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I've enjoyed connecting with teachers and leaders on Twitter. A teacher in New York, @dcraig42, shared a great strategy he used with his students. With a large number of struggling learners in his classroom, he finds ways to scaffold learning for his students.
For Black History Month, he wanted to develop a timeline of key people. Ideally, we might ask each student to create a timeline with key African Americans, along with an analysis of their contributions. In Dave's case, his students would be overwhelmed with the task, so he chose to adapt the activity. First, it became a class project, with each student contributing to the project. Next, he provided clear direction and chunked the assignment. Each student researched and wrote index cards about a specific person.
Notice how he incorporates rigor with this assignment. Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported to learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).
First, instead of giving up on a research assignment, he chose to keep his high expectations. Next, he adapted the lesson to provide scaffolding (and success) for his students. Finally, each student participated, thereby demonstrating learning. Great adaptation by a great teacher!