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).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Starting the New Year

How are you doing today?  Is this your first day back? Second? Third?  Sometimes, it's difficult to be enthused at the start of a new semester.  Monday, I had the privilege to work with a group of great teachers at Kleintzman Intermediate School in the Houston area.  We did this activity together, and it was amazing to see how energized the teachers were.  It's also great for leaders--just use teachers/school/district instead of students.  Try it for yourself!

For the rest of the school year, what is your vision for you and your students? Would you like your students to become independent learners? Would you like your students to learn at higher levels? Do you want to provide rigorous instruction and still have fun? The first step to a exciting classroom is setting your vision.  Project to  the last day of school and write a letter to a colleague or friend. Describe the second semester of the school year that just happened (remember, you are imagining that this school year has already happened). It was the best year ever....it far exceeded your expectations. What did you do? What happened with your students? How did they learn and grow and change? How did you?

You can write a letter, make a list, or draw a picture.  What is it that will make the rest of the year your best year ever?  And please share--I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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