Antoinette and I work in a district that is offering many professional development opportunities to prepare us for the upcoming standards.
This week we are attending a district sponsored Summer Academy. (Antoinette mentioned it earlier this week.)
Teachers sign up for classes, and I couldn't resist signing up for a class on Rigor and Relevance.
It seems to be a new "buzz word."
Our presenters were part of the International Center for Leadership in Education.
Many of the resources will be linked from their website.
Here is the Framework.
The presenter spent time talking about what rigor is and what rigor isn't:
-planning for thinking
-back to basics
-more or harder worksheets
-about high-order thinking
The presenter focused on the idea that you need each quadrant to be used in instruction.
You can introduce content by posing a Quad D (real world/ complex) question, and the student's can figure out what Quad A (facts) they need to know.
He said in all his years, he had never seen a lesson that would be stuck in a certain quadrant.
(Don't just live in Quad A or Quad D!)
Focus on applying skills in real world types of situations (Quad B & Quad C).
Speaking of real world, when is the last time you finished reading a book or watching a story on the news and did a worksheet to show what you comprehended?
That's right, NEVER!
So, if this is what our kids are doing most of the time, is that helping them prepare for the future?
What are some topics that kids find interesting:
-Cell phones (The presenter mentioned in all his time in classrooms around the US K-12, this topic was universal.)
-Entertainment (movies/music/video games)
Does this have to be all you talk about?
No, but sometimes including it can't hurt!
From the teacher perspective:
Consider building in tasks that encourage character virtues (honesty, responsibility) and career skills (technology, ethics).
Though you may want to work for the present, think about the future and how this may be presented.
This is also a great document the presenter used info from.
What have you learned about Rigor and Relevance?