Category: Scaffolding


Diving In: Why We Don’t “Pre-Teach” Our Texts

The recent increase in text complexity recommendations would seem to require an increase in pre-teaching and front loading of background information to help students tackle the increased difficulty.  Find out why inquiry and close reading affirm the opposite.

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Support for English Learners

By Sarah Noble

I am in the midst of grading my 8th graders’ first interpretive paper of the school year. I am pleasantly surprised by what I see in the first few papers. My students are thinking deeply and engaging in the text based on the evidence they pull from the story. I breathe a sigh of relief, and keep slogging through the remaining 63 essays. The next essay is by “Johnny,” a low-intermediate English learner. He just moved here from […]

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Authentic Literacy and Crow Pose

 

Several years ago I started practicing yoga. I’m not as dedicated as I’d like to be and therefore it has taken me three years to achieve crow pose, and I can still only hold it for less than ten seconds. I spent a long, long time attempting crow while it seemed like nothing was changing—no progress. But there must have been some microshifts and tiny strengthenings, because one day—boom! I hit it and held it.

There are things you do to […]

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Collaboration and Environment: The Importance of Productive Struggle, Part 2

Last week we wrestled with our own discomfort in allowing students to struggle with complex texts and difficult tasks and concepts. There is a fine line between providing support without rescuing. This week we will look closer at what that “support without rescue” looks like.

In the Inquiry By Design curriculum, teachers will notice that student collaboration is the main component of support when students are struggling to comprehend a text. When working together, students act as models for each other. […]

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Struggle is Not a Dirty Word: The Importance of Productive Struggle, part 1

By Krista Morrison and Kristi Hemingway

Teachers and administrators often report that the most valuable part of the Inquiry By Design professional development cycle is peer learning labs. Teachers have the opportunity to observe a colleague’s classroom as a lesson from the curriculum is being implemented with students. The goal is not to observe a “model” lesson or “perfect” classroom, but rather to gather data and provide a basis for conversations about teaching and learning.

At a recent lab, middle school students […]

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