Uploaded by Lisa Miller

Scaffolding EL Ed

Reading the text about scaffolding language and learning has refreshed my
understanding of scaffolding as providing supports so the learner can reach
beyond their current level of independent performance. It has also reinforced the
analogy of a temporary structure while constructing a building -- scaffolding is the
strategic use of temporary supports while we raise autonomous, resourceful,
lifelong learners.
My new thinking is related to delineating and articulating the components of
a lesson, especially the rationale for specific scaffolding. Scaffolding, to me, has
become somewhat intuitive, and I automatically draw on background knowledge
and experience of “what works,” and I am working to use a more academic,
systematic process of explicitly identifying all the parts and analyzing how they fit
CMS has adopted the EL Ed Curriculum, and has mandated
implementation of the lessons with fidelity. Last year, I saw many teachers taking
the content and making it their own to fit the needs of their students. Remote
learning has forced further adapting, especially since direct, synchronous time is
limited to 30 minutes per class. My 8th grade ELA PLC works together to
preview, analyze, and adapt the lessons for our students’ particular needs. The
“original” lessons are very detailed with many links of accompanying materials,
and the district has provided some amplifications for English learners. We often
comment on how these shouldn’t even be labeled as “EL,” since they are
relevant to the needs of many of our students -- and sometimes they are
beneficial to ALL the students.
I have highlighted 2 parts of the EAL tpa lesson plan template that I’m
focusing on as I’m reading and reflecting: the daily language objective and the
language supports. The language objective encompasses so much -- content
objective, language functions, linguistic competencies, academic vocabulary and
language demands. It pulls so much information together and then can be
crafted into a seemingly simple statement that clarifies how language instruction
is integrated with the content, and tells how students will process the learning
and how they will show their understanding. I want to use this as a starting point
when I’m working with teachers to develop and use language supports, and I am
starting by adding a space for “Language Objective” on the template.