It’s Not Just Scaffolding, It’s Stairs to Student Success

A teacher’s job is never done! Paperwork, parent contacts, grading papers, data analysis, and lesson planning are all part of the daily grind. Each one of these parts has many layers.

Written by Brandy Jackson

Lesson plans are probably the most overwhelming layer in the life of a teacher. With lesson planning, there are expectations that all teachers face. It is no longer what are you doing today; the lesson also must include items such as the standards to be covered, the technology to be used, the formative assessment to be completed, and the plan for reaching each learning level in the classroom. 

From differentiation, scaffolding, and Universal Design for Learning, to achieving student success, developing lessons to support all of your students is time-consuming, complicated, and, well, overwhelming! So now that you’ve been refreshed on what you already know, let’s look at the importance of these pieces and how your life can be made easier through Scoutlier. 


The most time-consuming task can often be developing differentiated instruction. Differentiated instruction is an approach that plans instruction to meet all student learning needs while reaching the same learning goal for the entire class. With this approach, instruction differs based on students’ instructional needs usually dealing with content, process, assignments, and/or environment. 

Classrooms with a variety of learning needs can be challenging. Planning for all of the needs can be overwhelming. 


Many educators confuse differentiation with scaffolding. While differentiation refers to differing assignments, scaffolding refers to teachers’ support as students learn new concepts and skills. With scaffolding, teachers practice gradual release. Often the “I do, we do, you do” process is used. By breaking up lessons so that they are presented in increasingly difficult chunks, students are able to make connections to previous learning and move from teacher-directed moments to independent discovery.

Scaffolding is very important for student success. When assigned a performance task, scaffolding can mean the difference between a confused and frustrated student and a student who is able to proficient apply and analyze learning.


Universal Design for Learning (UDL) guides the design of lessons that meet the needs of all students. When using UDL, you consider the hurdles in learning that are found in the environment instead of the student. In other words, you think about what keeps a student from learning instead of how to change a student. Considerations such as the design of assessments, materials, or learning goals are taken into account when creating lessons.

Students learning in a UDL environment usually work on different tasks using different methods at different paces. Lessons take on intentional and flexible options, giving students access to resources from the beginning. This frees up time so that teachers can focus on students that are struggling.


Scoutlier gives you a framework for students to follow so that you decrease the hurdles in the learning process. You create an environment where students can be in control of their learning. Lessons focus on deepening mastery learning for all through structure, chunking, and flexibility. Lessons address differentiation and scaffolding using the Universal Design for Learning. Sounds too good to be true, right?

In one program, teachers can:

  • Create a lesson plan for students to follow independently or in small groups.
  • Provide opportunities for collaboration.
  • Guide students through the learning process. (scaffolding)
  • Provide flexibility in pace and product. (differentiation)
  • Curate resources for the lesson that students easily access. (UDL)
  • Chunk tasks to achieve systematic learning goals, (scaffolding)
  • Be intentional about the order of questions and materials. (UDL)

One program can level the playing field for your entire class. For each task a student completes, they have risen one more step on the stairs to success, and you can keep up with each and every effort. Instead of surrounding the lesson with support, you can chunk the lesson into smaller tasks that are varied and flexible. Students complete one task at a time without feeling overwhelmed. 

Check us out at and sign up for a free account. Check out our community library which has many resources to get you started. See how these lessons combine so many options for learning in one place for your students. 


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