Promoting Independence: The Prompt Hierarchy


This is the prompt hierarchy, an essential component to promoting independence for learners.  It provides a continuum of intrusiveness that should be at the forefront of our minds when working with those who are susceptible of becoming dependent on our help.   As students navigate their day and are expected to respond to our directions, to the recess bell, to the work being placed in front of them and so on, we must ensure we are adhering to this visual.  If it is a new skill that we are asking of them, then we do begin with a higher level prompt to ensure a successful response.  As they become more well versed in the skill, we use the least intrusive prompt and work our way up if any prompt is required at all.

Always be asking how you can be providing the same type of support in a lighter manner.   Strive to stay as low as you can go in every way on the prompt hierarchy.  Print it, laminate it, post it, and with your team review it.  It is the means by which independence in your learners can be conceived, believed, and achieved.  


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  1. Is there a place that i can purchase copies of your work? I love hope you wrote and illustrate concepts, especially the creating independence series. I cannot find a website. …. Please advise! Thank you so much for sharing!

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