Scaffolding instruction strategies- Check how many of them you’ve done with your kids?

Yes, we all knew what scaffolding is about. As time goes by, when our passion for teaching started to wear out, when repeating the same material started to feel like a chore, then maybe it’s time to revisit the knowledge we once so vigorously learned and applied.

I came across this article "Scaffolding instruction strategies" from About.com: Elementary Education. According to the article, there are several scaffolding strategies you can apply,

    1. activating prior knowledge
    2. offering a motivational context to pique student interest or curiosity in the subject at hand
    3. breaking a complex task into easier, more "doable" steps to facilitate student achievement
    4. showing students an example of the desired outcome before they complete the task
    5. modeling the thought process for students through "think aloud" talk
    6. offering hints or partial solutions to problems
    7. using verbal cues to prompt student answers
    8. teaching students chants or mnemonic devices to ease memorization of key facts or procedures
    9. facilitating student engagement and participation
    10. displaying a historical timeline to offer a context for learning
    11. using graphic organizers to offer a visual framework for assimilating new information
    12. teaching key vocabulary terms before reading
    13. guiding the students in making predictions for what they expect will occur in a story, experiment, or other course of action
    14. asking questions while reading to encourage deeper investigation of concepts
    15. suggesting possible strategies for the students to use during independent practice
    16. modeling an activity for the students before they are asked to complete the same or similar activity
    17. asking students to contribute their own experiences that relate to the subject at hand

Upon reflecting this list with my own teaching experience, I realized that I’ve done so much(isn’t that a positive thing to find out, too?) with my kids, yet there are still a few untapped possibilities. Those block letter ones are my next targets. I found no.9 is easier said than done. A lot of my 6 graders just won’t "plug in" during classes. What can I do? I felt tired and frustrated especially after a particular 6th graders’ class. I’m not sure if I’ve taught them anything. I found myself looking forward to recess whenever I’m with them…..aaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Do you have classes like that? How do you manage that? I know….there’s no answer for this question. Finger crossed, though, that I can beat this fatigue asap.

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