Scaffolding Strategies to Use With Your Students

When you break down the learning process into smaller sections and build a real structure, you can better support each student’s learning.

What is the polar opposite of scaffolding and why is it so important? To complete the assignment, students must read a nine-page science article and write an essay about it. They have till Wednesday to submit it. Yikes! Because they have no safety net or parachute, they are left on their own.

Let’s agree that structuring a lesson is not the same as differentiating instruction in a classroom environment. Scaffolding is the process of breaking down learning into smaller parts and assigning a structure or tool to each chunk of learning. A preview of the text, discussion of essential terminology, or chunking of the text, which you then read and remark on as you go, are all examples of scaffolding reading strategies. You might assign a new piece of text to your child, reduce or edit it, or change the writing assignment entirely, depending on his or her preferences.

Staging is the first thing you should do while working with youngsters, to put it another way. Students who are struggling may require differentiation through the modification of an assignment, such as the selection of a more accessible material or the assignment of a project with fewer prerequisites.

In contrast, there is a commonality between scaffolding and differentiation. Understanding the individual and collective zones of proximal developmental (ZPD) of your learners is essential for meeting them where they are and scaffolding or differentiating education effectively for them to succeed. According to Eileen Raymond, a teacher and education researcher, the ZPD is the distance between the learning that children can acquire on their own and the learning that they can achieve with professional guidance.

Consider some scaffolding strategies that you may not have previously considered. Perhaps you haven’t used them in a while and would like to be reminded of how beneficial and amazing they are for student learning in your environment.

1 . SHOW and TELL is the first step.

For a lot of people, seeing something rather than hearing about it is the most effective way to learn something. Scaffolding for students, in my opinion, begins with modeling for the instructor. Is it possible that you’ve interrupted someone and said, “Just show me!” when they were trying to explain something you don’t understand? Students should be shown or demonstrated what you expect them to do at every opportunity.

An exercise in which a small group of students is encircled by the entire class can be attempted. Activity is carried out by the middle group (also known as the fishbowl) to demonstrate to the bigger group how it should be done.
Always demonstrate the product or outcome before students begin working on it. When a teacher assigns persuasive essays or inquiry-based science projects, he or she should always display an example alongside a rubric. You can assist students through each stage of the process if you have a replica of the finished product in your hands.
During reading, problem-solving, or project creation, think-aloud can assist you in modeling your thought process. Cognitive capacities and critical-thinking skills are still developing in children at this point.


As a class, invite students to express their personal experiences, thoughts, and opinions regarding the topic or concept that they are currently studying with the class. Assist them in making connections between the story and their personal experiences. Some recommendations and tips may be required to assist them in making connections, but once they have made the necessary connections they will be able to comprehend the material on their own.

It is not only a fantastic scaffolding approach but it can also be utilized to launch the learning in your classroom by utilizing the prior knowledge of your students, which is a great advantage.


The ability to process new information is essential for every learner. People who are on the same road as them must be able to share their learning and make sense of it. Even with children of varying ages and stages of development, structured dialogues are effective.

If you don’t incorporate think-pair-share, turn-and-talk, triad groups, or other structured talking time into your class, you should employ this method regularly.


Front-loading vocabulary is a strategy that is sometimes used. It is not utilized sufficiently by teachers. Challenging Text is a rough, bumpy road that many teachers (including myself) have been guilty of sending students alone down. On this path, there is a lot of challenging vocabulary. They are frequently unprepared for the task and are therefore taken by surprise when they lose interest, raise a fuss, or fall asleep during the assignment.

To pre-teach vocabulary, it is not sufficient to just select a few words from a chapter and invite students to seek up their explanations online. Afterward, they can jot down their thoughts on paper. This is something we are all well aware of. As an alternative, show the words to youngsters through visuals or by putting them in context with other things that they are interested in. Analogies and metaphors are used to help students create a symbol or drawing for each of the words in the text. Set aside some time for a conversation about the words in small groups and with entire classrooms. After all of this has been performed, the dictionaries should not be released to the pupils. When it comes to comparing definitions, the dictionaries are only useful for cross-referencing.

When students have the first twelve words prepared, they are better equipped to face the difficult text with you as their guide.

The use of visual aids is another consideration.

Diagrams, charts, and photographs can all be utilized to create a scaffolding structure. Graph organizers can be quite accurate in the way they assist youngsters with graphically organizing thoughts and concepts such as cause-and-effect relationships, sequencing, and organizational hierarchy.

Rather than being The Product, a graphic organizer should serve as a tool to guide and shape students’ thoughts. A graphic organizer is not required for all students; however, many students find it beneficial to use one when writing essays or debating different hypotheses, for instance. Graphic organizers can be compared to training wheels in terms of their functionality. They should be removed immediately because they are only temporary…

5 PAUSE AND ASK QUESTIONS AT THIS POINT. Take a breath and think about what you’re about to say.

The use of this technique can help students who are reading challenging materials or learning new topics to assess their comprehension. In general, this method goes as follows: first, offer a new concept or read, then pause (to allow for reflection), then ask a strategic question while pausing once more.

It is critical to lay out the questions in advance of the test or interview. Even the most challenging questions can be unsuccessful if there is insufficient time for responses to be received. Consequently, don’t be frightened to be patient during that Uncomfortable Sitting period. Asking someone to recap what was discussed, found, or questioned will help you keep students interested as active listeners and engaged. If the class is unable to agree on a single question, students can work in pairs to discuss it.

Because of the large number of students in our classrooms, teachers must experiment with different techniques of scaffolding. Often, the teachers I assist tell me that I need to slow down so that they can proceed more rapidly. However, while it may take longer to teach a lesson, scaffolding may make the process lot more pleasurable and result in a better learning experience for everyone participating in the process.