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Developing supports for multi-step problems can be time-consuming.
Teachers should consider the use of instructional scaffolding when teaching new tasks or strategies with multiple steps.
For example, teaching 10th-grade students in math class to solve linear equations can be broken down into three steps: reducing, combining like terms, and then undoing multiplication using division.
Differentiation, however, may mean a difference in materials or options in assessment.
In differentiation, a teacher may use a variety of teaching techniques and lesson adaptations in order to instruct a diverse group of students who may have diverse learning needs in the same classroom.
Effective instructional scaffolding requires teachers be familiar with both the task (content) and the needs of the students (performance).
Teachers may choose guided practice as a scaffolding technique.Instructional scaffolding increases opportunities for students to meet instructional objectives.Such scaffolding may also include peer-teaching and cooperative learning which makes the classroom a welcome and collaborative learning space.In this technique, a teacher offers a simplified version of a lesson, assignment, or reading.After students are proficient at this level, a teacher may gradually increase a task's complexity, difficulty, or sophistication over time.One of the most common scaffolding techniques is to provide the vocabulary for a passage before reading.Teachers may provide a review of the words that are most likely to give students trouble by using metaphors or graphics.Another kind of scaffolding for vocabulary in the science classroom is often accomplished through a review of prefixes, suffixes, base words and their meanings.For example, science teachers can break words into their parts as in: Finally, scaffolding can be applied to any academic task, from teaching multi-step processes in art class, to understanding the steps in regular verb conjugation in Spanish.Differentiation may be based on specific student needs such as their interests, their ability or readiness, and their learning style.In differentiation, materials may be adapted to the learner.