Scaffolding Learning

Quick TIPS for scaffolding learning: writing and reading skills for the older learner. Occasionally I will be providing brief tips for students here- these tips are only general suggestions and based on what we are observing at FERN with our students. For more specific and individual recommendations please be in touch.

Comprehension is a big subject. For the older student comprehending texts, lectures are critical. These skills need to be taught explicitly. A strategy RAP-Q can be used (Shumaker et al The learning strategy curriculum).

Step 1. Read one paragraph or section of the material you are working on.

Example: "Green roofs (rooftop gardens) are becoming very popular. There are thousands of them in the United States. They do more than yield flowers, herbs, and vegetables. They help keep buildings cool. In the summer, rooftop temperatures can reach a scorching 80 degrees Celsius (176 degrees Fahrenheit). A green roof can cut that temperature in half. That saves energy that would otherwise be used to air-condition the building."

Step 2. Ask yourself what the main ideas are (if you have trouble picking the main idea, NOT details, this can be modeled and taught).

Step 3. Put the main ideas in your own words (you should understand how to take notes! If not, this needs to be taught); use one-side of a note card


-green roofs are popular; thousands in USA

-grow flowers, veggies, herbs

-keep buildings cool! rooftop temps= 176 c.!!

-green roofs cut temps in 1/2

-energy saver, less AC to cool bldg.

Step 4. Questions about the reading.

On the front of the note card, write a question about what you read.

What is one benefit of rooftop gardens?

Write the answer.

Rooftop gardens or green roofs can help save energy by reducing temperatures significantly. This helps keep buildings cool, reducing the use of AC.

If the student learns this method and gets in the habit of using it- they will have "notes" for tests/quizzes.

Let me know your thoughts and questions. LC

Victoria Bevilacqua