Teaching Strategies in Focus



Relief Teaching, Teaching Strategies


What is Scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a group of teaching strategies where the teacher models the desired learning strategy or task. The responsibility of task then gradually shifts to the student. This involves FADING.

What is its purpose?

Scaffolding is used when the student would not be able to do the task independently. Essentially the teacher does some of the work for the student.

The teacher scaffolds the student as he/she begins to develop independence. Scaffolding is intended to be temporary. Fading refers to the teaching strategies where the ownership and the responsibility of the task shifts over to the student. In effect the scaffolding is gradually removed.

Teaching strategies in context

To scaffold learning, teachers can use the following activities.

  • Task definition
  • Model performance while thinking out loud - either direct or indirect instruction
  • Specification and sequencing of activities
  • Provide prompts, cues, hints, links, partial solutions, guides and structures
  • Fade when appropriate

Adapting scaffold and fading

  • Use Peer Tutoring - Pair capable learners with developing ones
  • Engage students in cooperative learning. In this type of environment students help students in small group settings but still have some teacher assistance. This can serve as a step in the process of decreasing the scaffolds provided by the educator and needed by students.
  • Use apprenticeship model whereby an expert models an activity, provides the learner with advice and examples, guides the student in practice and then tapers off support until the student can do the task alone

Assessment & Evaluation Considerations

  • Teacher observation - includes anecdotal notes, class records, and classroom circulation
  • Student self-assessment - students rate their own behavior and the behavior of their peers using a rubric
  • Graphic Organizers - A graphic organizer is a specific type of scaffolding tool. It is a way to visually represent an idea—to use a drawing to organize one's thinking. Graphic organizers include cycles, webs (e.g., cluster, network, org chart, family tree, chain of events), maps (e.g., spider, fish bone, concept), continua (e.g., timelines, degree scales), matrices (e.g., compare/contrast, storyboard), Venn diagrams, and charts (e.g., flow, KWL, SQ3R).


Relief Teaching Teaching Strategies

Explicit Teaching

What is Explicit Teaching?

Explicit teaching involves directing student attention toward specific learning in a highly structured environment.

It is teaching that is focused on producing specific learning outcomes.

Topics and contents are broken down into small parts and taught individually.

It involves explanation, demonstration and practise.

Children are provided with guidance and structured frameworks. Topics are taught in a logical order and directed by the teacher.

Explicit teaching involves modeling skills and behaviours and modeling thinking. Teaching strategies include the teacher thinking out loud and demonstrating processes for students.

listening and observation are important keys to students success.

What is its purpose?

Explicit teaching is useful for introducing topics and specific skills.

It provides guided instruction in the basic understanding of required skills, which students can then build on through practice, collaboration, repetition, hands on activities and developmental play.

Explicit Teaching in Context.

Explicit instruction is a sequence of supports:

  1. setting a purpose for learning 
  2. telling students what to do
  3. showing them how to do it
  4. guiding student application of the new learning.