I believe that I have figured out how to scaffold and assess using rubrics effectively and have related the method I devised with one of my coworkers to Backwards Design. A term coined by Wiggins and Mctighe.
If you have a rubric to work with, start with the end in mind. What do you want to see students doing to be able to demonstrate this skill/trait? To answer this question I usually look at the highest achieving column, for the New Tech rubrics this is the advanced column. Looking at the descriptors in this column I try to reword the goal in the simplest and most straightforward statement possible.
The next step is to scaffold the end goal by looking at creating activities and opportunities for students to display the specific thing(s) you are looking for. By doing this you are creating opportunity for students to be successful.
Finally you need to create a lesson that incorporates the goals and scaffolds that you are trying to achieve for the class. This is usually straight forward because your scaffolds build most of the lesson on their own.
Obviously this is only to achieve learning outcomes specific to the rubric. Ideally you will work with rubric descriptors and the standards that you are teaching using the standard backwards design methodology that is well known by most.
A well crafted lesson should have a form of assessment with clear goals for students to achieve. The rubric along with necessary scaffolds should address this in most cases.
If you have any comments, ideas, or questions feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to find answers to them.