4 scaffolding strategies to improve literacy skills

As an educator with 30 years of experience in public schools in North Dakota, I have seen students enter my classroom with varying degrees of preparation. In an effort to create more equitable teaching opportunities, I began to incorporate scaffolding into my regular classroom activities.

According to Pauline Gibbons (2015), a scaffolding is a temporary support that a teacher provides to a student that allows him to perform a task that he would not be able to accomplish alone.

The purpose of scaffolding is to provide opportunities to adapt to the abilities and individual needs of students as they learn and grow. It is important to note that scaffolding is fundamental to any effective and equitable teaching, and that the edtech resources that many educators currently have access to support the integration of scaffolding into teaching.

Here are four scaffolding techniques that I use and some of the resources that support them:

1. One technique I have used to design supportive vocabulary and reading instruction is practice, rehearsal, paraphrase and modeling. If you want students to internalize new information, you need to expose it to it multiple times. Robert Marzano has found that it is essential for teachers to expose students to the same word multiple times to improve students’ vocabulary. When the exhibit is coupled with an explicit commentary on the word and its meaning, vocabulary acquisition doubled.

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Dwight E. Schulz