Scaffolding in PBL

Proper scaffolding is essential to supporting students while they construct their learning.  Students are guided in the right path, and for the right purpose, in order to keep the educational struggle manageable and productive. Without scaffolding, students may chase unreliable or extraneous information that does not lead them to a solution to a problem or a product for a project. Worse, students may find themselves overwhelmed or without a path to understanding the content (McKenzie, 1999).

For my current project “Campus Beautification Project”, the proper amount of scaffolding will allow my students to be creative in their flower bed designs while providing them with the need to know more about scaled drawings and similar figures. Finding the appropriate amount of scaffolding is a balancing act. I want to give students freedom in their designs; however, I am also mandated to cover certain math standards.  I need to make sure that students see the need to use proportional reasoning and similar figures to create a scaled drawing.  By using the the scaled drawing piece as a requirement in the final product and placing it in the entry document, I anticipate that students will generate “needs to knows” related to the math content placed in this project. The wording of each student’s “need to know” will illuminate the level of scaffolding they require.  Students with little or no understanding will seek information on what is a scaled drawing, as opposed to students that know what a scaled drawing is but does not know how to create their own.  Differentiated mini-lessons, instructional videos, professional resources, rubrics, and exemplar examples will be provided for all students to be use as needed (in a project briefcase) and required to be completed by some based on pre-assessment data.


McKenzie, J. (1999, December). Scaffolding for Success. Retrieved March 08, 2016, from


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