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).

Monday, October 31, 2011

What's the best way to plan?

When I was working on my PhD, I learned about a planning model from the Dupont Corporation. The Task Cycle focuses on starting with the rationale (purpose) and desired result (product) before determining the process and resources needed. Think about how this would look in your classroom. Too often, we start with process (how to get there) and resources (what we use). We plan to have students read about spreadsheets (process) in chapter five of the textbook (resource). Then, we figure out what they should know at the end and how we’ll assess their success.

Think about a lesson you are planning, but this time, start with the fact that it’s important for students to understand how to create a spreadsheet because they can use it to plan a budget (purpose), and they’ll need to apply that knowledge when they get their first job (product). Now, to do that, students need to read about setting up a spreadsheet (how), but the textbook (resource) only includes a short description that provides a definition, but no instructions. So, we also ask students to use the help section of the computer spreadsheet program and show them real-life samples of finished spreadsheets.

Try it, see how it works, and let me know!

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