My understanding of scaffolding is that it is where the instructor provides a starting point or guidelines to help students stay focused on the task or question at hand. It is where the instructor first teaches the skills that students need in order to be successful. Scaffolding is important because it provides organization for the project. It keeps both the students and the instructor on task and working efficiently. I think the two most important benefits of scaffolding are that it allows students to feel that they can be successful and lets them know what is expected of them. Scaffolding allows students to feel that they can be successful because it provides them with the necessary tools and skills to do so. If scaffolding is done correctly it clarifies the purpose of the project, what is expected of students, and how they will be assessed.
In my project, I plan to scaffold my lessons in a few different ways. I plan to take time to teach students some of the skills they will need in order to be successful. Before letting students loose to research, we will talk about what constitutes an appropriate source and how to find such sources. Before students present, I will give an example presentation and discuss important presentation techniques. I will provide rubrics and examples for students to follow, so they will know exactly how they will be assessed and not have to guess as to what is expected of them.