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Season 2, Episode 8:

The Sweet Spot of Scaffolding: How to "Right-Size" the Task to Motivate—Not Frustrate 

Learning to read and write is like riding a bike—a little guidance and the help of training wheels go a long way. In this episode, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey introduce us to the literacy training wheels known as scaffolds and explore how they can be used effectively to boost students’ reading confidence and build learning independence. 

Learn about more ways to optimize your instructional scaffolding by reading our blog.



Cheryl holds a doctorate degree in Educational Leadership, distinguished educational leader, and has been recognized with multiple awards for her achievements. She served as the lead curriculum developer for Learning Without Tears’ Get Set for School’s Language and Literacy curriculum, which received an AEP Distinguished Achievement award. In 2017, Cheryl was awarded the Investor Bank’s Educator of the Year Award.


Doug Fisher

Douglas Fisher, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of educational leadership at San Diego State University and a leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. Previously, Doug was an early intervention teacher and elementary school educator. He is the recipient of an International Reading Association William S. Grey citation of merit and an Exemplary Leader award from the Conference on English Leadership of NCTE. He has published numerous articles on teaching and learning as well as books such as How Scaffolding Works, The Teacher Clarity Playbook, PLC+, Visible Learning for Literacy, How Tutoring Works, and How Learning Works. Doug loves being an educator and hopes to share that passion with others.


Nancy Frey

Nancy Frey, Ph.D., is a Professor in Educational Leadership at San Diego State and a teacher leader at Health Sciences High and Middle College. She is a member of the International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. Her published titles include How Scaffolding Works, Visible Learning in Literacy, Removing Labels, and Rebound. Nancy is a credentialed special educator, reading specialist, and administrator in California and learns from teachers and students every day.