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

   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

   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?
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
       What are the implications for effective questioning in the classroom?

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
          What is relationship between Accountable Talk moves and the rigor of a
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.

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.

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.


   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

   What strategies increase rigor? What decreases rigor?

To top