Rigor in the Classroom

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Transcript Rigor in the Classroom

Recognizing and Supporting Rigor in the Classroom

Renee’ Yates [email protected]



Targets… I can…

Recognize and experience rigor in a math classroom - do a little math Ask different questions when visiting classrooms Support the shift in changing perception of rigor 2

What is Rigor?


A preparation of the seeds of cacao, roasted, husked, and ground, often sweetened and flavored, as with vanilla.


Strictness, severity, harshness, hardship 3

Experience – Ask yourself • What did it look, feel, sound like?

• What was I doing?

• What did others do (if anything) to create that experience for me?


Cats and Kittens

N-Q Reason quantitatively and use units to solve problems F-LE – Construct and compare linear, quadratics, and exponential models and solve problems.


Have you ever had this conversation?


Interpreting Distance-Time Graphs… • • 2/3 into a unit of study Students should have had experience with… 8.F Use functions to model relationships between quantities 7



Matching Cards • Take turns at matching pairs of cards. You may want to take a graph and find a story that matches it. Alternatively, you may prefer to take a story and find a graph that matches it.

• Each time you do this, explain your thinking clearly and carefully. If you think there is no suitable card that matches, write one of your own. • Place your cards side by side on your large sheet of paper, not on top of one another, so that everyone can see them.

• Write your reasons for the match on the cards or the poster just as we did with the example in class. Give explanations for each line segment.

• Make sure you leave plenty of space around the cards as, eventually, you will be adding another card to each matched pair.


Steps to Concept Focused Lesson… • • • • • Students work solo on pre-assessment task.

Teacher takes up work and provides class feedback and intentional grouping of students.

Students work in collaborative groups on a different but related task – usually a card sort type.

Teacher facilitates groups, takes notes, asks questions to whole class or groups (engineers effective discussion) Students revisit original task to revise. 11

A visit to a mathematics classroom: What do you see when you go into the mathematics classrooms in your building or district?

What (and whom) do you hear when you go into the mathematics classrooms in your building or district?


• • • A Common Definition Of “Rigor” •

Rigor is not Harder

Rigor is Cognitively demanding Failing students

Opportunities for deeper connections More work

Application of skills, Student processes responsibility (their

Student responsibility fault if they don’t (they have understanding get it, they should of where they are in work harder) relation to target and know how to get help to get there)


What Research Says About Rigor (TIMMS Video Study, 1993) •

Most time in US math classes is spent practicing mathematical procedures and reteaching

The key feature of success is that students engage in “productive struggle” with mathematics concepts and procedures.


Teachers at Their Best 15

CHETL Section 3


• • •

Framework for Teaching

Domain 1 – Planning and Preparation

1C Setting Instructional Outcomes Domain 2- Classroom Environment Domain 3- Instruction


• • • • • • • They require students to apply Questions to ask about the classroom: mathematics classroom asking Who is doing most of the talking?

Who is working the problems?

What kinds of questions are being asked?

Higher order

It depends!

ask a question?

require higher level cognitive engagement.

They try out different ideas.


Let’s Observe!


Let’s observe another class.


My brain hurts!


Write a new scenario!


How do we change rigor in our schools?


How do you support the change?

Shift focus to student actions/responses.

Isolation must be removed. Direct, in classroom support works best for initiating, honing, and adapting new instructional strategies.

Training must be done with teachers rather than to teachers, and this takes a team.


Change Paradigms

Everybody on the bus!

A few key people in the car!


The Leader’s Job 1. Who gets in the car?

2. In what order?

3. To what destination?

Good news: Others can drive as well, but the leader has to know the destination and provide clear directions.


So, who gets in the car first?

Initiators (3-10%)

Earlier Adopters (15%)

Later Adopters (60-82%)

Resisters (15%)


Teachers working together with their leader not only have support to change but also gain a high level of commitment to execute change.

Collegiality is a break from the isolation of teachers working and learning on their own.

Collegiality is a professional interaction among teachers and leaders with the purpose of learning from each other to develop expertise together.


• • • • • • What’s happening in the car?

Planning lessons/assessments collaboratively.

Watching and discussing each others’ classroom lessons.

Learning about the content standards and standards for practice together.

Planning and trying out strategies, questions, etc. and discussing the results.

Developing, using, and refining instruments to assess their own teaching and their students’ learning.

Analyzing data. (not just state assessment data!) 29

What does this mean for you?

• •

You must be in classrooms. You can’t lead classroom change if you don’t see, know, or take part in what is going on there!

You need a leadership team. Team means learning together and shared leadership.



Focus on student action and learning that results from teacher action.


Where is everybody?

Initiators Early Adopters Late Adopters Resisters 32

What do we do with the resistors?


Rational Emotional 34

The Rider • •

Weaknesses Strengths

Can easily be overpowered • by the elephant • Ability to think long-term Ability to plan Tends to overanalyze or overthink things • Ability to think beyond the moment The Elephant • •


Lazy and skittish Looking for a quick payoff


• • Fierce emotion/dedication Energy to get things done 35

How do we make a shift to rigor into mathematics classrooms K-12?


So, if you want to change behavior: • • • Direct the rider. What looks like resistance is often a lack of clarity. So provide crystal clear directions.

Motivate the Elephant. What looks like laziness is often exhaustion. The rider can’t get his way by force for very long. Engage people’s emotional side.

Shape the Path. What looks like a people problem is often a situation problem.


Many educators work within the framework of what is expected. It is safe and it is what people are used to doing. Unfortunately, this is not where needed change in education will come from. A new conception of teaching and learning cannot be developed within this framework. The teaching gap will persist. The bridge to improving teaching methods will crack.

Closing the Teaching Gap Donald B. Bartalo, 2012 38

Revisit Rigor Conversation 39

Targets… I can…

Recognize and experience rigor in classrooms - do a little math Ask different questions when visiting classrooms Support the shift in changing perception of rigor 40

Contact Me Renee’ Yates, NBCT Kentucky Department of Education [email protected]



References Switch by Chip Heath & Dan Heath Teaching Matters Most by Thomas M. McCann, Alan C. Jones, Gail A. Aronoff Closing the Teaching Gap- Coaching for Instructional Leaders by Donald B. Bartalo Formative Assessment Lessons http://map.mathshell.org/materials/lessons.php