WHAT IS RIGOR? Session One Intended Learning: To develop a common understanding of what is rigorous teaching and learning Preparation for this PLC session: Bring your course standards Provide the sheet on Academic Rigor in a Thinking Curriculum Quick-Write: What is rigor in your content area? IFL states that you have to have all 3 indicators present to truly have students engaged in rigorous work. One cannot divorce content and thinking. Knowledge and thinking are intimately joined. This implies a curriculum organized around major concepts that students are expected to know deeply. Teaching must engage students in active reasoning about these concepts. In every content are, in every grade level, instruction and learning must include commitment to a knowledge core, high thinking demand and active use of knowledge. Tasks: 1. Begin by studying the indicators of the Principle of Learning, Academic Rigor in a Thinking Curriculum and the grade level Standards. 2. What does Commitment to a Knowledge Core mean to you? The knowledge core is the key content you want all students to know and learn. Look at what is indicated on the district website under your content maps and review the standards in your content area. Is there an articulation of the standards in your content area from 6-8? 9-12? What is ESSENTIAL? 3. What are the key essential understandings that you want all students to learn in your content area? You can’t teach all the standards so what are key, essential learnings and what items are tested items? 4. What are the habits of thinking you use that get students to engage in rigorous work in your content area? Look at the indicators under High Thinking Demand as you identify your content specific habits of thinking. 5. Lastly, look at the indicators under Active Use of Knowledge. How have you invited students to actively engage in the content you’re teaching? SESSION TWO Intended Learning: To understand connections between research, Accountable Talk and rigorous work in your content area Explore how classroom talk can help our students learn our content Preparation: Read the article, “Classroom Talk for Rigorous Reading Comprehension Instruction” by Wolf, Crosson and Resnick Choose quotes and take notes to help you answer the following questions: What characteristics of teachers’ questions that engage students in high-level thinking? What are the implications for effective questioning in the classroom? Task: In your PLC share your learning from the article and explain why you marked certain points in the article. Share how this applies to your classroom. As a PLC answer the following questions: How do discussion types influence rigorous instruction and what are the limitations? What is relationship between Accountable Talk moves and the rigor of a lesson? SESSION THREE Intended Learning: To deepen our understanding of what is rigorous teaching and learning and how the design of a lesson can set up a structure for rigor Our Purpose: To engage as adult learners to develop a common understanding of what is rigorous teaching and learning. Learners will reflect upon content-based lessons to determine if the lesson design is clearly articulated and coherent and whether the components of academic rigor are present. Quick-Write: How important is a student’s right to rigor in all content areas? Preparation: Each teacher brings in a lesson to share with PLC members. The purpose is to look at lesson design to see if the three components of academic rigor are present and discuss how the lesson might have been made still more rigorous. SESSION FOUR Intended Learning: To understand how the Design Principles provide access for students to rigorous thinking and assist students in learning . Discuss the Disciplinary Literacy Lesson Design principles Assess whether your lesson follows a disciplinary design that invites effort and supports rigor. QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER What essential knowledge in our discipline requires memorization or following procedures? What are the elements of a high-level cognitive task in our discipline? What model do we use to teach essential concepts in our discipline? What do we agree that we should all use to teach a particular concept or process? What strategies increase rigor? What decreases rigor?
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