SIOP Component #4: Strategies
The strategies aspect of this component can be found on a number of levels. The most obvious is the first of three features which invites educators to actively teach students strategies (E.g. paraphrasing, note-taking). The second feature focuses on the strategy of scaffolding: one of the most important teaching strategies there is to master. The third and final feature deals with the strategy of promoting higher order thinking skills in the classroom. All three of these deal, in one way or another, with a learning or teaching strategy.
SIOP asks teachers to consider things from the teaching & learning perspectives
Coupling learning strategies (predicting, inferring, etc) with the strategy of scaffolding suggests how useful scaffolding can be in promoting learning strategies and higher order thinking skills. Consciously teaching learning strategies is a way to empower students. The same can be said for scaffolding students into using their critical thinking skills more effectively.
The key to scaffolding is breaking the lesson down into digestible chunks.
One of the most well known scaffolding models is the Gradual Release of Responsibility. This four stage model demonstrates how the responsibility is transferred from the teacher to the learners over the duration of a lesson. It's quite simple and quite powerful. Here are its four stages. TESOL Trainers offers K-12 professional development on the gradual release of responsibility.
- Teacher does; students watch: At this stage, the teacher is modeling for the students. The teacher is the one responsible for assuming all of the risks while the students remain in a safe position. While this is not the most active stage, it doesn't have to be passive.
- Teacher does; students help: During this second stage, the teacher models the process again but uses the students more actively. While the teacher does most of the work, s/he gives the students responsibilities that fit their needs: not too much and not too little.
- Students do; teacher helps: Students work more independently in small groups or with a partner. They do the process that the teacher has modeled twice, but they have greater roles of responsibility this time. The teacher is not in the driver seat.
- Students do; teacher watches: At this fourth and final stage, students do the process independently of their peers and their teacher. It is their opportunity to assess where they are. They have, at this stage, all of the responsibility for completing the process successfully.
TESOL Trainers provides world class professional development on SIOP
There are plenty of reasons to invite TESOL Trainers to provide professional development on SIOP to your teaching staff. Here are four of the most powerful: