PSJA Early College Express

April 2016

This month: Scaffolding


Scaffolding helps students to connect prior knowledge and experience with new information. Teachers use this strategy to connect students with previous learning in a content area as well as with previous learning in an earlier grade. Scaffolding also helps facilitate thinking about a text by asking students to draw on their subjective experience and prior learning to make connections to new materials and ideas.

The Student Effectiveness Rubric: "Demonstrating" Scaffolding


  • are self-directed in the learning process and create their own scaffolds.
  • believe they possess prior knowledge that they can use to help them learn new ideas and skills and gain understandings.
  • are heard saying, “Oh, that’s like the time …” or “I remember when we learned about …”
  • believe that Scaffolding is key to their acquisition of knowledge.
  • are persistent with difficult tasks and excited about new challenges.
  • build rich and complex connections between their prior knowledge and new information.
  • access new information by making connections, asking questions, creating visual representations, and using Classroom Talk and Writing to Learn.
  • identify and choose resources and materials to access new information.
  • can articulate how Scaffolding helps them attain new and more complex knowledge.
  • make explicit and implicit connections among concepts, texts, their own lives, and the world, in service of their learning.
  • engage with content at greater levels of sophistication.
  • produce work that exceeds expectations, showing evidence of Scaffolding.
  • choose their own scaffolds to complete activities and assignments (e.g., outlines, notes, graphic organizers, drafts of essays).
  • use scaffolds to organize their thinking and manage their time.
  • know and can articulate how all instructional strategies scaffold and heighten their learning.
  • scaffold their learning without prompting from the teacher and use scaffolds as part of their own learning process.
  • actively question and respond to one another verbally in order to scaffold their own learning.
  • collectively draw on whole-class knowledge and experience to make meaning of new information.
  • develop a common language and refer to shared experiences and what they have learned together.
  • question other students who are still struggling to help them draw upon prior knowledge and link it to essential questions and major concepts of the lesson.

Article from Northern Illinois University

Click the link below to read this article on Scaffolding by Northern Illinois University.
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Interacting with Complex Texts: Scaffolding Reading

Watch this 6-minute video from The Teaching Channel on using scaffolds to support reading with ELL students.

April Webinar: Scaffolding

This month, we explore the power of scaffolds in supporting students' understanding and acquisition of knowledge. You'll find many scaffolds familiar. Perhaps, you'll find one or two new scaffolds that resonate with you. Please watch this webinar with your CLC prior to your school's face-to-face professional development session (see schedule below). Please click on image below to view the webinar.
Scaffolding Webinar

Webinar feedback

Please click on the image below after you've watched the webinar to give us your feedback.

PSJA April Professional Development Schedule

Austin MS: Monday, April 18, during CLCs

Memorial HS: Tuesday, April 19, during CLCs

PSJA ECHS: Wednesday, April 20, during CLCs

Alamo MS: Thursday, April 21, during CLCs

Murphy MS: Friday, April 22, during Team Share

Yzaguirre MS: Tuesday, April 26, during Team Time

Scott Hollinger

PSJA Professional Development Specialist