In this strategy, teachers create a planning framework which provides a means for guiding English Learners from their current proficiency and readiness levels toward early elementary grade level objectives and achievements. By building tiered scaffolds into lesson plans teachers create the support students need for success. By employing this strategy, teachers provide the equity students deserve in their education. Tasks are modified without sacrificing complexity.
Choose the objective/standard and corresponding lesson plan to teach the objective. This is the tier one instruction which then becomes the basis for all other tiers.
Consider these factors to determine tier two and tier three resources:
Student readiness by reviewing data.
English language proficiency based on annual test data
Reading level data
Student background, culture, and vocabulary
Unpack the objective with all students to:
Determining student background knowledge
Identifying and illustrating tricky vocabulary within the objective
Connecting to prior learning
Prepare resources for tier two students using planning template, for example:
Blank graphic organizers
Cloze sentences for note taking. Read more about cloze passages in the resources below.
Strategic grouping with peers
Prepare resources for tier three students using planning template, for example:
Graphic organizers with picture and/or word support
Leveled text with added picture support
Personalized picture dictionary for vocabulary support
Writing templates for tracing or highlighting
Strategic pairing with peers
Conduct a post lesson reflection on the success and efficacy of the scaffolds and make adjustments for future lessons. Consider asking students:
What made you feel successful today?
What helped your learning the most?
What was most challenging for you?
English learners who may also have learning disabilities benefit from language scaffolds, as well as the activation of prior learning and background knowledge. Learners of all language proficiency levels can be successful in mastering content standards through the implementation of the proper scaffolds.
Consider the language proficiency levels of individual students based on annual language testing and current classroom performance Consult English learners language levels to create the most effective tiered resource for students. See the “Descriptions of What English Learners “Can Do” at Various Language Levels” resource in the resource section below for more information. If the student also has an IEP, be sure to consult their IEP for more information on their language abilities.
Personalize student resources based on proficiency level. For example,
Choose picture level texts for beginning ELs
Choose shorter texts with picture support for mid level ELs
Choose texts with vocabulary support for ELs that are nearly fluent
Pair students by considering the advantages of:
Common language groups
Pairing ELs with native English-speaking peers
Provide graphic organizers to guide students through reading and annotating their text
Invite pre and emerging writers to draw instead of or in addition to writing
Students with disabilities can access and master grade level content through the use of supports and scaffolds. By matching the readiness level of the students with the appropriate tier of text or activity, all students can be successful without compromising the integrity of the content standard.
Determine the reading level and level of readiness of each student based on current data and IEP. Reach out to the Special Education teacher for any help determining students' level and readiness.
Based on data and IEP specifications, choose tiered activities by considering:
The students' IEP goals
Providing multiple means for the student to engage in the task
Providing multiple means of representing new information
Providing multiple means of action and expression
Provide speech to text or text to speech support for students with a variety of processing disabilities
Tiering and personalizing text and material for distance learners helps to ensure their success even when their teacher and peers are not available for face-to-face support.
Choose resources that the student can easily access independently or through synchronous breakout rooms. If available, use paras, special education teachers, or ESL teachers to monitor breakout rooms that are focused on specific tiered assignments.
Utilize digital platforms to deliver personalized materials to students, such as Seesaw, Class Dojo, or Google Classroom.
For students completing work asynchronously in the same tier, considering using a shared google document, Padlet, or Flipgrid for students to reflect on their learning when done with the task.