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be applied to all content areas and grade lev- els. The framework is a balance of teacher- led, whole class instruction and student-led, small group activities involving investiga- tion or experimentation, critical thinking, and a large dose of structured, student-to- student discussion. A lesson contains cycles of teacher-led


instruction followed by student-led instruc- tion to avoid language overload for English learners. It also embeds comprehension sup- ports or scaffolds for students with learning disabilities. Only two or three students are assigned to each group so all are engaged, but there are options for cooperative groups of four with assigned roles/tasks, or for a pair or trio to discuss an idea and then join another pair or trio to compare and combine their ideas. The student-led activities give students


opportunity to practice using language skills and social discourse, and reinforce a teacher’s initial instruction. It is the stu- dent-led activities that enable students to become proficient in the new standards that address collaboration and communicating information. The cycles of instruction by teachers and


within student groups can be made more concrete and purposeful by focusing on inquiry-based lessons and using the five Es model of engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate (Bybee, 1997; Carr & Bert- rando, 2012). During the engage stage, the teacher in-


troduces the content and language objec- tives, presents the purpose of the lesson, and activates students’ prior knowledge about and interest in the topic. That is followed by the explore stage, in which the teacher guides student groups as they engage an in- quiry such as reading, researching and test- ing strategies. Student groups then discuss what they learned during the explain stage. When misconceptions or missing con-


cepts are apparent, the teacher might adjust and return to the explore stage, or switch to a direct instruction mode for struggling students. When students can explain key concepts they move to the elaboration stage, which involves more applications, general- izations, or deeper explorations. The evalu- ation stage occurs during the other four


stages; the teacher frequently checks for un- derstanding and adjusts the lesson accord- ingly for certain students. How can a teacher support students who


learn in diverse ways or need extra guid- ance so they are successful in inquiry-based learning? The following top 10 strategies


manipulatives, illustrations, media clips, or projections on an interactive whiteboard. For example, a graphic organizer can be used as an advance organizer to start a lesson; as a way to summarize important, connected facts during the lesson; and as alternative notes to prepare for the summative assess- ment. Visuals are critical to support learning and provide concreteness to transient oral discourse, especially for students with learn- ing disabilities and English learners.


n Think-Pair-Share. Each student is di-


and tools scaffold the learning experience for these students.


Recommended strategies and tools While the top 10 recommended strate-


gies and tools listed here will look familiar, teachers may be unaware of how the strate- gies can be integrated as a unique approach that is highly effective for English learners and students with learning disabilities. In- cluded are six strategies to scaffold content learning; two tools to build academic vo- cabulary; and two academic discourse tools to embed new vocabulary in meaningful contexts.


Top six scaffolding strategies The top six scaffolding strategies should


be used frequently, if not daily. The first two are quintessential and support the other four strategies.


n Visuals. A teacher breaks down tradi-


tional “teacher talk” into smaller chunks that are supported by visuals (Hall & Strangeman, 2002). Visuals can include graphic organizers, real objects, pictures,


rected to individually think for perhaps 15 seconds to a minute about a question, infor- mation or a direction posed by the teacher. Then students come together to exchange ideas in pairs or trios. That can be followed by group representatives sharing their group’s ideas with the whole class (Frey, Fisher & Everlove, 2009). The sequence can last from a few to perhaps 20 minutes, de- pending on the topic and age group. Instead of one or two students frequently answering a teacher’s oral questions with or without wait time, all students are engaged in dis- cussing ideas in a nonthreatening context. It is critical that a teacher strategically assigns students to groups to achieve optimal suc- cess for each student.


n Cues. Advance organizers, hints and


questions are types of cues to guide students in the right learning trajectory (Dean et al., 2012). A teacher starts a lesson with an ad- vance organizer, a brief activity that intro- duces the lesson’s objectives and links what students will learn to what was learned in prior lessons, and relates the topic to stu- dents’ cultures, interests and personal lives. A teacher might pose questions to identify any students who are confused, and then use additional scaffolding to make the les- son objectives clear to all students. A teacher may at times link the content to be learned to explicit examples from students’ back- ground knowledge.


n Think Aloud. Teachers can use Think


Alouds by verbalizing their thoughts while reading to model the thought processes that take place in comprehending the text. A teacher can use a Think Aloud coupled with


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