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This Week’s Episode: Scaffolding Bootcamp – In Context

Now that we’ve taken time to set the stage for scaffolding, talked about structural scaffolding, and covered the basics of interactive scaffolding, it is time to put those therapy plans into action with…

Scaffolding in context 💪

This week we discuss how to find the sweet spot of support. We talk about probes, goal cards, assessments, and effective data collection when you’re working with multiple students… I think it’s safe to say that we’ve got you covered if you’re ready to make some scaffolding magic happen with your student. ✨

Links Mentioned

SLP Now Interactive Goal Card
– SLP Now Membership (Following Directions materials included in membership)

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That's what we've got for our scaffolds. And we have a little bit of time left to dive into some specific examples of how to put this together. So first, just some general strategies. I talked about the structure a little bit already. So the first thing that we do is the students walk in, they grab their goal cards and I grab a quick probe, and then we can go to all of the materials. We can pull all of the assessments.
It's a little different now with teletherapy, but I used to keep these in a binder. And then with teletherapy, I just put them in a Google slide. But I would just make sure that I assign a specific assessment to each student's goal. So I know exactly how I'm going to measure this. I decide it at when I write the IEP, so I know exactly what's happening.
For example, with following directions, I would determine which level they're at. For these quick probes, I try and grab five to 10. I use my clinical judgment to determine what is actually helpful, but I really like getting that probe data, because I want my students to demonstrate what they can do on their own. I want to know what they've retained and how they're coming into the session.
If I do a quick probe on following directions, and the student is at 0% accuracy, and I want to work on that skill during the session, I know that I need to do some teaching, because we are not going to get into embedded practice right away, because they have no clue what's going on with the directions. Typically if they're under 60%, I like to do some teaching. Even if they're higher at 80, I would just have them tell me and have them teach me to get some of that reciprocal teaching in. So, that's what I do there.
So, that's how I start the session. We rotate through all of the students get a quick probe. It just takes a couple minutes. It's all super organized because it's something we do every single time. And we don't do the same goal every time. I just do one goal per student. Sometimes I split the goal into separate assessments if it's a loftier goal, but I just pick something that can be probed in 30 to 60 seconds, just super simple. But that data is huge when it comes to setting up the session, because like I said, if the session will look a lot different if the student is at 0% versus 80 or 100%. And so that's what I like to do first.
I have my session plan ready to go, but then based on how the students perform, I decide where we're going to start. If Johnny's at 0% accuracy with following directions, that's what we do, a quick teaching activity there. And then Lacy's doing really well with her past tense verb goal. So as we're working on following directions, doing that teaching, doing that structured practice, Lacy's going to practice her past tense verbs.
So I'll give Johnny a direction, he'll act it out. And then Lacy will use the past tense verbs. She'll tell me what he did. During that teaching activity, the other students have the opportunity to serve as peer models, but I can still be strategic and give them opportunities to work on their skills as well. So, that's how that works.
Then we might do the teaching, wherever we are in the unit. We spend the rest of the session. And after I collect that probe data, I love taking the data on my phone. So we just open up the app, tap the accuracy. It automatically calculates it for me. I hit save, put that data away. And then I just focus on being really present with the students. So, this rubric is something that I like to use. It's called the level of support rubric. It includes the structural and interactive scaffolds, as well as additional types of support that we can use to support our students.
So I just focus on being present and giving the students as many supports as they need to achieve about 80% accuracy. That's always my goal. I want to be in that sweet spot of support and knowing how the student did on their own really helps set me up. So if they were at 40%, I get a rough idea. "Oh, I probably need this little bit of support." It's harder to describe.
Maybe I just need a visual cue, and then that's all they need to get to 80%. But if a student is at 0%, I'm going to start with that explicit teaching. I'm going to provide visual, verbal, tactile, gestural, all the types of supports that they need to be successful. If I start teaching something and I feel like they're getting it 60% of the time, I need to find another support to increase that accuracy, just so that they're learning it appropriately so they're not getting frustrated and so they're still hanging in there. So that's how I set that up.
I've gotten really good at remembering the types of support that I provide. So at the end of the session, I just type in the rough estimate of the accuracy. I'm not taking tallies during all of this. I'm not too worried about that. I just want to see how students really just focus on providing the best possible support. And then at the end of the session, I just describe the types of support that I provided. And that is really helpful for me clinically, because then I can figure out which supports are the most helpful.
And if someone were to inherit my students and see the notes, they would know exactly where the student was, because they'd see the probes. They know their accuracy, and they'd know what that meant. And then if I do a good job describing that, then it'd be incredibly easy for someone just to step in and know what to do with the student. So, that's what we've got.




Hi there! I'm Marisha. I am a school-based SLP who is all about working smarter, not harder. I created the SLP Now Membership and love sharing tips and tricks to help you save time so you can focus on what matters most--your students AND yourself.

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