Scaffolding for Students Success

I’m preparing two writing courses for next semester. After checking the textbooks, the workbooks, and teacher DVDs/websites for both courses, I still do not feel that the students have enough structure to help them be successful in writing. Using high level writing terms or asking “Does your topic sentence convey a controlling idea?” does not provide much assistance to struggling writers. I tried to read the textbook and write the paragraph patterns such as narrative writing based on what I found in the book, I could not write what the book rubric indicates as a good paragraph. I searched the Net and likewise found many generalities but did not find specific structure to guide students through a complex process. I found this past semester that my students need much guidance in writing. I hope that as I create materials by greatly expanding on the textbook that I can provide them with the step-by-step they need to go from writing anything to write a vivid narrative.

How much guidance does your textbook, PowerPoints, worksheets, etc.. provide for the students so that they can be successful.?

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3 Responses to “Scaffolding for Students Success”


  1. 1 Steve Rosenbaum December 27, 2007 at 12:21 am

    After listening to a couple of hundred books on tape, I think reading your writing out loud to others is a great way to test your narrative style of writing. Stringing adjectives on paper is fairly easy and it doesn’t seem like to much. But read it to someone else and it will read like purple prose.

    I’d even suggest students record their own writing and listen to it.

    I like the Elmore Leonard quote where he talks about becoming a great writer, he said that he leaves out the parts people skip.

    By the way, reading a sentences that is one long huge paragraph is almost impossible to understand. Gets the point across quickly.

  2. 2 hgtuttle December 27, 2007 at 3:08 pm

    Thanks, Steve,
    I think your listening to good narrative first is a great idea. Then I think that I will model writing each type of writing for them. Next I give them a form to use for their first writing. Following the structured writing, I’ll have them write without any scaffolding.We’ll see if they can write a narrative that does not sound like See Dick. See Jane.
    Harry

  3. 3 Steve Rosenbaum December 27, 2007 at 4:19 pm

    Most public libraries have lost of recorded books. The best ones will have great readers. The best readers tend to be actors and singers. We listened to a Louis Lamour book that was read by Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. Joe Montagne and Tim Curry are superior readers.


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