chapter  4
14 Pages

Providing Support

Rooted in Bruner (1960) and Vygotsky (1978), the purpose of scaffolding is to help students learn new information. Like scaffolding on a building, instructional scaffolding involves applying supports and strategies to help students achieve. As the student succeeds, scaffolds are faded with the goal of independent student success. There are several types of scaffolds, from providing examples to guided notes to graphic organizers. For example, a student who is struggling with multiplication tables may be allowed to use a multiplication chart to look for the facts. As the student masters certain facts, those numbers are erased or covered so that they no longer show on the chart. Thus, the only facts that remain are the ones the student has yet to memorize. A similar approach can be used with behavior checklists to help a student learn to raise his or her hand or a peer coach to help check vocabulary and spelling.