a figure similar to the one shown to the right. I was resistant because the leftmost stages reminded me too much of lecturing - a method I had decided was ineffective when it came to constructing understanding. I was what my wife calls a "constructivist gone wild."
Then I read about GRR in Debbie Miller's book, Reading with Meaning. She writes:
Chances are that if you think back to a time when you learned how to do something new, the gradual release of responsibility model (Pearson and Gallagher 1983) comes into play. Maybe you learned how to snowboard, canoe, play golf, or drive a car. If you watched somebody do it first, practiced under that person's watchful eye, listened to his or her feedback, and then one fine day went off and did it by yourself, adding your own special twist to it in the process, you know what this model is all about. (p. 10)I was not completely convinced, but I was beginning to see the appeal of this more natural approach to teaching and learning.
Finally, I watched a first-grade teacher use GRR during a series of reading comprehension lessons. She modeled for me how she used formative assessments to evaluate where learners were in the model and how that informed the level of support she needed to offer during instruction. This demonstration helped me to see GRR as a framework that supports teacher decision-making during lessons focusing on processes. It has been an essential framework in my teaching ever since.
A few years ago, one of our teacher assistants suggested that a rubric describing the roles of teachers and learners in this model might help him in identifying where learners were at in their understanding. Working with my colleague John Golden, this pdf draft was developed. You will see that the role of the teacher moves from being a model, to being a mentor, to monitoring the learner.
There are many other resources available on this model. Fisher and Frey discuss it in Better Learning through Structured Teaching. @mrsebiology recently tweeted these resources (a framework and a matrix).
I hope this helps to answer the question, "What's GRR?" If you're interested in learning more, I would suggest: (1) find an expert to watch; (2) collaborate with the expert in your own classroom; and (3) modify it to make it work for you. At least that is how I learned to apply this model.