DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.



Scaffolding of the Final Assessment


What will you be doing?

What will the students be doing?


7:57-8:00 Alla takes attendance.

8:00-8:10 Alla clarifies the H/W for Friday.

  • What is REAL in the story?
  • When something is REAL:
    • It matters to someone
    • It cannot be ugly, except to the "people who don't understand"
    • The process happens gradually, not all at once
    • Sometimes it hurts.
  • What was Germany's tragedy after WWI?
    • Unfair peace treaty of Versailles
    • Economic disaster
    • Loss of faith in their country among Germans
    • Loss of respect internationally
  • Why did Germany want to become REAL?
    • To gain international and domestic respect
    • To prove that it was not ugly

8:10-8:15 Students work with a partner.

  • Alla makes sure students have a clear understanding of what is expected.
  • Alla gives an example of annotations, using Cinderella's analysis.
  • Alla circulates and talks with each student about their potential interests for the plot.

8:15-8:47 Students work independently.

  • Alla circulates.


7:57-8:00 Students settle down.

8:00-8:10 Students respond to Alla's questions, take notes, if needed.

8:10-8:15 Students talk with a partner.

  • Students brain-storm ideas for fairy tales.
  • Students give each other feedback.

8:15-8:47 Students work independently.

  • Students begin writing the fairy tale.
  • By the end of the class, each student should have at least half of their fairy tale written.
  • Students take their work home, where they need to type it, spell-check it, and proof-read it.





Above is a copy of two scaffolded assignments: a historical analysis of The Velveteen Rabbit and its comparison to Nazi Germany and the final fairy tale/annotations project.  I chose this lesson as my artifact because I believe it cohesively demonstrates the process of applying Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development.


The students received handouts with written expectations for both assignments several days before the class.  This gave them time to read the expectations, process them, and identify any possible uncertainties. 


We began by talking about The Velveteen Rabbit analysis, which was due in two days.  I began with asking the students to explain REAL was in the story, then we talked about Germany after WWI, and finally we tied the two together to attempt to answer the question the students were asked to consider.  I believe this collective cognitive process allowed the students to develop their own ideas while being prompted by others.  The students left the classroom with a clearer understanding of the direction their homework assignments would take.  


After we were done with the first assignment, we began talking about the final project.  I scaffolded my expectations for the final project in writing by dividing the assignment into two: a less text-heavy part that described the fairy tale expectations, and a very structured and detailed second part that talked about the annotations.  The class was dedicated to the first part of the assignment. 


Students were asked to work in pairs to brainstorm ideas about fairy tales.  I thought it would be helpful to talk about some of their thoughts and to hear feedback from other students.  As the students talked, I circulated around the room, making sure everyone had an idea for a fairy tale and helping the students who seemed at a loss.  Afterwards, the students were given some quiet time to write their thoughts down.  I continued to circulate.


I believe the structure of the lesson helped my special education students.  It alleviated their anxiety with an unconventional final project: they knew they could create something because by the end of the day, everyone had something written down.  It clarified my expectations and demonstrated the connection between tale and history, which the students made with my assistance.  And it gave everyone enough time to process the expectations and produce some work.     


DRAFT: This module has unpublished changes.