1st Edition

Construction Zone Building Scaffolds for Readers and Writers

By Terry Thompson Copyright 2015

    Instructional scaffolding is an essential part of teaching literacy. But what is scaffolding exactly? What does it look like in a classroom, and how can we improve the ways we use it? Despite its prominence in the repertoire of teaching strategies, scaffolding remains a vague concept for many teachers. ' In essence, scaffolding is the idea of supporting students as they build independence. In The Construction Zone: Building Scaffolding for Readers and Writers, Terry Thompson identifies four critical processes to deepen your understanding and improve your practice of instructional scaffolding: ·' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Finding and maintaining a specific focus ·' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Practicing flexibility in planning and delivering instruction ·' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Giving constructive feedback in response to student efforts ·' ' ' ' ' ' ' ' Monitoring to ensure that students are working at optimal levels of responsibility Thompson' encourages teachers to enhance their use of the traditional gradual release process through five actionable steps: show, share, support, sustain, and survey, and in doing so provides procedures and techniques to help them establish and maintain strong scaffolds throughout the instructional day. The Construction Zone is written from the teacher's perspective and urges educators to fully embrace their role in the scaffolding process while staying mindful of the effect it has on students. ' Taking a student from dependence upon the teacher to independent learning is what teaching is all about, and instructional scaffolding is key to accomplishing this goal. Regardless of where you are in your understanding of instructional scaffolding, The Construction Zone will raise your level of awareness around your instructional practices and the ways you scaffold students to independence.' '

    Chapter 1: Scaffolding: What It Means and What and It Means What for It Means You for You; Part One: Focus; Chapter 2: Getting Focused: Identifying Learning Targets; Chapter 3: Staying Focused: Designing a Plan and Keeping the Goal in Sight; Flexibility; Chapter 4: Flexible Design: Planning Instruction with an Open Mind; Chapter 5: Flexible Delivery: Monitoring Progress and Making Adjustments; Part Three: Feedback; Chapter 6: The Feedback Loop: Observing, Reflecting, and Responding; Chapter 7: The Constructive Feedback: Loop: Observing, Responding Reflecting, Ways That and Foster Responding Independence; Part Four: Responsibility; Chapter 8: Teaching for Responsibility: Putting Learners in Control; Chapter 9: Monitoring for Responsibility: Knowing When To Let Go


    Terry Thompson is an author, teacher, and consultant living in San Antonio, Texas. He trains teachers of readers and writers in grades K–8. Currently a reading interventionist, Terry has served as a classroom teacher, basic skills teacher, Reading Recovery teacher, and literacy coach. He holds a master's degree in psychotherapy and cognitive coaching and travels throughout the country consulting with classroom teachers and literacy specialists. Terry is the author of Adventures in Graphica (Stenhouse, 2008).