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).

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's All About MEE-Motivation, Engagement, and Expectations

Did you attend today's webinar?  I had a great time, and it was awesome to see the comments teachers and leaders contributed to the discussion.  Our main topic: three components to help students learn more effectively are motivation, engagement, expectations. Remember, you can connect with me through my e-newsletter (link to the right), Twitter (BarbBlackburn, #edrigor) or my website www.barbarablackburnonline.com.  Be sure to check out all the free resources on the site.

I promised a couple of follow-up pieces, which can be used whether you attending the webinar or not.  This blog post discusses motivation and ties it to rigor (high expectations)

Student motivation=value+success.
For success, it's important to scaffold learning.  Here's information and an activity that is perfect!
A great way to help students see the value of learning is through a scavenger hunt.  Here's an example from Chad Maguire (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) for a math classroom:

Sample Scavenger Hunt Items
n Dimensions in inches (length and width) of the newspaper n An advertisement for 20% off
n An article from the sports page with some kind of statistic n A fraction printed in a newspaper or magazine
n A food nutrition label that shows 2 grams of protein  
n Picture of a dozen of something
n Title of a song with a number in it (and artist)
n Book with a number in the title (and author)
n Number of points a football team has if they score a touchdown, an extra point, a safety, and a field goal
n Sum of all the ages of the members of your immediate family
n The Roman numeral for 5,000
n Three nursery rhymes with the number 3 in the title
n The three-digit number in the Dewey decimal system for individual
n Number of squares on a standard checkerboard
n Number of fluid ounces in a gallon of milk
n Picture of a person wearing a shirt with a number on it
n Number of miles from your house to the school
n A coupon for 25% off
n A picture of an automobile license plate with the number 5 on it  
n A picture of a clock showing half-past the hour
n Picture of a speed limit sign with the number 5 on it.
n The number of pages in your math textbook. Count all pages! 

I'd probably add or substitute some internet or mobile learning devices application, but this gives you a starting point. 

We also discussed active engagement of learners.  We simply didn't have time to discuss this as deeply as I would have liked, so let me give you two more resources for more information.  Eye on Education offers free excerpts from my booksClassroom Instruction A to Z includes a full chapter on student engagement, including more examples!

Finally, high expectations for students.  Here are three blog posts on that very subject!
High Expectations for EACH or ALL 
High Expectations Part Two
High Expectations
Helping Students Develop High Expectations 

Thanks again to everyone who attended!  Have a fabulous day, knowing you are making a difference--even if you don't feel like it.

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