About Me I just finished my 5th year in teaching 3 years in 2nd grade, 1 year in 1st grade, 1 yearin reading intervention Next year, I’ll be in 3rd grade I work in a Champaign public school, mainlyconsisting of African American and white students 70+% low SES, 50% not reading at grade level
Contention #1Choice and student agency are anessential part of the writing process.
Time to Try On Your Own… Grab a few pieces or one piece of writing paper Do any sort of writing with the paper you havechosen You may work with someone sitting by you if youwould like
Contention #2Writing teachers should constantly takewhat their students already know and buildupon that knowledge to further guide theirinstruction towards deeper understandingsof writing and its process.
The Zone of Proximal Development Vygotsky’s ZPD (1978) is often linked to the idea ofscaffolding ZPD is the difference what a student can do withouthelp and what they can accomplish with help “with scaffolding, students’ potential is far beyondwhat it would be without” (Benko, 2012, p. 292) Forms of instruction that can help students move throughtheir ZPD
Contention #3In order to make scaffolds useful andmeaningful, we need to know our students.Not all scaffolds will work and it is aconstant trial-and-error process. There isno full proof method which will work.
Instructional Scaffolds Scaffolds are created for tasks which may be beyondwhat a student can do independently Things to consider when creating instructionalscaffolds (Langer & Applebee, 1986): Appropriateness: considering what a student alreadyknows and moving students beyond (to the next step) Ownership: allow students the opportunity to createsomething authentic and of their own interest, not just outof compliance
Instructional Scaffolds, cont. Ways to structure scaffolds (Wood et al., 1976): Reduce degrees of freedom: simplify the demands of thetask and perfect components before taking on the whole Mark critical features: find points of confusion for studentsand guide them through those points of confusion Direction maintenance: guide students in the rightdirection when they are distracted or stop makingprogress Demonstration: model ways to help students move alongin their writing
More Examples of Scaffolding The 5-paragraph essay and other graphic organizers Feedback/Conferencing Mini-lessons Strategy groups Modeling Mentor texts Writing and sharing with students
The Transfer of Responsibility Teachers begin with a high degree of responsibility(consider constant modeling of a skill or task) Over time, there is a gradual release and theresponsibility is transferred over to the student “In their instructional practices, teachers too oftenforget to let the scaffolding self-destruct.” (Langer &Applebee, 1986, p. 188)
Discussion What do you think the purpose of the previous typesof paper you used was? How could they be seen as a scaffold for students?
In my classroom… For each of my writing units, I develop different typesof paper to help scaffold my students in the writingprocess I never force them to have to use a certain type ofpaper, but I give them the opportunity the choose thetype of paper that best fits the writing they areproducing
Thinking about Your Own Classroom… Think of one writing activity you do in your classroomthat could benefit from a design scaffold How would the design look and how would it provideboth choice and guidance to your students?
Further Considerations What if students were able to co-construct differenttypes of paper with me? What if students were able to construct paper of theirown?
ReferencesApplebee, A. N. & Langer, J. (1987). How writingshapes thinking: A study of teaching and learning.Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers English.Benko, S. L. (2012). Scaffolding: An ongoing processto support adolescent writing development. Journalof Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 56(4), 291-300.Dorn, L. J. & Soffos, C. (2001). Scaffolding youngwriters: A writers’ workshop approach. Portland, ME:Stenhouse Publishers.Wood, D., Bruner, J. S., & Ross, G. (1976). The role oftutoring in problem solving. Journal of ChildPsychology and Psychiatry, and Allied Disciplines,17(2), 89-100.