Students need special attention when something new is introduced to them. Scaffolding is a method that allows the teacher to follow the right strategy and let the students be independent at the right time. At the initial stages, teachers explain the concept in detail. Then students need to explore and learn things in their way. So, the teacher takes a step back and allows students to practice by themselves. Scaffolding methods like group discussions are held before students become independent. Students can work in small groups to help each other. This approach in education is often known as ‘I do it, you do it, and we do it.’ In other words, the teacher demonstrates how to get something, then the practical class, and finally, students work independently.
One of the primary benefits of scaffolding lessons is that it creates a positive learning environment. Students in a scaffolding learning environment can interact well. They can ask questions, provide feedback, and assist classmates in learning new content. These teaching methods and creative teaching encourage active learning. Students can become independent with this method. When pupils get stuck in learning, scaffolding is used. Although it is done between professors and students, it is also used successfully for the entire class.
Steps Involved in Scaffolding
Step 1 - The instructor initiates it.
At this step, students gather information through the teachings. The most sophisticated subject may require specific knowledge and terms. The instructor demonstrates how to execute a new exercise. For example, the teacher introduces a topic, which may be new to students. Therefore, students may solve their queries there and there.
Step 2 - The class takes part in it.
Once the teaching is complete, students are given a set of questions to solve. Hence, the whole class would be a part of this activity. For example, students can solve practice sheets or be asked to make their notes.
Step 3- Students do it individually.
This stage is basically to test the knowledge acquired by the students. After all the theories given, students must be able to demonstrate what they have learned. It might be possible by a test or a presentation, where each student participates individually.
Types of Scaffolding
More difficult subjects may require multiple clips and creative teaching to be provided for a student to understand the material. Below are some examples of scaffolding and how to use them in classroom settings.
- Advanced organizers are used to showcase new knowledge and assignments to help students: Venn diagrams to compare and contrast information; flowcharts to illustrate processes; organization charts to show hierarchical structure; outlines to represent content; reminders to help memorize; instructions to classify tasks or content, and rubrics to provide task expectations.
- Keyword card - A prepared card sent to individuals or groups of students to aid in discussing specific topics or areas of content: Vocabulary for exam preparation; Form sentences to complete certain content; Equations to questions; Defined Concepts
- Cheat sheets - Students can make their roadmaps or cheat sheets. The educators may also provide a map or cheat sheet to all the students where all key points are written. It is to ease out the last moment pressure. Educators can also provide students with maps demonstrating how to go about any topic.
- Examples & Patterns- Patterns, illustrations, and difficulties are all examples. Teachers can give examples to explain anything.
- Detailed explanations - Students should be given proper material to study. This material should be in detail and well explained.
- Providing handouts - Handouts may be made interesting by using several pictures and diagrams. It will evoke the interest of students.
- Planner - This would be helpful to track the progress of every student.
- Reminders- Always keep on reminding and checking students. Words, remarks, and queries, such as "start"; "stop"; "soon"; "tell me now"; "which menu item in the toolbar would you press to insert a picture?" and "tell me why this role will act like this." will help the students to be mentally present in the class.
- Question cards/prepared cards that contain questions for specific content and tasks. These questions are for individuals or groups of students; they can ask each other questions. It would be fun and help the students to learn too.
- Use unfinished sentences that students must complete: use a higher level "what would happen if" questions to promote thought.
- Stories - They encourage and motivate students.
- Call out students- Sometimes students get lazy and zone out during the class. The best way to bring them back is to call out their names. It will help in retaining the attention of every student present in the class.
Benefits of Instructional Scaffolding
- Students get challenged by profound learning and discovery.
- In small and large classes, students are involved in vibrant dialogues.
- Encourages children to improve their academic performance (learning to learn).
- Increases the probability that students comply with educational goals.
- Individualized education is provided (especially in smaller classrooms)
- Allows the possibility of penetration and learning.
- Scaffolding can be "recycled" for use in other educational configurations.
- Creates an environment to learn.
Some Important Points to Consider
- Select the appropriate tasks that correspond to the goals of the curriculum.
- Don't stop students if they will perform tasks on their own.
- Keep a check on the difficulty level. Too easy or too hard material may lose the interest of a student. To keep them engaged using a moderate level.
- Engage students in various kinds of activities. Don't make the classroom dull.
- Reward students to motivate them.
- Give attention to every student and award them individual comments.
- Make sure to have a healthy environment. It motivates the student to learn faster.
- Don't help your students always! Being available every second can make your students dependent. Let them try. Assist only if necessary.
Scaffolding in education is simply a method that teachers can use to teach. However, if done correctly, there are numerous ways to implement the strategy. Scaffolding can provide an interactive and attractive learning environment for students of all ages and skills.