Remote Teaching: Scaffolding on Microsoft Forms

What is scaffolding?

Scaffolding is the use of teaching techniques to gradually move a student towards greater understanding and independence in their work.

This is often through the use of “I do, we do, you do” tasks, the provision of sentence stems and structure strips, creating word banks, through using oracy to develop
understanding prior to a writing task, and through the use of visual aids.

Whilst scaffolding can be built into a lesson during the planning stages, we always find ourselves responding to the students’ needs at points during the lesson. For example, if a student is finding starting a paragraph difficult even though I have provided a sheet of sentence starters, I might write the first sentence starter in their book to remove the fear of the blank page. Identifying these situations is incredibly difficult during remote learning, but using Forms in place of mini-whiteboards can help us to identify common errors in the class or areas in which an individual is struggling. The more obvious form of scaffolding which we usually building into our lesson planning can also be included in Forms, and there are some tips of how to do this below.

Preparing students to complete a Forms quiz as a central part of the lesson (not using it as Knowledge Retrieval):

1.Give the students 60 seconds thinking time. For free text answers: What makes a good answer to X style of question? E.g. detail / vocabulary / punctuation. For MCQs: What steps should you take before answering a MCQ? E.g. thinking time / read the options carefully / check and double-check.

2.Gather responses through the chat. Type/write them on screen.

3.Ask students to rank the criteria from most to least important.

4.Take feedback through the chat and as a group decide on an order of importance.

5.Give an example question from the quiz and model how to answer it.

6.Explain to students that they need to use the criteria as they answer the Forms quiz.

Sentence stems

  • These can be typed into the question box.
  • Use sentence stems you have previously modelled/taught in lessons.
  • Use sentence stems that are sufficiently stretchy for the class. E.g. Although the character is presented as… and… because…, he is also presented as… Despite the belief that… it is more likely that… On the one hand… and…, but on the other hand…
  • Including the conjunctions “and”, “because” and “therefore” can direct students to include sufficient detail.

Include images

The pictures icon appears at the side of each question when you are editing forms. You can add pictures, diagrams, or icons to guide the students and make abstract thinking concrete. E.g. If you are asking students to describe a historical event, include an image of the event.

Include powerpoint slides

You can add powerpoint slides that you have used for the lesson. First, save the powerpoint slide as a JPEG (when you click “save as” select “JPEG” in the file type dropdown box). Then you can add the slide to your Form as you would add a picture. üYour slides might contain a word bank, key definitions, sentence stems etc.

Building to an extended response

Use stepped questions, which start with MCQs focussing on defining key words and factual retrieval. Then progress to practice of individual sentences. Then put these together with a final question that requires a paragraph. Guide students in how much to write by using sentence stems or adding a powerpoint slide with excellence criteria.

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