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Upping the Academic Rigor of Your Instruction!. Dacia Toll, Co-CEO, AF National Charter Schools Conference June 20, 2012 . Whose School Is It?. Whose School Is It? It’s Our School! Not my school! Not your school! It’s our school. It’s our place. It’s our chance to win this race.

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upping the academic rigor of your instruction

Upping the Academic Rigor of Your Instruction!

Dacia Toll, Co-CEO, AF

National Charter Schools Conference

June 20, 2012

whose school is it
Whose School Is It?

Whose School Is It?

It’s Our School!

Not my school!

Not your school!

It’s our school. It’s our place.

It’s our chance to win this race.

We’re gonna work. We’re gonna care.

We’re gonna make this world more fair.

It’s up to us to see it through.

So watch and see what we can do!

warm up totally like whatever you know1
Warm Up: “Totally Like Whatever, You Know?”

A Poem by Taylor Mali

www.taylormali.com

In case you hadn't noticed, it has somehow become uncool to sound like you know what you're talking about?

Or believe strongly in what you're like saying? Invisible question marks and parenthetical (you know?)'s and (you know what I’m saying)’s have been attaching themselves to the ends of our sentences? Even when those sentences aren't, like, questions?

Declarative sentences - so-called because they used to, like, DECLARE things to be true, ya know? as opposed to other things that were, like, totally…not.They’ve been infected by this tragically cool and totally hip interrogative tone?

As if I’m saying don’t think I’m a nerd just because I've noticed this; ya know? this is just like what I’ve heard, this is word on the street.I have nothing personally invested in my own opinions, I'm just inviting you to join me on the bandwagon of my own uncertainty?

What has happened to our conviction? Where are the limbs out on which we once walked? Have they been, like, chopped down with the rest of the rain forest? Ya know?Or do we have, like, nothing to say? Has society just become so filled with these conflicting feelings of, you know, duh,

that now we've just gotten to the point where we’re just, like …totally…you know....um. . . just like whatever!

So actually our disarticulationnnnn. . . ness is just a clever sort of . . . Um…sort of…you know…uh…it’s a, it’s a thing to disguise the fact that weare the most aggressively inarticulate generation to come along since . . . you know, a long time ago!

I implore you, I entreat you, and I challenge you: To speak with conviction. To say what you believe in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it.

Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to simply QUESTION AUTHORITY.

You gotta speak with it, too.

getting to know you
Getting to Know You

Are you a …

  • Teacher
  • Principal or assistant principal
  • Someone else who coaches, develops, or trains teachers
  • None of the above – but you really care about academic rigor
getting to know you1
Getting to Know You

Do you primarily work with …

  • Elementary students (K-5)
  • Middle school students (6-8)
  • High school students (9-12)
  • I’m really crazy – my scope is K-12, baby!
please do now
Please Do Now

Let’s start with a little personal reflection …

Academic Rigor Self-assessment

getting to know you2
Getting to Know You

On your self-assessment, did you answer ….

  • Mostly “1”s
  • Mostly “2”s
  • Mostly “3”s
  • Mostly “4”s
session aims and agenda
Session Aims and Agenda
  • Session Agenda:
  • Self-Assessment, Why This Matters, Survival, and An Intro to Academic Rigor (25 min)
  • Increasing the Rigor of Our Questions & Tasks (50 min)
    • - BREAK -
  • Increasing the Rigor of Our Standards for Scholar Responses (40 min)
  • Increasing the Rigor of Our Support and Accountability for Quality Work (20 min)
  • Personal Reflection / Closing the Implementation Gap (10 min)
  • Session Aims
  • GTWBAT articulate the five Academic Rigor essential understandings
  • GTWBAT use several Academic Rigor “power tools” to up the rigor in their classrooms on three key dimensions
  • GTWBAT reflect on where to focus their own development and develop a plan to close their personal implementation gap
why this matters eu 1
Why This Matters: EU #1

EU #1: Truly preparing our scholars for success in college will only happen if our scholars are successfully doing academically rigorous work in every subject, K-12

where most of us start survival
Where Most of Us Start: Survival
  • Low-level questions & clear, simple tasks
  • Calling only on students with hands in the air
  • Focus on classroom management and compliancewith teacher directions, not rigor and volume of work
  • Lots of teacher talk
  • Day-to-day lesson planning
  • Assessments designed after instruction
the natural order of teacher development
The Natural Order of Teacher Development

Classroom Management / Culture

Core Instructional Planning

Student Engagement

Academic Rigor

the key question
The Key Question

What are the students doing?!?!

can you see them sweat eu 2
Can You See Them Sweat? EU #2

EU #2: You can only assess the rigor of instruction by looking at what the scholars are doing – how much are they sweating?

What is the VOLUME and the RIGOR of what they are being asked to do?

what is academic rigor eu 3
What is Academic Rigor? EU #3
  • EU #3: The Academic Rigor of your instruction is a combination of:
  • The rigor of the questions or tasks you are asking scholars to do
  • The rigor of your standards for scholar responses
  • The rigor of your support and accountability for top-quality work
questioning tools from lemov s taxonomy
Questioning Tools from Lemov’s Taxonomy

Stretch Itreminds us not to stop with simple, correct answers but rather to push students to answer follow-up questions that extend knowledge or test for reliability.

Ratiorefers to how much cognitive work the students do relative to how much you do as the teacher. A successful lesson pushes the cognitive work out to students as soon as they are ready.

power questions to up your ratio
Power Questions to “Up” Your Ratio
  • How Questions / Explain your Reasoning: “How did you come up with that answer?”
  • Why Questions: “Why did you choose that operation?”
  • Ask for evidence: “Where did you find support for that answer in the text?”
  • Half statement: “So the next step is to combine the sentences with a … what?”
  • What’s next?: “What do I do first? … Next?”
  • Feign ignorance: Play dumb. Make mistakes. “I am the Puppet.”
  • Test errors: Play back the tape for students (“You said …”) or make an if/then statement: “If the slope were three over four, that would mean up three, right four.”
the importance of planning eu 4
The Importance of Planning: EU #4
  • EU #4: Really upping the rigor of your instruction requires careful planning.
next step higher order tasks
Next Step: Higher-Order Tasks
  • Marzano’s Three Levels:
  • Type I: Tasks address basic details and processes that are relatively easy for students
  • Type II: Tasks address more complex ideas and/or require higher-levels of student thinking
  • Type III: Tasks address more complex ideas and/or require higher-levels of student thinking AND require students to apply this thinking in a context different than what was taught in class
higher order tasks bloom s verbs
Higher-Order Tasks: Bloom’s Verbs

Marzano’s Type II and Type III assignments come from the top 4 levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

the key to student success on higher order tasks
The Key to Student Success on Higher-Order Tasks
  • They must be higher-level questions/tasks.
  • They must require students to apply what they have learned in a new context / situation.

HOWEVER, this does not mean ….

the key to student success on higher order tasks1
The Key to Student Success on Higher-Order Tasks

EU #5: You need to set scholars up for success in performing academically rigorous tasks – you have to scaffold the learning. You need to teach/guide students through the more advanced thought process required by the higher level tasks. Then you ask them to apply these skills/concepts in a new context to assess whether they can do it on their own.

example type ii guided task
Example: Type II (Guided) Task

A bird is sitting on a wire that is suspended 9 meters above the beginning of a 200 meter moving sidewalk. The sidewalk moves from west to east with a constant velocity of 1 m/s. A nutria rat that is 1 meter long and 0.25 m tall enters the moving sidewalk the wrong way walking at a constant speed of 3 m/s relative to the earth. Starting from the instant that the rat steps onto the sidewalk, how much time must elapse before the bird releases its bowels so that the poop lands exactly on the middle of the rat. Assume that birds have control of their bowels.

example type iii independent task
Example: Type III (Independent) Task

The United Nations is seeking your assistance in a disaster relief supply drop to Darfur. They need your help in determining when to drop a box of supplies so that it falls onto a moving disaster relief truck. Since Darfur is a hostile area, the truck will be unable to make any stops and will be traveling at a constant velocity. A helicopter will be used to drop the needed supplies into the moving truck and will be hovering a fixed distance above the drop zone ….

elementary example
Elementary Example

Type II Task (Guided): Witches Convention

There were 20 witches who needed to get to the witches‘ convention in California. There were only 8 brooms, but no more than 4 could fit on a broom and no less than 2. Explain with pictures, words and/or numbers how you are going to get all the witches to the convention.

Type II Task (Independent): Ten Feet Apartment

There is an apartment building called The Ten Feet Apartment Building. The owner allows people and pets to rent apartments in the building, but each family (including pets) can only have a total of 10 feet living in its apartment. Find the different combinations of people and pets that equal 10 feet. Draw pictures and write or tell about your families.

let s try together
Let’s Try Together

Type II (Guided) Assignment: Contrast the feelings and beliefs of Character A and Character B and how these different feelings and beliefs led them to take different actions.

Type III (Independent) Assignment:

now you do this one
Now You Do This One …

Type II (Guided) Assignment: Evaluate whether this lab procedure follows the scientific method and explain why or why not.

Type III (Independent) Assignment:

what is academic rigor eu 31
What is Academic Rigor? EU #3
  • EU #3: The Academic Rigor of your instruction is a combination of:
  • The rigor of the questions or tasks you are asking scholars to do
  • The rigor of your standards for scholar responses
  • The rigor of your support and accountability for top-quality work
high standards for oral responses right is right
High Standards for Oral Responses:Right is Right

The quality of student responses is even more important than the quality of the questions! You need to make sure to keep the bar high.

Right is Right is about the difference between partially right and all the way right, between pretty good and 100%

  • Be encouraging but hold out for college prep answers
  • What are examples of encouraging responses?
format matters
Format Matters!
  • Rich, detailed responses
  • Use of appropriate vocabulary
  • Complete sentences
  • Correct grammar
  • No Like!
high standards for scholar written responses criteria for excellence exemplar responses
High Standards for Scholar Written Responses:Criteria for Excellence & Exemplar Responses
  • The rigor of your scholars’ responses will be driven by the rigor of the expectations you set for them.
  • Setting your scholars up for top-quality work has two components:
    • Criteria for Excellence
    • Exemplar scholar response
high school writing
High School Writing

Week 1 Response – Foreshadowing

additional samples
Additional Samples
  • Middle School Writing- Model response annotated
  • Math Problem-Solving
    • Visual anchor for word problems
    • Actual Response
    • Rubric for word-problem responses
partner evaluation activity
Partner Evaluation Activity
  • How does each example set a high standard for written student responses?
  • What would you change to make each example a stronger tool for enabling scholars to complete high quality written work?
what is academic rigor eu 32
What is Academic Rigor? EU #3
  • EU #3: The Academic Rigor of your instruction is a combination of:
  • The rigor of the questions or tasks you are asking scholars to do
  • The rigor of your standards for scholar responses
  • The rigor of your support and accountability for top-quality work
culture of re do and systems to support it
Culture of Re-Do – and Systems to Support It
  • Do students know that the only work you will accept is rigorous, top-quality work?
  • Strategies:
    • “Re-Do” on the spot as you circulate during independent practice
    • “Re-Do” of Exit Tickets (or other work) as additional homework
    • Intervention group for scholars who “Re-Do” work during lunch / after-school, etc.
    • Students who fail weekly assessments need to re-take until they receive a passing grade and/or they need to re-work problems they missed for homework
    • What else?
the implementation gap
The Implementation Gap

What we

know

What we

do

closing the implementation gap
Closing the Implementation Gap
  • Set clear goals for yourself and commit to a concrete next step. Examples:
      • Develop a rubric for class discussion and a rubric for follow-up written responses
      • Ask at least 6 how & why questions per class
      • Commit to having one Type II and one Type III task in your next unit
  • Focus on this goal during your PLANNING
  • Watch yourself on video
      • Write down both the questions you ask AND the student responses AND how you respond to the student responses
  • Invite a coach or peer to observe your goal in action
commitment time
Commitment Time 

What is one specific way you are going to increase the rigor of the questions/tasks you ask scholars to complete this year?

What is one specific way you are going to increase the rigor of the standards you have for scholar responses?

What is one specific way you are going to increase the rigor of your support and accountability for top-quality work?

How are you going to close your implementation gap?