August 31, 2015

Scaffolding Instruction!

Hi everyone!

Welcome!   I would like to look at scaffolding in instruction.  What is it?  How do we do it?

When teachers break learning into smaller chunks and give students temporary support, structure and tools to work with each of those chunks, we call this scaffolding.   Scaffolding starts with high temporary support and then gradually support is taken away.  Scaffolding includes a variety of essential techniques that helps move the learner toward higher levels of understanding and independence when learning.  Scaffolding can be used in a broad range of content areas and grade levels.  Let’s look at a few of my favorites.

To access and build common background knowledge begin with a shared experience:

       a video

       a shared reading

Graphic Organizers:

       Venn Diagrams and Double Bubble Charts to compare and contrast information

       Mind Maps help show relationships, note taking and book summaries

       Flow charts to show processes

    Rubrics that show what is expected on an assignment

Question,Task or Cue Cards:

·      Teacher made cards given to students that frame a topic or subject.

·      Target and signal words and vocabulary lists with definitions that are content specific.  Provide lists of transition words and conjunctions.   Add new words to the lists as you use and discover them.

·      Topic or content sentence frames that students must complete.  Use sentence frames to  Use sentence forms and sentence starters to support the use of complete sentences in writing and spoken discourse.  Use these for both whole group and partner discussions.
support written ideas. Begin with simple sentences and build to compound sentences.

Provide visual word walls - add new words as you go along.


What are some of your favorite scaffolding techniques?  Which do you find work best with second language learners?

Happy Teaching!

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