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The Importance of Scaffolding in Education
The direct comparison of scaffolding used in construction to that used in education works well. When erecting a building, scaffolding must be put in place to support the building and workers as they work towards an end goal. Once the goal is met, the scaffolding is removed and the construction stands on its own. If a building could not eventually stand on its own without scaffolding, it would not be considered a successful endeavor. The same is true with education; scaffolds must be removed over time.
This reminds me of one of my first years teaching. The school where I taught had a large population of ELLs and they had invested in ongoing professional development with WestEd on supporting ELL learning with scaffolds. I immediately saw the value of scaffolding as my students demonstrated success. In fact, I was so excited by the results that I used scaffolding in most of my lessons year round. Unfortunately, student performance on the summative exam, without the presence of scaffolding, was not what I had hoped for. The following year I worked with my instructional coach to remove the scaffolds over time and this time many students demonstrated mastery.
There are many types of scaffolds. They range from pre-teaching vocabulary, activating prior knowledge, think alouds and modeling. Check out some of the options at the websites listed below, give them a try and see which ones work best for you and your students.
One easy place to start is the use of sentence stems. Here is a link to one of my prior posts on sentence stems in the math classroom.
Presenting Doesn't Always Have to Mean PowerPoint
This easy to use website has a user-friendly interface with tons of graphics and loads of free options.
Many templates and even more stock photos help to create a presentation that is much easier on the eyes.
Organize all the documents you want to include in a presentation with this site. Organize presentations, documents, pictures and videos in a playlist.
National Poetry Month
There are still a few days left to get the kids writing creatively.
Have students take a selfie and attach it to a poem. Instruct students to write a poem where they share things about themselves that they are proud of.
Check out the other options below.