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ANet is a nonprofit dedicated to the premise that every child in America deserves an excellent education and the opportunities it provides. We pursue our vision of educational equality in America by helping schools boost student learning with great teaching that is grounded in standards, informed by data, and built on the successful practices of educators around the country.

Scaffolding instruction

ANet blog

As a mission-driven nonprofit organization, our primary concern is helping ensure equitable opportunity for all students.

Working alongside schools, we’ve learned that great teaching is grounded in standards, data, and insights shared among educators. We believe a blog can help us make a difference by spreading the ideas and effective practices of educators we work with.

We’re proud of the expertise our team has built over our ten years, and we'll be featuring contributions from ANetters across the org on topics in which they’ve immersed themselves.

Help us spread opportunity for all students: please share posts that you find valuable with your colleagues. And please add your thoughts in the comments: we would love this blog to facilitate knowledge-sharing in all directions.

Scaffolding instruction

Becky Frutos

Scaffolding instruction means using temporary supports to move students along the path of learning. Scaffolds, as the metaphor suggests, are removed over time as students become more proficient.

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Teachers provide scaffolding to help students take the next step in their learning that’s just beyond what they can do on their own—what Lev Vygotsky called the zone of proximal development.

For example, a teacher might provide concrete manipulatives for students to use as they tackle a complex math task, share an exemplar response before a writing exercise, or discuss a text before students read it to familiarize them with its vocabulary and context.

With scaffolding, teachers make explicit connections between what students already know and new learning. 

While scaffolding is a core teaching strategy for all students, skillful scaffolding is particularly important for students with unfinished learning. It can enable them to engage successfully with grade-level content, which is essential for providing equitable outcomes for all students.

Learn more about how to scaffold your instruction to support your students:

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