mother child with LD

When building a house, office building or bridge, there is always a support to make sure the end product is strong and can stand on its own. We should do the same when teaching new concepts and skills to students.


This is the concept behind instructional scaffolding. First, determine what concepts your child can perform on his or her own, and which concepts will require help. Then use strategies that will give the your child enough support and independence to show he or she is learning.


Exceptional students benefit from scaffolding particularly in math and science. Remember, students with exceptionalities often get overstimulated, and develop anxiety because they’re struggling to master math and science concepts.


Below are some strategies that are used in the classroom; however, if also incorporated at home, they can reinforce concepts taught during your child’s learning process.


  • I do, We do, You do:
    • Teacher/Parent demonstrates
    • Teacher/Parent and student work together
    • Child works independently


  • Think Alouds: Teacher/Parent demonstrates their thinking and understanding of a problem or text out loud.



  • Anchor Charts: a visual aid that can include cues, strategies, processes, and concept guidelines.



  • Step Sheets: a 3-column work aid.
    • First column – steps and/or process
    • Second column – a worked example
    • Third column – left blank for student to complete independently
  • Timers: Guideline to monitor active work time (10-15 minutes), and breaks (2-3 minutes).



  • Pre-teaching vocabulary: Use of graphic organizers to isolate and break down word meanings so the student becomes familiar with the words and definitions in a simpler context.



  • Checkpoints for understanding: Chunking the information being taught, (grouping separate pieces of information together), and stopping to ask a question, pausing, and allowing students to respond and discuss before continuing with the lesson.




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Could this help anyone you know?


Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Detter A. Willingham-Snipes says:

    It would be helpful to give examples of each step via video. This wold ensure the parent is doing it correctly. Also, to show the child it is ok/normal to work with the parent. I have a high school student that needs help with several subjects but she does not want my help.

    • Dana Lee says:

      Thanks for the feedback, Detter – we’ll keep that in mind. And totally understood about your high school daughter.