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### Building Rigor into Every Lesson in Every Classroom

Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and School Leadership

August 21, 2007

District-Wide Professional Development

Johnny E. Brown, Ph.D.

Superintendent

Training Outline

- Purpose of the Training
- Desired Outcome of the Training
- Review of Bloom’s Taxonomy
- Defining Rigor and What it Looks Like
- Instructional Level Rubrics
- High Order Questioning and Responses
- Authentic Problem Solving
- Campus-Wide Implementation Activities
- District-Wide Monitoring Expectations

Purpose

The purpose of this presentation is to enlighten teachers about ways to build academic rigor into every lesson, in every classroom.

Outcomes

- Clear expectations define what students should know and be able to do.
- Higher test scores
- Improved writing skills
- Attaining the benchmarks at each grade level
- Utilizing higher ordered thinking skills

Bloom’s Taxonomy

- Benjamin Bloom created this taxonomy for categorizing levels of abstraction of questions that commonly occur in educational settings.
- Bloom identified six levels within the cognitive domain, from the simple recall or recognition of facts, as the lowest level, through increasingly more complex and abstract mental levels, to the highest order which is classified as evaluation.

Bloom’s TaxonomyKnowledge

- Skills Demonstrated:

observation and recall of information

knowledge of dates, events, places

knowledge of major ideas

mastery of subject matter

- Question Cues:list, define, tell, describe, identify, show, label, collect, examine, tabulate, quote, name, who, when, where, etc.

Comprehension

- Skills Demonstrated:

understand information

grasp meaning

translate knowledge into new context

interpret facts, compare, contrast

order, group, infer causes

predict consequences

- Question Cues:summarize, describe, interpret, contrast, predict, associate, distinguish, estimate, differentiate, discuss, extend

Application

- Skills Demonstrated:

use information

use methods, concepts, theories in new situations

solve problems using required skills or knowledge

- Questions Cues:apply, demonstrate, calculate, complete, illustrate, show, solve, examine, modify, relate, change, classify, experiment, discover

Analysis

- Skills Demonstrated:

seeing patterns

organization of parts

recognition of hidden meanings

identification of components

- Question Cues:analyze, separate, order, explain, connect, classify, arrange, divide, compare, select, explain, infer

Synthesis

- Skills Demonstrated:

use old ideas to create new ones

generalize from given facts

relate knowledge from several areas

predict, draw conclusions

- Question Cues:combine, integrate, modify, rearrange, substitute, plan, create, design, invent, what if?, compose, formulate, prepare, generalize, rewrite

Evaluation

- Skills Demonstrated:

compare and discriminate between ideas

assess value of theories, presentations

make choices based on reasoned argument

verify value of evidence

recognize subjectivity

- Question Cues:assess, decide, rank, grade, test, measure, recommend, convince, select, judge, explain, discriminate, support, conclude, compare, summarize

Academic Rigor

Activity #1 Graphing Exercise

Use the information to make a circle graph. Answer the questions below.

1. One half of the students preferred chocolate

ice cream.

2. One fourth of the students preferred vanilla

ice cream.

3. One eighth of the students preferred strawberry ice

cream.

4. One eighth of the students were undecided.

Questions

1. What percentage of the students preferred chocolate ice cream _____ ?

2. What percentage of the students preferred vanilla ice cream _____?

3. If half of the undecided students chose vanilla ice cream as their favorite, would more

prefer vanilla than chocolate? _____ ?

4. If half of the undecided students chose banana ice cream as their favorite, what would be

that fraction of students ______?

Activity Discussion

Give examples of how this lesson would look like at each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

- Knowledge
- Comprehension
- Application
- Analysis
- Synthesis
- Evaluation

Defining Rigor and What it Looks Like

- Academic rigor can be defined as the set of standards we set for our students and the expectations we have for our students and ourselves.
- Rigor is much more than assuring that the course content is of sufficient difficulty to differentiate it from K-12 level work.
- Rigor includes our basic philosophy of learning – we expect our students to demonstrate not only content mastery, but applied skills and critical thinking about the disciplines being taught.
- Rigor also means that we expect much from ourselves, our colleagues, and our institutions of learning.

Rigor in the classroom

- Develop a set of best management practices for promoting academic excellence through rigor in the classroom
- Develop strategies for establishing instructional goals for academic excellence and for documenting progress toward these goals
- Assess our current understanding of rigor in the classroom

Components of Rigor

Assists students in fulfilling predetermined outcomes and

competencies by challenging them with high expectations.

Essential components of rigor in the classroom:

- Content acquisition
- Critical thinking
- Relevance
- Integration
- Application of concepts
- Long term retention
- Responsibility

Rigor - Faculty

- Demanding
- Relevant
- Engaging
- Addressing different learning styles
- Self-challenging
- Adaptive

Campus – Wide Implementation Teacher ActivitiesCurriculum Mapping

- Curriculum maps document the topics and skills that have been planned, taught and learned, helping teachers determine interventions and next steps.
- Curriculum maps help groups of teachers compare what has been covered in other grades, revealing repetition and gaps in the curriculum across disciplines, and highlighting strengths and weaknesses in aligning curriculum with district and state standards.
- Curriculum mapping fosters and supports collaboration among teachers, and promotes more effective instruction.

Campus-Wide ImplementationTeacher Activities

- Conduct directed study (with faculty)
- Utilize the Socratic method (questioning strategy)/interactive discussion
- Know your students (contact, interaction, praise, showing interest, meeting w/students)
- Balanced diversity of methods
- Assign research (quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis, data report, and literature review)

Campus-Wide ImplementationStudent Activities

- Writing (journals, varied levels of writing, writing across the curriculum, etc.)
- Problem-solving (case studies, group activities, essay exams, etc.)
- Oral communication (debates w/expert judges, summary presentations, role playing)
- Reading/comprehension (reading and analyzing – ie. in-class discussions, quizzes, summaries, etc.)
- Collaborative group projects

Instructional Review and Depth of Understanding Rubrics

Instruction That Produces

High-Achieving Schools

Authentic Problem Solving

- When instruction is academically rigorous, students actively explore, research and solve complex problems to develop a deep understanding of core academic concepts.
- Increasing rigor does not mean more and longer homework assignments, rather, it means time and opportunity for students to develop and apply habits of mind as they navigate sophisticated and reflective learning experiences.
- Students weigh evidence, consider varying viewpoints, see connections, identify patterns, evaluate outcomes, speculate on possibilities and assess value.

Authentic Problem Solving

- Rubrics, exhibitions and portfolios are examples of authentic assessments that allow students to demonstrate what they know and can do.

Campus-Wide Implementation Activities(Disciplines for Strengthening Instruction)

- The district creates an understanding and a sense of urgency among teachers and in the community for the necessity of improving all students’ learning, and it regularly reports on progress. Data are disaggregated and are transparent to everyone.
- There is a widely shared vision of what good teaching is, which is focused on rigorous expectations, the quality of student engagement, and effective strategies for personalizing learning for all students.

Implementation

- All professional learning communities meetings are about instruction and are models of good teaching.
- There are well-defined standards and performance assessments for student work at all grade levels. Both teachers and students understand what quality work looks like, and there is consistency in standards of assessment.

Implementation

- Frequent and rigorous supervision focused on the improvement of instruction. It is done by people who know what good instruction looks like.
- Professional development is primarily on-site, intensive, collaborative, and job-embedded, and is designed and led by educators who model the best teaching and learning practice.
- Data are used diagnostically at frequent intervals by teams of teachers, schools, and districts to assess each student’s learning and to identify the most effective teaching practices. There is time built into schedules for this shared work.

Implementation

- Assess our current understanding of rigor in the classroom.
- Develop a set of best management practices for promoting academic excellence through rigor in the classrooms.
- Develop strategies for establishing institutional goals for academic excellence and for documenting progress toward these goals.

Monitor

- Measuring outcomes
- Tracking students – # of students taking test and their performance, TAKS, end-of course exams & CBA’s
- % of graduates accepted into undergraduate school
- Peer evaluation of teaching
- +/- grading system
- Daily quizzes
- Low stakes evaluation
- Relevant evaluation
- Evaluation of assigned material
- Feedback – rapid
- More Technical support

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