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).

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Are you using a strategy to increase rigor in the classroom?

I'm working on my new book, Rigor in Your Classroom:  A Toolkit for Teachers, and I'm looking for ideas from teachers to share!  I'm particularly looking for strategies for formative assessment, and ways you are using technology to increase rigor.  But, of course, any and all ideas are welcome!  You can use this form to contact me.  Thank you!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Apps for the Common Core

Here's a great blog post listing free apps to use to meet the Common Core State Standards!

Use Script Writing

The Common Core is filled with writing, speaking and listening standards that can be incorporated into learning experiences that provide students with opportunities to create. Use of a script writing as an essential instructional planning piece will provide opportunities to incorporate the CCSS into the learning experiences. Students can usePopplet  to freely generate ideas, then organize them before creating. Use the Common Core app, by Mastery Connect, for easy access to the standards when needed.
For more, click here.  
Picture by thesushiking

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Making a Difference

Yesterday while I was working with Mississippi ASCD (wonderful folks), we discussed decision-making.  I keep a sign on my wall:

How does _________ positively impact students?  

What would it mean if we made all decisions through that lens?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rigor for Students with Special Needs

My newest book, Rigor for Students with Special Needs is out!  The early reviews note  how appropriate it is for classroom teachers who have students with learning disabilities in their classes.  For an excerpt or to order a copy, click here.  

This practical, easy-to-read guide explains how to raise the rigor for students with special needs so they can achieve higher levels of learning.

Learn how to
  • set clear goals and expectations
  • establish a climate of success
  • scaffold and model lessons
  • use graphic organizers and "think-alouds"
  • apply modifications and accommodations
  • use rigorous questioning strategies
  • differentiate instruction
  • increase family involvement

Monday, June 3, 2013

As the School Year Winds Down

For many of you, this is the last week of school.  My son finishes on Friday, so our summer begins then.  As he begins a break, I begin to travel more.  In June, I'll be in Ohio, Texas (twice), Chicago, Mississippi, and North Carolina.  I love summer, because I'm able to work with so many teachers and leaders.  My newest book, Rigor for Students with Special Needs is out, and I'm working away on a Rigor Toolkit for Teachers.  Unfortunately, with my travel and writing schedule, I won't be blogging regularly until the end of August.

I will periodically update you as I can, but I'll be taking a bit of a break from regular blogging.  For those of you on traditional schedules, I hope you are able to take some time to relax and recharge before the new year starts (although I'm aware many of you have second jobs like I did when I was a teacher).  For those of you who teach summer school or at year-round schools, continue to make a difference with students--I know you will.  Barbara