Scaffolding Teaching Strategies

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  • 0:01 What is Instructional…
  • 0:34 How Does it Work?
  • 1:03 Introduction & Guided Practice
  • 2:09 Modeling Instruction &…
  • 3:31 Assessment
  • 3:59 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Marquis Grant

Marquis has a Doctor of Education degree.

Teachers sometimes use a method of instruction called 'instructional scaffolding.' Learn more about this and how it is used. Examine the different components of instructional scaffolding.

What is Instructional Scaffolding?

Instructional scaffolding is a student-centered approach that gives students more ownership of their learning while gradually decreasing the teacher's role in the process. It allows students to grasp content in small chunks without being overwhelmed. Students receive guidance in the beginning of an assignment. Teacher support slowly decreases as students start to demonstrate mastery. Each phase allows the students to build upon the previous phase, and the teacher becomes more of a facilitator while the students become independent.

How Does It Work?

When teachers scaffold instruction, lessons are divided into several components: an introduction, guided practice, modeling, re-teaching and assessment. Each component is related to a pre-determined goal that is usually established prior to the lesson. The goal should be based on such questions as:

  1. What do students need to know?
  2. How will content be delivered?
  3. What materials and resources will be needed to make the process run smoothly?
  4. How will students demonstrate mastery of content?

Introduction & Guided Practice

The introduction is the very beginning - the point at which the teacher introduces the subject and provides some background of information on the topic. For example, a lesson on whales might be introduced by having students view a video on different whale species. After viewing the video, students can be asked to respond to verbal or written questions about what they learned. As a result, background knowledge has been established, and a foundation has been placed for student learning.

When guiding practice, teachers assist students in the completion of a sample assignment. For example, a teacher might use the read aloud/think aloud strategy to help her students become more proficient readers. As she reads the passage, the teacher stops periodically and asks questions or makes statements about what she has read, such as, I wonder what will happen next or I believe the writer is being sarcastic here. Not only does this allow the students to hear words read fluently, but they are taught how to remain engaged in their reading, which increases their comprehension of what is being read. Guided practice allows teachers to continue to build upon the foundation that has been set.

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