“True rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).”
Barbara Blackburn in her blog post Rigor and the Common Core State Standards makes some excellent points about rigor in school. But I want to challenge everyone to think about what true rigor looks like.
Let’s think about what true rigor is not:
- Covering the textbook from beginning to end and having students answer all the questions.
- Having a perfect bell curve of grades at the end of the grading period.
- Keeping kids hands busy with pencil, paper and worksheets-bell to bell.
- Lecturing with a PowerPoint from bell to bell.
- Allowing no student interaction.
- Using whole group instruction and asking one student to answer does not accomplish this goal.
- Implementing standards bases instruction. (the fact the teacher is teaching the standards)
What does true rigor look like?
- Having high expectations for all students. Everyone can achieve.
- Engaging student in learning.
- Emphasizing the process and the thinking models in the process.
- Allowing for high levels of collaboration. Think-pair-share models are in places. Think-write-share models are in place. Regular opportunities to reflect on learning process and what has been learning.
- Allowing opportunities to write (compose) what is being learned. Using digital spaces for composing.
- Allowing opportunities to share what is being learned (even in public spaces).
- Allowing students to use multiple ways to show what they have learned.
- Expecting every student to grow. Don’t let any student off the hook.
- Giving every student opportunities to learn and read at high levels (above and beyond)
- Modeling (the teachers) all learning and thinking process….
What is missing?