Monday, September 17, 2012

Increasing rigor in schools...

"As we continue to focus on increasing the level of rigor in our schools, it is important to first agree on what rigor is. Rigor is more than just the content of the lesson or even what we expect our students to do. Too often, we simply raise expectations without providing appropriate support for our students to succeed. 

True rigor means creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so that he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels. 

Only by creating a culture of high expectations and providing support so that students can truly succeed does one have a rigorous classroom. Supporting our students so that they can learn at high levels is central to the definition of rigor. It is essential that we craft lessons that move students toward challenging work while providing scaffolding to support them as they learn. To simply increase expectations without helping students achieve at higher levels is futile."

~ At the end of the day, who is more exhausted and tired... you or the students? Don't always work harder, work more efficiently and effectively.

~ Assigning more homework & classwork more frequently does not mean we are increasing rigor.

~ Where do a majority of your class activities fall in regard to the Depth of Knowledge wheel? Make it a priority to shift at least one activity per week to a higher level.

Doing lots of worksheets and learning from the textbook can be really hard; not hard because it's difficult or challenging, but hard because they serve no purpose and have very little relevance to actual learning.

Schools become rigorous when students are pushed not only to know information but also to apply and demonstrate their understanding of that information. Requiring students to reflect on and analyze their thinking and learning might be the most challenging task you can require of any student.