I'm often asked, "What does rigor look like in the classroom?" Here are my five keys:
1. There is a focus on student progress, as well as achievement. Each small step toward higher levels of rigor is celebrated.
2. Adult language is positive and encouraging. Too often, we shut students down with our language (You've got to be kidding me! You need help again?)
3. High expectations are evidenced by higher order thinking questions, but they are also exemplified by expecting high level student responses. For example, if a student responds to a higher order question with a one-word response, the teacher probes and asks "Why?" or "How did you come up with that answer?" or "Why do you think that is?"
4. Appropriate support, such as modeling, chunking, use of graphic organizers, etc. is used to support student learning.
5. Rather than students responding one at a time, each student is truly participating in learning. Each student demonstrates their understanding throughout the lesson, either through pair-shares, clickers, or some other form of formative assessment. In other words, all students are engaged throughout the lesson.
I hope these help create a better understanding of what a classroom environment related to rigor looks like! Enjoy your day.