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Next Generation Learning Standards

Supporting All Students: Resource Guides for Scaffolding Instruction of English Language Arts and Mathematics

The Supporting All Students Resource Guides were designed through collaboration between the New York State Education Department and partners in the field.  The purpose of these guides is to provide teachers with examples of scaffolds and strategies to supplement their instruction of English language arts (ELA) and mathematics curricula.  The guides use the EngageNY ELA and mathematics modules as exemplars since they are free and open source curricula available for all New York State educators. 

What are scaffolds?

Scaffolds are instructional supports teachers intentionally build into their lesson planning to provide students support that is “just right” and “just in time.”  Scaffolds do not differentiate lessons in such a way that students are working on or with different ELA texts or mathematical problems.  Instead, scaffolds are put in place to allow all students access to grade-level content within a lesson.  Scaffolds allow students to develop the knowledge, skills, and language needed to support their own performance in the future and are intended to be gradually removed as students independently master skills.

Who can use these scaffolds?

The scaffolds in these guides can be adapted for use in any curricula and across content areas.  While the exemplars were all drawn from the ELA and mathematics EngageNY modules, teachers are encouraged to customize the scaffolds for any lesson they deem appropriate.  All teachers (e.g., general, special education, English as a new language, and bilingual education teachers) can use these scaffolds in any classroom setting to support student learning and to make the general education curriculum more accessible to all students without interfering with the rigor of the grade-level content.

How can teachers support all students?

It is vital that teachers utilize a variety of research-based instructional and learning strategies while developing a student-centered learning environment that addresses individual learning styles, interests, and abilities present among the students in the class.  Classrooms should be supportive and nurturing, and factors such as the age, academic development, English and home language proficiency, culture and background knowledge, and disability, should be considered when designing instruction. The principles of Universal Design for Learning should be incorporated into curricula to provide students with learning experiences that allow for multiple means of representation, multiple means of expression, and multiple means of engagement. These learning experiences will reduce learning barriers and foster equal learning opportunities for all students.

Scaffolding Guides for Grades 3-8 ELA and Grades 3-8 Mathematics are available below. ​

English Language Arts

List of ELA Scaffolds


List of Math Scaffolds

If you have any feedback on the Supporting All Students:  Resource Guides for Scaffolding Instruction of English Language Arts and Mathematics, please send it to the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at

Professional Development Toolkit

This toolkit provides prepackaged instructional steps and guidelines so educators and administrators may facilitate training on the topic of scaffolding instruction within their own professional communities.

Additional Resources


Achieve the Core:  Provides free, ready-to-use classroom resources that align to college- and career-ready standards.

Education Resources Information Center (ERIC):  Provides access to an online library of education research and information from a variety of sources.  ERIC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

EngageNY:  Provides resources to support the NYS P-12 Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics.

Evidence for ESSA:  Provides information on programs that meet the ESSA evidence standards to help educators identify and select effective educational tools to meet their local needs and improve student success. 

Exploring the Foundations of Explicit Instruction, from Explicit Instruction:  Effective and Efficient Teaching, Chapter 1 by Anita L. Archer and Charles A. Hughes.  Copyright 2011 by The Guilford Press.  All rights reserved.  Provides video clips demonstrating explicit instruction in classrooms at the elementary and secondary levels.

Getting to the Core: The Common Core Institute Project:  Provides examples of curriculum enhancements to the EngageNY ELA and mathematics modules developed by New York State teachers.

New York State Next Generation English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards:  Provides information, guidance, and resources to support the implementation of the New York State Next Generation English Language Arts and Mathematics Learning Standards.

The UDL Guidelines:  Provides suggestions for implementing the Universal Design for Learning framework for instruction to ensure equitable learning opportunities and reduce barriers to learning by supporting a variety of learning styles.

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC):  Reviews existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education and provides educators with the information needed to make evidence-based decisions.  WWC is sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education.

English Language Arts

Florida Center for Reading Research:  Provides information, resources, and research-based strategies related to literacy instruction and assessment for students in prekindergarten through Grade 12.

Grades 3-8 ELA Curriculum:  Appendix:  Protocols and Resources:  Provides concrete examples of routines and strategies to enhance instruction and ongoing assessment of student learning.

Quality Indicator Review and Resource Guide for Literacy:  Developed for use by the Regional Special Education Technical Assistance Support Center network to guide their work in assessment of programs and provision of professional development, support, and technical assistance to districts and schools to improve results for students with disabilities.

Reading Rockets:  Provides information, resources, and research-based strategies on reading development in children.

Response to Intervention: Guidance for New York State School Districts:  Describes the features or components of an effective Response to Intervention (RtI) model by defining RtI as a multi-tiered early prevention system designed to improve outcomes for all students.

Scaffolding ELA EngageNY Instruction for English Language Learners/Multilingual Language Learners:  Provides routines and scaffolds for English Language Learners (ELLs)/Multilingual Language Learners (MLLs) who are using EngageNY ELA module lessons.

Teaching Elementary School Students to Be Effective Writers: A Practice Guide:  Provides evidence-based recommendations that address the challenge of teaching writing in elementary school.


Foundations for Success:  The Final Report of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel:  Provides recommendations for improving mathematics education.

How to Implement A Story of Units:  Provides New York State teachers with the knowledge and tools necessary to implement the important instructional shifts in mathematics required by the Common Core Learning Standards.  It includes suggestions for scaffolding instruction for diverse learners based on the three principles of the UDL framework:  multiple means of representation; multiple means of action and expression; and multiple means of engagement.

Teacher Advisor with Watson:  Teacher Advisor is an AI-enhanced Open Educational Resources (OER) website that can help New York State educators who teach, or support, K-8 math find aligned, high-quality, and contextualized instructional resources in a single location online. (Requires signing up for a free account)

Students with Disabilities

Blueprint for Improved Results for Students with Disabilities:  Provides a statewide framework of expectations to lay the foundation for improved instruction and results for students with disabilities. Focuses on seven research and evidence-based core principles and practices.

Common Core Application to Students with Disabilities:  Provides information and research on supports for ensuring students with disabilities receive the support needed to meet New York State P-12 Common Core Learning Standards in both English Language Arts and Mathematics.

Linguistically Diverse Learners and the NYS Next Generation P-12 Learning Standards:  Provides a series of eight topic briefs designed to aid NYS educators in implementing the Next Generation Learning Standards; complement and support the Standards and related documents; offer an expansion and deeper explanation of concepts embedded in the Standards, Introduction, and Preface; and provide additional guidance to the field particularly in settings serving linguistically diverse learners.

New York State Education Department’s Office of Special Education:  Provides links to guidance and resources on how the learning standards relate to curriculum instruction and students with disabilities. 

English Language Learners/Multilingual Learners

Blueprint for English Language Learner/ Multilingual Learner Success:  Provides a statewide framework to clarify expectations for administrators, policymakers, and practitioners to prepare ELLs/MLLs for college and career readiness.  Focuses on eight research and evidence-based principles.

Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages:  Provides links to guidance and resources on working with linguistically diverse learners.

Scaffolding ELA EngageNY Instruction for English Language Learners/Multilingual Language Learners:  Provides routines and scaffolds for English Language Learners (ELLs)/Multilingual Language Learners (MLLs) who are using EngageNY ELA module lessons.