Scaffolding 1

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16 thoughts on “Scaffolding 1”

  1. I’m going to admit here that I’m dumber than the average bear…..While I’m pretty sure I get the idea of embedded readings, and I certainly get the purpose, I’m not sure how to execute them in the classroom. Do you just chorally read them aloud? One after the other? Or do you switch up how you read them? If so, what do you do? I know I should probably be able to figure this out on my own, but I’m eternally stumped on this one….

  2. Hi, Dori: I felt the same way, til I actually tried to write one. I think there is no one right way to use the embeds. I think Laurie reads the easy story that all sts get it. No one is allowed to read ahead. Then the page is turned and they all read story 2, etc. Details from other students are added so there is a scaffolding going on. I think you can PQA your way through the reading or do what works for you. But I agree, it took me awhile to “get it” and I am still not sure I always do:)

  3. It may depend on the culture in the school. The kids in our high school absolutely cannot handle more than 45 seconds in doing something alone or in groups. So I just put the first version of the reading on the document camera and we translate it together chorally and I point out grammar and spin discussion out of it, but that time should be mostly on the choral translation work, maybe 70% of the class, so that it is uninterrupted reading CI much like the uninterrupted auditory CI seen in the stories. That’s the way I do it. But if somebody has a better plan, I’m on it.

  4. I am still not sure if I am doing embedded readings the right way. I would love to have these (in English or Spanish), so that I might see how it’s done … and if I am doing it correctly.

  5. Let’s see if I can clear up some things:
    1. In every case, the Embedded Readings are finalized by the teacher. There are a number of ways to create one, including using students’ ideas and students’ writings, but the teacher creates the reading. This provides quality input AND ensures that each version of the story will be a successful reading opportunity for the students.
    2. Once the teacher has the 3+ versions of the reading there are a number of ways to proceed….based on what the teacher is trying to achieve.
    a) For emerging readers, our suggestion is that all students read versions 1 and 2 in a directed way, lead by the teacher. This sets up the students for success and allows the teacher to be very sure that the reading is accessible to everyone. What do I mean by directed? The teacher chooses the direction: translated aloud by an individual or chorally, a written translation where everyone writes it, illustrating as a mural or a story board, circling….whatever works best for the students.
    This can be done individually or in groups as well. My own personal belief is that it should still be directed. In other words, the teacher instructs the reader on HOW to read, how to demonstrate comprehension or how to interact with the text. The beauty of the Embedded Reading is that it actually helps the student to acquire language AND develops reading skills, even in fairly fluent readers.
    c) Once the students have worked through the first two levels with the teacher, interacting with the text JUST LIKE YOU WOULD ANY READING (translate or circle or illustrate or discuss or predict or comparing characters or predicting future events…whatever you like to do with your students!!!!) ,
    the teacher gets to decide what to do with the next levels. Again, my own preference is to always do an activity with an entire class once before setting them off on their own. But here are a few ways to get students to interact with the more advanced versions of the reading (I vary which ones I use, sometimes offer a choice, but only require one per reading!):
    * Highlight everything you understand.
    * List 5 words/phrases you think you understand but had to “guess” at.
    * Translate aloud with a partner.
    * Create a ‘mini” storybook using X number of sentences and illustrate.
    * Read silently and SLOWLY visualizing what you read.
    * Copy what you think are the 5 most “delicious” sentences in the piece: illustrate in detail or translate those 5 sentences.
    As Jody wrote in another post, it is really beneficial to have students work with only one or two versions of the story and then wait a day or two to let it “marinate” in the brain before reading the next versions.
    How do you know if you are doing it “right”? Well, if they are reading, and comprehending, and you are amazed at how much they can read, and they just think it is no big deal because it is easy, then you are probably doing it right. :o)
    The funny thing is that after the first two or three, they are no longer impressed with how well they can read. They might even react with a “what is such a big deal about these things anyway?” Just smile inside. You know.
    The other key to bringing them in is to include readings where their ideas and details appear. But that is another post…
    with love,

  6. That’s what I love about this blog – there is always somebody who describes whatever activity I’m stumped on in GREAT DETAIL!!! I count myself right in with Dori and Jen but thanks to all of you I feel less and less dumb as time goes by. I am still trying to wrap my mind around the difference between scaffolding reading and embedded reading. I kind of thought it was the same thing.
    Anyway, I have been doing embedded readings for two of our class stories and they are AWESOME. Plus, they are really easy to create. Somebody on this blog (I don’t know if it was Laurie or Michele) describe in their own blog in – again – GREAT DETAIL how the whole process works. Once I actually did it, it seemed so much less overwhelming. The kids truly get a kick out of recognizing their own details as the story becomes more complex (I used their quick writes to make the embedded readings).

  7. There’s a difference between scaffolding reading and embedded readings? Also, can we have the link to the site you mention above, Brigitte? Sounds like Michele to me. And good luck with the rain showers y’all are getting up there Michele! And then personalizing the readings from free writes – it’s brilliant. My dream would be a clarification of those few things in one place, like in a comment below to make everything into a blog post and then categorize it like this thread. The detail is important, no doubt, but I wouldn’t know where to start to look to put it all in one place, which my simple mind needs. Someone?

    1. Heh, heh…I have kids shoveling off my steps right now. What I did to earn this is not clear to me. We’re fine in Anchorage. Send good thoughts for the folks on the west coast. In Nome yesterday, they shut down the school at 10:30 am, expecting 35-foot waves in their sea-level community.
      The weather service says we are at 16 degrees, but I happen to know we’re at 22, so it’s very pleasant. It will be fine if it snows. Anchorage is generally temperate.
      But thanks!!
      You could all use the Alaskan weather as a story this week…or as a reason that someone gets lost in the snow or rain or waves…

      1. Ben,
        Ever since Michele and I finished our workshops in St. Louis, we realized that we would need a place to post and clarify. For now it is in pieces on our blogs and now yours. :o) I have begun to put pieces/explanations on the Embedded Readings page on my website….but have not gotten as far as I would like. Obviously. :o)
        The truth is that we will probably need a website just for Embedded Reading. With a page for explanations…another for top-down examples..another for building from story-asking…another for creating readings from student free-writes…another for how /how often/when to use with students…as you can see it’s a PROJECT.
        Now, Scaffolded Literacy is a term that refers to a method that has been developed in Australia. It is designed for literature/texts and has some similar aspects. It also has additional pieces that fall under the category of Language/Linguistics…they are a bit more directly technical and manipulative than pop-up or contrastive grammar. I have not been to a workshop, but Michele has and is also in contact with the two professors who have created, taught and researched this method.
        Embedded Reading evolved from an activity that I developed for a particular student. When I shared the idea on moretprs, Michele put her own creative genius to work with it and the two of us have been burning up the Internet ever since trying to polish it and share our findings.
        ok…after all of that rambling…if we get a website put together, (ok ok ok when we get a …) we’ll put all of the information and ideas that we are gathering there in one place.
        with love,

  8. Somebody mentioned on here recently not to do such and such because that would be an embedded reading and not scaffolding. You can tell, I can neither remember nor find the exact post.
    Either way, the blog I mentioned above is Laurie’s (I worship the ground she walks on as well!!!). Here is the link to her post on student-generated embedded readings:

  9. Thanks to everyone for helping to clear up the confusion. It helped so much! One of my big struggles in teaching is that I find great articles, videos, stories, pictures….but I never know what to do with them! I just want to read/watch/look at and then talk about it.
    I went to Laurie’s site to find the embedded readings; if you do an advanced search for embedded readings (search “all” blog entries), you will find over a dozen very specific ones that Laurie has written. Michelle probably has a bunch also.
    Thanks also to Ben and everyone in this community to give us the support to be able to say, “I don’t get it. Help me.” This is truly a groundbreaking venture here.

    1. You’ve got to go to Laurie’s site for great examples, or to the forum thread on embedded readings. I have some there that are in Romanized Russian, but you probably needed to have been in the Russian class this summer to understand them. Any Russian teachers are welcome to ask me for samples.
      I was just now working on an embedded reading for my intermediates. There was a nice story about a flight attendant whose boyfriend proposed to her in flight. The transcript of the story was pasted below the video. It was such an endearing write-up that I wanted my kids to be able to read it, so I pasted it into a word-processing document as a final version. Then I pasted it again, taking out every third line or part of the words in a given sentence, choosing the truly extraneous stuff. Then I copied and pasted that, and continued to delete words from each succeeding part so that eventually all that remained was, “A flight attendant was on the Lisbon flight. Her boyfriend asked her to marry him. She said yes. They invited the passengers to their wedding.” That is enough to start a story, and we’ll be able to ask a story around that, and then predict details for each successive version of the story. Eventually, if there’s enough interest, we’ll read the final version and then be able to watch the video. But this whole thing only took me about ten minutes (to cut it down), less than it’s taking me to type this up, and so if it doesn’t get interest, I won’t go to the last stage with it. Student-driven instruction is critical. We’ll see what happens. Maybe the kids will take the story in a whole different direction.
      This is “how to use embedded readings for another purpose.” It’s not a replacement for the student-led story expansion. Those are really the best, but sometimes you want to read something with the kids, and you know it will be too hard if you don’t scaffold it.

    2. …I never know what to do with them….
      Sometimes I look wistfully at the stacks and stacks of notes from workshops, mainly with Susan Gross, that I want to read and reread. The change that we are in is so huge. I cannot, however, do that. There is too much information. A purpose of this blog is to simplify, and a purpose of my new weekly schedule is to simplify. It’s working. We have the easy-to-use categories, which continue to grow, we have the search function here to find anything we want, we have a few select sites like Laurie’s and Michele’s and now Bryce’s that we continue to visit, we have experts like Laurie willing to help us, and we are indeed avoiding the intricate and huge web of too much information, too many plans, too many ideas that has, to be blunt, ruined the effectiveness of the moretprs listserve, in my opinion. The simpler we are, the less “activities” we throw at our students (“activities” are proven enemies of good comprehension based teaching), the more direct comprehension based instruction we do, the more we are effective.

  10. So true!!! Yesterday, I threw my whole, carefully planned schedule out the window. We had a day off on Tuesday because of election day (well the kids did, anyway), so when the kids came to class yesterday, I just asked the question “What did you do yesterday?”. This turned into such an exciting period of just talking to, with, and about one another that I could and did not want to allow us to stop. I feel the kids got so much more out this one “unplanned” period than they would have with my original plans. Plus, it was so much fun to see where it would take us. By the end of the period, we were talking about everyone’s stuffed animals. Go figure!

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