Artwork for podcast Equipping ELLs
96. Differentiated Instruction for ELLs: Scaffolding Techniques for All Levels
Episode 9613th October 2023 • Equipping ELLs • Beth Vaucher, ELL, ESL Teachers
00:00:00 00:27:14

Share Episode


Teacher, are you grappling with the daily challenge of meeting the individual needs of your diverse students?

This episode is a practical guide to get you started with scaffolds! Host Beth Vaucher takes you through three super practical scaffolding techniques that work in any content area. Beth not only explains these strategies but also paints a vivid picture of what they look like in real classrooms, catering to students at every language level. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting your ELL teaching journey, this episode equips you with the tools to create a more inclusive classroom and unleash the full potential of your students. Don't forget to grab our freebie, too, for even more guidance on implementing these game-changing scaffolds!



Today, I am super excited because if

you've been around here for any amount of time, you know

that I am all about. Practical application of how can we

really apply these things into the classroom easily and

quickly to help you and help your English language

learners. I think there's a lot out there. There's a lot of

research. There's a lot of standards. There's a lot going

on, but sometimes we read those or at least I read them and

think, what does this practically look like in the

classroom? Well, if you ask yourself that question, that is

what we're diving into today. I'm going to be sharing with

you three different scaffolds that you can use. And we're

going to be walking through these scaffol. Scaffolds and

how to use them with all your language levels. I'm going to

show you how you can take one standard. And use the

scaffold to support all five levels of the wida Language

Model language proficiency levels. So I'm Super excited

because again, like I said, I'm going to walk you through

how to practically do these things and give you just a

brief run through of. What you do with each scaffold, what

it looks like in the classroom. And we have put together. A

freebie for you that walks you through the scaffolds and

then just how you can honestly just. Take we've done the

work for you to take that scaffold and say, okay for level

one. Here's how I can use it, or here's the sentence that I

need to use, and we've really kind of written it out for

you. So in the show notes, you'll find that freebie that

you can download that goes over the three scaffolds that

we're talking about today. So. Let's dive in.

So let's begin with just briefly going over what is

differentiation and what are scaffolds, and why is it

important? And I think more than ever this is something

that. We have to be really familiar with be really

confident in to become really just a master teacher and

really support the students in our classes. I think back a

long time ago, even when I was in elementary school. And

everybody had the basal reader. Everybody was just taught

the same thing. And it didn't work. Then I'm not saying

that's what they should have done, but it's what they did

do. But even more so now our students. Are just coming into

our classrooms at many at varying different levels, meeting

many different supports from us. And so we have to be ready

to give our students what they need without it being

something that's a lot more stress on us and just really

creating a burnout in us because we're trying to do it all

so scaffolds really help to do that. It's really an

integral part of differentiation. And it involves providing

strategic support. So we have to know our students. We need

to know what support they need in what areas. And it helps

them to accomplish tasks that they might not be able to

complete independently. And today we're going to be talking

about those language. Sam. Samples for specifically your

students that needed support in language learning.

Now today scaffold that I'm going to be covering. If you

are someone who's been teaching yourself for a while, you

might think these are the most basic ones. I already know

these and you might, but I'm going to go over how you can

use them with all your different language levels because. A

big part of scaffolding is one. As teachers, we want to

begin to build up our scaffolding toolbox. We want to have

on the spot scaffolds that we know that we can put in place

that are going to help support our English language

learners with unlocking the language. We want it to be

comprehensible for them. So we want to be able to know how

to do that quickly. And easily. And we do that by building

up our toolbox of scaffold. Now. I'm not going to go super

in depth on this, but something we need to be aware of is

just knowing when we are over scaffolding when that student

doesn't need that scaffold anymore. So we need to have just

a pulse of who our students are, what they need from us and

what scaffolds were provided. Now, today, though, I want to

walk you through how you can use one scaffold for all five

different. Language levels because if you're new to

teaching. Yourself. And you really start to understand

these scaffolds, and you start to implement them with all

your different language levels. Then you are going to see

success and you're going to feel more confident of how to

use things quickly and easily. These are really helpful

when you're pushing into a classroom so you might not have

had much time to prepare. So this is something you can pull

out of your back pocket and say, okay. I can apply this.

And this is the language level of the student working with.

Here are some ideas. And like I said, that cheat sheet that

we put together is going to be super helpful for you. So

grab that you can grab it before if you want to get that

before I start sharing. But it's going to really help you

walk through. So let's start with our scaffolds the first

one. And this is one you're going to hear anytime. You ask

any support question in a Facebook group or anywhere you

say, where do I begin with providing scaffolds for yells?

The first thing people are going to say is use visuals and

it's true visual support is your first place you want to

begin. It's the most helpful thing to do for your students.

But what does this actually look like? What does this

practically look like. So what I want to do is using so our

scaffold is to use visuals, and now I want to walk you

through what this practically looks like. Okay. So if we

had a standard. For content that. Was about understanding

the requirements of plants for life and growth and their

variability from plant to plant. That's our standard. Okay.

How can we use a visual scaffold to support all the

different language levels of our students. So that's our

standard, the requirement, the plants and life and growth

and their variability from plant to plant. So for our Level

One students, these are our newcomers. Our beginners are

entering students. What you could do with this scaffold is

to first you want to bring in realia use axle plants, soil

seeds. Allow the students to touch and to see the real

items. That's the first thing you want to do that's that

visual support. Then you can show how plants need space to

grow by providing examples of overcrowded plants and then

healthy space plants. So you're using realia and you're

letting them touch to think, to connect and that's their

visual support. You can talk about vocabulary of the plants

as you're doing this activity. Now the other thing that you

will want to do with your Level One students is to use

picture cards. So picture cards use picture cards that

display the different requirements for plant growth. One

card might be air, one might be light, one might be water,

one might be nutrients and soil. All of those different

things you're going to put on picture cards. Okay. And then

as they're looking at the real plants interacting with

them, they also now have it on a picture card that they're

going to use as they go throughout this whole unit. It's

also giving that reference that framework of vocabulary

words. Visual support. They can be able to use those to

communicate with you. Picture cards are the first place

you're going to begin with your Level one student with your

level two students, you're beginners. You can have them

label a diagram. A picture. Okay. You want to provide a

diagram of a plant with labels for each part and arrows

Ind. Indicating what each part needs. So you might have the

roots and label it roots. And then they decide that the

roots need water. Or nutrients from soil. So you're going

to use a visual with a diagram. You can also create an

interactive poster. So you're going to have where students

can move the pieces to show what part of the plant theme.

Maybe they also have to identify the parts of plants. So

they're going to identify where the root is, where the stem

is, and then they're going to also ident. Identify what

each part of the plant needs to grow. See how the visual

support there is a diagram and you can use it in different

ways to provide that language support. For our Level Three,

students are developing students. You can use images. For

sequencing. Okay. You can help have them give them the

images and they're going to show the growth of a plant and

the factors affecting it at each stage. So maybe they

sequence the pictures and then maybe. They're going to

orally explain what might impact its growth. Or maybe

they're going to write about it. We want that output

happening all the time. They also could do something like

comparative visuals. So you're going to have them use

visuals to compare how requirements may vary from plant to

plant. So maybe you give them a picture of a cactus. And a

water lily. They're going to compare those. They're going

to talk about them. They're going to maybe do a Venn

diagram with them. It's hitting. All of these different

scaffolds are hitting on the standard, but in a way that is

appropriate for the language level that you're working

with. I hope that's what you're seeing here. I hope you're

hearing these ideas and taking away. Hi. I could do that. A

comparative visual with this that we're working on right

now. For our Level four is our expanding students. You can

use infographics. Okay. You can provide infographics that

contain more detailed information about the needs of

different types of plants for growth. This could include

comparisons. It can include. Categorization. Maybe you

provide part of the infographic and they are going to fill

out some of the facts that they've been reading about. So

again, you can scaffold this based on the students and how

much support they need. Maybe you provide the whole

infographic for them and they're going to be working based

off of that. Maybe you just provide pieces of it and

they're going to be completing the INF. Infographic it's up

to you in knowing your students. You can also use annotated

photographs. You can use photographs of real plants with

annotations to explain how different factors influence

their growth. So again, you're providing. The knowledge,

the content piece. But in a way that's very manageable for

your students. That something that it's broken down. So

it's something that deeply digests. They can read it

independently. They can work on it using the visual

support. And they're learning. The standard that is

expected of them. And then for our bridging students, our

Level Five students, you can use the visual support of a

video with subtitles. Okay. So you can use an educational

video about plant growth and requirements. Put in those

subtitles. And then pause to discuss, to ask questions to

ensure understanding, to give them opportunities to

respond. And hit on that standard that you are discussing.

Now, like I said, we are sharing with you. A broken down

list of how to use visual supports with whatever you're

teaching for levels one through five, so go and grab that

so you can walk through and start to apply it to whatever

you're teaching and see which language level you're working

with and which type of visual scaffold you should provide

for them. Something you can do for all levels is to provide

a visual vocabulary list that never hurts all the students

words like soil, nutrient, sunlight. All of your students

need those even your monolithual students. So creating some

sort of visual cabbage list is going to be super helpful

for all your students. And then something else to point out

is just using the consistent use of symbols. So if you're

doing a diagram or you're modeling and you're creating

symbols or hand motions for the different vocabulary, use

that across all language levels. And as you're teaching

this whole unit, having that symbol recognition is going to

help them remember and spark that vocabulary working on.

So. For sunlight. You're going to draw sun for water. Maybe

draw some droplets. All of the things just keep consistency

across the board and something that's going to help. You is

to prep these things before you start the unit so that you

can have your vocabulary cards set. And maybe you use those

same vocabulary cards with all the different language

levels. You're just going to use them in a different way as

I've shared of just different ways that you could scaffold

them. So it's not that it's a lot more work on your part,

but you just. Have to be very intentional about. The way

that you're setting up the vocabulary and how you're using

those popular cards. But once you get them set up, then you

should be able to use them with all the different language

levels so that's our first scaffold use visuals. Super

helpful. Super necessary. Great one to begin with if you're

new to working with ell students, and hopefully that was

helpful. Of how you could break down a standard.

Now we're going to move into the second scaffold. The

second scaffold is using sentence stems. And again, I know

you're posing we know how to use this. But I didn't want to

go over this because if you're new and you don't know, how

do you send the Simpson? I want to make sure you're clear

on this because again, another easy one to use. But I also

want you to hear how to practically use it with all of your

language levels, because some of these actually, all three

of these. We really think of like, these are good for

newcomers, but you really can use them. With all your

different language levels just by scaffolding them

differently. So let's talk about sentence stems. Sentence

stems are an effective scaffolding tool. Across all

language levels. Okay. They provide a structure that can

help students express their thoughts, their ideas, and

their understanding of various standards and concepts. So.

Symptoms are really helpful to just help your students get

their ideas out. Get their thoughts out. Kind of remove

that barrier of where to begin when you're speaking or

writing. It really just helps them get their thoughts

going. So what you're going to want to do.

Okay. So I'm going to give you some examples based off of

the Common Core standard. For I believe this is for second

graders. Here's our standard. We're telling stories,

including fables, folktales and myths from diverse

cultures, determine the central message, lesson or moral,

and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the

text. Recently, standards and think, like, what does this

look like in the classroom? Well, here is how we're going

to break down that standard. For all five of our language

levels. Okay using sentence steps. So this really like I

said, it's going to help them orally, just get their

thoughts out. Or for those who are ready to write, you can

give us them to start writing. So based off of that

standard for our Level One students. For recounting the

story, you're going to give them the sentence them the

story is about or in the story. And then for identifying

moral or lesson, you're going to give them a sentence. The

lesson is now this might need some modeling. You might be

doing this together as a group. You might give that visual

support, and they just explain it with a one word answer.

Those are all appropriate. But those are some great

sentence to get started. For that standard for our

beginning. For recounting stories, use a sentence. Them

like. First, then next left. Or the main characters in the

story are and maybe above the word characters. You have a

little visual support so they know what that word means.

For identifying moral or lesson you're going to do. The

story teaches us. That. The important lesson is. So again,

we're keeping from level one. It was just the lesson is and

now for level two, we're adding in that word important to

kind of expand their capacity. For our Level three students

for recounting the stories the setting of the story is the

problem of the story is so again using that visual support

using. That like I just shared using. A visual support for

setting or for problem use that consistently. Whenever

you're teaching. If you're drawing a little house for

setting, use that consistently so they see that they know

what the word means right away. For identifying moral or

lesson. You're sentenced that you can use is the moral of

the story is conveyed through we are moving up. We are

really expecting more of them. We are giving them the

support, but we're also giving them an opportunity to show

up and show off. And then through the character's actions,

we learn that now you might be doing a lot of modeling of

what this looks like. And that's okay. Model. Keep these

same ones the same for a lot of these literacy standards.

And you're going to see that they really begin to respond

to them. For our Level Four Students for recounting

stories. You can use sentence stems like the story unfolds

by or key events in the story. Include. For identifying

moral or lesson. You could use sentence stems like the

central message of the story is illustrated by. Or the

story conveys the lesson that. We really are just providing

them with higher level vocabulary, expecting them to read

it, understand it, apply it, use it in conversation. We're

giving that sense of resentence done. And then for our

level five, our bridging. For recounting stories, you can

use sentence like the plot of the story develops as. And

the kawimax of the story occurs when. And then for

identifying moral or lesson, you can use things like the

underlying moral of the story is highlighted through. Or

the text conveys the message that. So hopefully you're

starting to see how these sentence stems can be used with a

variety of different standards. That's the beauty as you

begin to start to develop. A cheat sheet if you must of

just different ways that you can approach these standards,

these grade level content standards, but unlocking it so

that it's comprehensible. For your language learners, here

is what you can do and providing them with things that.

They can reach to that expectation that you're setting for

them when you're providing the support. That they need.

All right, so we've gone through using visuals? We've gone

through sentence stems? Now let's move into. Can you guess

word Bank. Banks word banks can really be effective for els

to understand and just talk about some concepts that might

be hard for them to talk about. Now for this one I want to

share with you. A standard. A math standard. Because I do

get that question a lot. How do I scaffold for bath? And

what does this look like? And so that's why I want you to

come away, seeing like you could easily scaffold for

whatever subject that you are supporting your students in.

Because there's language in all those subjects in math and

science and such studies, all of them have a language

component. So this standard is talking about.

Okay, here's our standard. Understand? I think this is a

fifth grade Common Core Math standard. Understand that

attributes belonging to a category of two dimensional

figures also belong to all subcategories of the category.

For example, all rectangles have four right angles, and

squares are rectangles. So all squares have four right

angles. Yeah, I'm thankful I don't teach fifth grade math,

but I wanted to break this down for you. So if you're

providing a word bank as a scaffold, what does this look

like when we're trying to hit on this standard for math?

Because your students cannot get there until they have the

foundation until they're ready for it. And I think that's

the main point here. So for your level one students. You

can provide basic shape vocabulary. Provide a word bank

with basic shape names and images. They need to make sure.

They know the shape names and the images and match them

before they're ready to tell you about their attributes and

the categories. So you want to include pictures next to the

words to enhance understanding. Checking in there. That's

our level one, our level two. You're going to then add in

the attribute. So first we started with just the basic

shapes. We want to make sure they get that level two.

You're going to add in the attributes. You're going to

expand the word bank to include attribute words, side

angle. Right angle corner. And then use images to represent

each attribute. So we're really kind of pulling in here.

The visual support, plus a word base. So starting with

basic shapes, adding in attributes for level twos, our

level three, we're going to include definitions. Include a

short, simple definition or description next to each word

in the word bank. So, for example, a right angle right next

to it. You might put a 90 degree angle and. You might

provide a visual support, or maybe you don't. I think with

math as always, as helpful to provide a visual support. So

yeah, I would put visuals to help. And then along with the

word bank and the definition. Now we're going to move on to

the level four, the level four. You're going to add in some

more complex terms. So you're going to add terms like

subcategory attribute and dimension to the word bank. So

our word bank is getting bigger and bigger. Now for a level

four, you might remove those basic shapes. That your level

one. Suit is using. But you still will probably keep from

the attribute words and then. The definitions, the visual

supports those are still helpful for your level for

students, and now you're adding in those complex terms. You

can provide an example sentence to show how to use these

words in context. So again, that modeling is so critical

here when we want our students to really understand. This

new mathematical vocabulary that they're expected to use

both orally and through activities. Then we want to provide

them ways that they can see how it's used in context. Now

moving on to our Level five, our bridging students. We want

to introduce formal mathematical language. So we want to

add informal terminology to the word bank, like two

dimensional parallel congruent all those types of things.

Now this might word bank might end up turning into a

mathematical dictionary. That they can use as a reference.

Or you might just add in a small box at the top of their

page, or maybe a little bookmark with. These different

types of vocabulary on it to help them now, something that

can help with these types of vocabulary. These mathematical

words that might be complex for some of our students is to

offer sentences that compare and contrast different shapes

using the vocabulary. So seeing it again in context, in

action. And this is why this might be better to turn. Into

a word bank dictionary where they're seeing examples of

these words used in context.

Now just a few tips. Of using those word banks. Visual

representation is still super critical and extremely

helpful, so don't miss out on that part if you have the

time to add in a few visual supports. The other thing with

these types of words, especially hitting on mathematical

words or science words. Take a few minutes to see if there

are any cognitive in your student. 's native language,

especially with science words and a lot of math words, too.

There are a lot of cognitive between English and Spanish

specifically. So I think it would do your suits. Well, if

you take a few minutes and kind of check and see like, hey,

you know what? You know, this word in Spanish is actually

almost the same in English, so it helps them to really

develop. That understanding the word really quickly.

And then. As much as you can, making these activities

interactive. So you want to utilize the word bank and

interact activities, allowing students to match words and

definitions, images, and example sentences. Maybe it's not

a word bank you're doing. Maybe. You could put all a

dictionary. Like I said, maybe this is just going to turn

into a word wall. So. You have the basic vocabulary up

there for the students who need it, but then you're adding

in. So much more with the attributes and with mathematical

definitions and words and visuals. And maybe they add in

the visual support, or they write the definition. So

there's so many different ways that you can approach using

word banks. But I want you to see the power in using them

for all the different levels. And really providing the

scaffolds that they need so that they get the support to be

able to show up. And like I said, show off, what. They're

learning. Now we have done a lot of the work for you by

putting them together. Into a little short pdf where you

can download them and then you can see right away. I want

to use some visual supports. How can I do this? What does

this look like for each of the levels of the language

learners we have that for our visual, sports, sentence and

word banks. So if you are new to working with ells. These

are three scaffolds that you will want to become an expert

in. Get started there. And go grab that pdf download. You

can really start to apply them with whatever language group

you're working with and you can see the power of your

students as they begin to interact with the materials at

their language level. So thank you so much. I hope that you

enjoyed the practicality of today's lesson. I want to make

things really. I hope they're sparking ideas of how you can

apply them with your students. And I will be back next

week. With some scaffolds and strategies that you can use

to help your students communicate and work with peers. So I

will see you then. Thanks for joining me today. Have a

great day.





More from YouTube