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May 14, 2015

Shanahan on Scaffolding Complex Text

Timothy Shanahan has an excellent post today called, "How Much Text Complexity Can Teachers Scaffold?". If you work with struggling readers in your classroom setting, I cannot recommend the post enough. (If you are interested in literacy in the classroom, Shanahan's focus on best practices for reading and writing instruction will be very relevant to you. You might start by following his blog here.)   

In this most recent post, Shanahan details not only the theory of what is possible in bridging the gap between a student's reading level and a complex text, but also how this might practically be done in a classroom. Of particular interest to me was Shanahan's assertion mid-way through the article that, "...by pre-teaching vocabulary, providing fluency practice, offering guidance in making sense of sentences and cohesion, requiring rereading, and so on, I have no doubt that teachers can successfully scaffold a student across a 300-400 Lexile gap--with solid learning.". As teachers continue to align their instructional and materials to the Common Core, especially the expectations for grade level complex text, this is an apt reminder that with careful and considerate scaffolding, teachers can provide all students access to complex text

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