What is Scaffolding? How Can I Use It?

By | September 24, 2017

Definition: Scaffolding- breaking up learning into chunks

Teachers as well a classroom assistants and parents use scaffolding whenever they break apart skills. Those pieces, or chunks, allow students to learn parts and then put the pieces together to understand the whole.

Here are a few ideas on how to break  learning into manageable pieces.

Model/Demonstrate/Show Students How to Do Something.

If they know the procedure and can see a typical outcome it will give them direction. Be sure to talk through the steps you are using.

If you want them to make their beds, show them an easy way to do that.

If you want them to rewrite a paragraph in their own words, write a sample one and explain how to avoid  plagiarism.

Relate the Task to Prior Knowledge

What have they done previously that relates to the new tasks?

Suggest instances that will help them connect to the new task.

Talking Time

Give them time to process the new ideas by talking with each other and with adults.

In school try Think-Pair-Share. At home: “Do you  remember the time we…”

Use the Materials At Hand

Look in books. Use the graphs charts, index, etc. to locate and organize related information.

Most of the problem with new information is that it lacks a hook, a way to tie it to what is already known. Once you see ways to demystify new information, students will be able to ‘dig in’, make sense of it and be able to use it.

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