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).

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Supporting Learners

Do you have students who need extra support from you?  I did when I was a teacher.  It seemed that certain students just always needed that extra step.  It's important to recognize that we do need to support learners with strategies such as modeling, but we also need to teach students to learn to do it themselves.  Think of it like a bike:  training wheels, then hand on the back of the seat, then by themselves!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Teachers and Students

Do you think our students are ever overwhelmed?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

A Riddle About Rigor

From one of my recent presentations (teachers love the riddle activity):

I am present in most classrooms.
Some people think I'm only for top students.
I provide that "boost" to learning.
I take you out of your comfort zone.
What am I?


Monday, March 25, 2013

Supporting Learners with the Common Core

Did you miss this short, ten-minute podcast?  Although geared for leaders, the classroom strategies are perfect for all struggling learners.  Some of the material comes from my upcoming book, Rigor for Students with Special Needs.  More on that when I know a publication date!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Resources for the Common Core: Math

Recently, I shared a LiveBinder from NC for the ELA standards.  Today, take a look at this LiveBinder from the state of Michigan focused on the Math Common Core Standards.  Ron Williamson, co-author of my leadership books, lives in Michigan, so I'm feeling very connected to these LiveBinders!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Rigor through Riddles

You've seen me write about this before, but one of the best ways to ratchet up your rigor with vocabulary review is through riddles.  On this site, there's an adaptation of that with math riddles.  The teacher did a "Be a Math Detective" wall.  Students wrote the riddles on layered levels.  Other students could lift the flap once for a clue and twice for the solution.  A nice visual way to create riddles (but remember, you'd want to up the number of clues, going from most difficult to least difficult to add rigor).  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Common Core State Standards: ELA

I was wandering around the LiveBinders site and found this wonderful binder of resources on the Common Core ELA standards.  A big thanks to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction!  I live in North Carolina, so I'm extra proud.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Great Leaders Inspire Action

An excellent video on instructional leadership.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Excitement for Learning

How excited are your students about learning?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Vision for Rigor

Thanks to the Merrimack School District:

Rigor exists when a teacher operates from an instructional plan containing challenging activities designed to support students' continuous improvement, deepen their awareness, and build their competence and confidence. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Finding Text at Differing Levels of Complexity for the Common Core

Last week, we discussed text complexity and the Common Core State Standards.  The most frequent question I'm asked related to that is, "Where do we find text at different levels?"  One tool you can use is Google.  Google will let you search by readability.  For a short tutorial video and more information, click here.

Friday, March 1, 2013

National Association of Secondary School Principals

Today, I'm headed to Washington, DC to speak to members of the National Association of Secondary School Principals (presentation on Saturday morning at 8:45). Our topic:  High Expectations+Motivation+Engagement=Student Success.  Do you believe this is true?