Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Creating Scaffolds That Enable Higher Order Thinking

During the last 4 weeks of term 2 and the beginning of this term my main focus of my inquiry has been on scaffolds. I have re-realised just how important they are to my teaching and the student's learning.

The main catalyst for changing how I use scaffolds has been the shift from teaching extension students to teaching well below students. I was suddenly thrust into a world where every student needed instructions explained, re-explained and even re-re-explained! They needed way more help when they worked independently than I had realised!

So, this has led me to create templates (see below) with loads of instructions. I have also needed to create audio voice recordings to explain these instructions further for those who are reading well below. This has lead me to chunk each piece of the create cycle into smaller, more manageable pieces with clear modelling on how to achieve these.

What difference have these practice changes made? Well, for once I feel like I am starting to get content that is more thought out, in-depth and shows me where the students are at in their thinking or understanding of the content. This is the first time that I have been able to strike a balance between the creating of a quality product married with quality thoughts and insights.

Where to know? I am beginning to see this line of thought and practice seep into other learning areas. I am beginning to develop more scaffolds and aids in maths and am finding that the students acquisition of new concepts is quicker. I'm excited to see where this will lead.