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, May 7, 2014

Characteristics of a Rigorous Classroom

Last week, I was asked what I look for in a rigorous classroom.  Although there are a variety of things I look for, a couple of the major ones are questioning and structure of assignments/assessments.  With questioning, I pay attention to what the teacher asks (higher order questions of course) but also how the students answer.  Too often I see teachers asking higher order questions yet accepting lower level responses from students.  That's not rigorous.

Next, I look at the assessments, assignments, or tasks the teacher uses.  Where do they rank on Bloom's Taxonomy or Webb's Depth of Knowledge?  Are they complex or simple?  Do they require one step to complete, or are they multi-step?  Are students required to explain their thinking?  

Take a minute today to consider your own questioning and assessments.  How rigorous are they?

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