Scaffolding on the Spot!
Submitted by Susan Finn Miller on October 1, 2014 - 4:20pm
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Hello friends, I recently came across a blog that discusses on the spot scaffolding. I would describe this as the immediate moves a teacher makes when she notices students do not understand what is being taught. In essence, the teacher adds a layer of support to help the students grasp important content. You can check out Rebecca Alber's blog here: http://www.edutopia.org/blog/spot-scaffolding-students-rebecca-alber
Rebecca outlines three strategies for providing on the spot scaffolding:
1) Use sentence starters. For example, "One thing I don't understand about [the topic] is _____________________; People disagree about this issue because ______________________, etc. (I'm a huge fan of sentence starters!)
2) Use an image or a short film clip. (I'm certain many of us have done this. In fact, just today, one of my students pulled up an image on his cell phone to help another student understand.)
3) Give students time to talk with a guiding question. (I am more and more convinced of the importance of talk in the classroom, and it can be especially helpful when students are struggling to understand.)
Rebecca explains that scaffolding such as this is not the same as differentiating instruction. Some of you may want to check out what she means.
How have you used these on the spot scaffolding strategies? What other strategies have been effective for you when it is clear students are not "getting it"?
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