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Mapping Rigor Putting the Pieces Together. April 23, 2013. Presented by Elin Reuben, New Hanover County Schools Karma Maples, New Hanover County Schools Shelley Hollingsworth, Wake County Schools. Agenda. 9:30 – 9:35 Welcome 9:35- 9:40 Introductions 9:40 – 10:00 Background

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Mapping Rigor

Putting the Pieces Together

April 23, 2013

Presented by

Elin Reuben, New Hanover County Schools

Karma Maples, New Hanover County Schools

Shelley Hollingsworth, Wake County Schools


9:30 – 9:35 Welcome

9:35- 9:40 Introductions

9:40 – 10:00 Background

10:00 – 10:20 Introduction of DOK, RBT and rigor matrix

10:20- 10:25 Defining Rigor

10:25- 10:35 Exercise – Little Red Riding Hood

10:35- 10:50 What does Rigor look like?  

10:50 – 11:20 Rigor Review

11:20- 11:30 Group discussion

11:30- 11:50 Rigorous Assessments

11:50- 12:15 Creating assessment

12:15 – 12:25 Group discussion and sharing

12:25- 12:30 Exit survey

Intended Outcomes:
  • Define rigor
  • Understand DOK and RBT
  • Study and Use the Karen Hess’s Rigor Matrix
  • Applying rigor tool to evaluate units/lessons
  • Understand rigorous assessments
  • Collaborate and Reflect
review of previous year
Review of Previous Year
  • Evaluated where current units fit with the Common Core – participants brought units
  • Looked at misconceptions in relation to the Common Core and gifted education
  • Plugged units into Revised Bloom’s Matrix
Box of Chocolates

You have been hired as a designer to market packages of chocolate candy for Valentine’s Day. The manufacturer would like rectangu1ar boxes that do not have a top. The candy will be covered with colorful plastic wrap so the consumer can see the actual product. Use your math skills to master this task.


1. Use 1 inch graph paper (that was printed on card stock) to create a template for your box.

2. Flip the paper over and decorate the package. (The printed squares should be inside the box.)

3. Assemble the box with clear tape.

Now it is time to do the math.

Answer the foil owing questions.

1. What are the dimensions of the box? (length, width, and height)

2. What is the total surface area of the box?

3. If the material used to construct the box costs 4 cents per square inch, how much did it cost the manufacturer to make the box?

4. How many 1 inch cubes of chocolate fudge will the box hold? (volume)

5. If it cost 20 cents to make each piece of candy, how much would it cost to fill the box with chocolates?

6. What is the manufacture’s total cost of goods (box materials and candy)?

7. If the consumer’s price is the manufacture’s total cost plus 20%, what will the actual price of the candy?

8. How much profit will the manufacturer make on each box that is sold?



5.MD.3 & 4 & 5


What is rigor?

Let’s talk

How the Experts Define Cognitive Rigor…
  • Rigor is …
  • Quality of thinking, not quantity, and can occur in any grade at any subject (Bogess, 2007)
  • Deep immersion in a subject and should include real-world settings (Washor & Majkowki, 2006)
  • Thoughtful analysis with sufficient attention to accuracy and detail (Beane, 2001)
  • Helping students develop the capacity to understand content that is complex, ambiguous, provocative, and personally or emotionally challenging (Strong, Silver, & Perrini, 2001)
Developing a Cognitive Rigor Matrix

Currently, we use two different tools to describe cognitive rigor. Each addresses something different.

RBT (Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy) – What type of thinking (verbs) is needed to complete a task?

DOK (Webb’s Depth of Knowledge) – How deeply do you have to understand the content to successfully interact with it? How complex or abstract is the content?

Bloom’s Taxonomy (1956) & Bloom’s Cognitive Process Dimensions (2005)

Remember– Retrieve knowledge from long-term memory, recognize, recall, locate, identify

Understand – Construct meaning, clarify, paraphrase, represent, translate, illustrate, give examples, classify, categorize, summarize, generalize, predict

Apply – Carry out or use a procedure in a given situation; carry out or use/apply to an unfamiliar task

Analyze – Break into constituent parts, determine how parts relate

Evaluate – Make judgments based on criteria, check, detect inconsistencies/fallacies, critique

Create – Put elements together to form a coherent whole, reorganize elements into new patterns/structures.

Knowledge– Define, duplicate, label, list, name, order, recognize, relate, recall

Comprehension—Classify, describe, discuss, explain, express, identify, indicate, locate, recognize, report, review, select, translate

Application– Analyze, choose, demonstrate, dramatize, employ, illustrate, interpret, practice, write

Analysis– Analyze, appraise, explain, calculate, categorize, compare, criticize, discriminate, examine

Synthesis– Rearrange, assemble, collect, compose, create, design, develop, formulate, manage, write

Evaluation– Appraise, argue, assess, choose, compare, defend, estimate, explain, judge, predict, rate, core, select, support, value

What is DOK?

Let’s watch a video

  • Webb’s Depth-of-Knowledge Levels
  • DOK-1 – Recall & Reproduction – Recall of a fact, term, principle, concept; perform a routine procedure; locate details
  • DOK-2 – Basic Application of Skills/Concepts – Use of information; conceptual knowledge; select appropriate procedures for a given task; two or more steps with decision points along the way; routine problems; organize/ display data; interpret/use simple graphs; summarize; identify main idea; explain relationships; make predictions
  • DOK-3 – Strategic Thinking – Requires reasoning, or developing a plan or sequence of steps to approach problem; requires decision making or justification; abstract, complex or non-routine; often more than one possible answer; support solutions or judgments with text evidence
  • DOK-4 – Extended Thinking – An investigation or application to real world; requires time to research, problem solve, and process multiple conditions of the problem or task; non-routine manipulations; synthesize information across disciplines/content areas/multiple sources.
DOK is about depth & complexity –

Not difficulty!

  • The intended student learning outcome determines the DOK level. What mental process must occur?
  • While verbs may appear to point to a DOK level, it is what comes after the verb that is the best indicator of the rigor/DOK level.
  • Describethe process of photosynthesis
  • Describe how the two political parties are alike and different
  • Describethe most significant effect of WWII on the nations of Europe
Hess’s Cognitive Rigor Matrix:

Applies Webb’s DOK to RBT Cognitive Process Dimensions

Story: Little Red Riding Hood

Where do these questions fit into the matrix?

1. Retell or summarize the story in your own words.

2. What was the story’s setting?

3. What is your opinion about the intelligence of the wolf? Justify using

details/evidence from the story.

4. What color was Red’s cape?

5. Identify transitional words and phrases that helped you know the

sequence of events in the story.

6. Write a telephone conversation between Little Red Riding Hood and her

mother that explains the wolf incident.

7. What did the wolf do to trick Little Red Riding Hood?

8. What is the same and different about your grandmother’s house and the house in the story?

9. Who was the main character?

10. Are all wolves (in literature) like the wolf in this story? Support your response using evidence from other texts.

11. How did the story end?

12. Where was Little Red Riding Hood going?

13. What are some of the examples of personification used in the story?

Hess CR Matrix

Write the number for each set of questions in the correct cell in the CR Matrix


Google Site

rigor in curriculum
Rigor in Curriculum
  • WCPSS has a tool called CMAPP which serves as an instructional guide
  • Tiered activities to include all levels of students
  • Efforts to align CMAPP with Common Core Standards started this year
using dok on a daily basis
Using DOK on a Daily Basis
  • DOK charts in student notebooks
    • Students take ownership and understand their own learning process
    • Natural differentiation
  • Assignments directly using DOK
    • Creating study guides
    • Make an assessment & answer it
revised bloom s in the classroom
Revised Bloom’s in the Classroom
  • WCPSS provides posters for all classrooms
    • Reminder to students and teachers
    • Consistency of language
  • Encouraged to reference frequently to students
    • Increased self-efficacy in students
    • Helps to see growth in individuals & curriculum
Is DOK different from Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy?

Depth of Knowledge (DOK) is a scale of cognitive demand. The Depth of Knowledge is NOT determined by the verb, but the context in which the verb is used and the depth of thinking required. See example below:

DOK 3-Describe a model that you might use to represent the relationships that exist within the rock cycle. (Requires deep understanding of rock cycle and a determination of how best to represent it)

DOK 2-Describe the difference between metamorphic and igneous rocks. (Requires cognitive processing to determine the differences in the two rock types)

DOK 1-Describe three characteristics of metamorphic rocks. (Simple recall)

Same verb—used at all three DOK levels

Focus of DOK

DOK requires looking at the assessment item/standard in order to determine the level.

DOK is about the item/standard and not the students’ ability.

The context of the assessment item/standard must be considered to determine the DOK-not just a look at what verb was chosen

rigorous assessments
Rigorous Assessments
  • Days of definition tests and T/F are OVER!
  • Use DOK/RB to create questions: classroom and standardized
  • Better matches differentiation & rigor in curriculum
  • MSL/EOG Training – Major Shift in Thinking!
  • Are all my “Good Questions” Garbage??!!
  • Question Makeovers
short list of do s don ts for stems
Short List of Do’s & Don’ts for Stems
  • Stems should:
    • Be reasonably short and contain no extra info
    • Ask about only one objective
    • Not contain the word “not”
    • Avoid “of the following”
    • Avoid biased topics, slang words, etc.
short list of do s don ts for foils
Short List of Do’s & Don’ts for Foils
  • Foils should:
    • Avoid “none/all of the above”
      • “a & c only”
      • etc.
    • Have four plausible answers
    • Have answers nearly the same length
    • Avoid “crazy” answers or distracters
sample eog question
Sample EOG Question

How would smoking tobacco most likely have a negative impact on the ability of an individual to succeed at physical activities?

  • It interferes with balance & coordination
  • It decreases the ability to make decisions rapidly
  • It decreases stamina and cardiovascular efficiency
  • It decreases the speed & power of muscle contractions.
old question
Old Question

What is a physical change?

  • A change that produces a new substance
  • A change that does not produce a new substance
  • A change where atoms are rearranged
  • None of the above
better more rigorous or not
Better? More rigorous? Or not?

A teacher does a demonstration for her class with a piece of notebook paper. Using a balance, she discovers that the mass of the paper is 20 g. She then takes the piece of paper and cuts it into several small pieces. The cumulative mass of the small pieces is 20 g. What have the students observed?

  • a chemical change involving change of shape and size of


B. a chemical change involving change of mass

C. a physical change involving change of shape and size of


D. a physical change involving change of mass

Is this a rigorous question?

A paleontologist is giving a presentation about her research that theropod dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex walked more upright than bent over. She has a photo from her recent field research of a theropod track. How do you think she plans to use the photograph and diagram with Theropod A and Theropod B to support her theory?

contact information
Contact Information

Shelley Hollingsworth

Heritage Middle School


[email protected]

Karma Maples

Codington Elementary School

910-790-2236 ext. 250

[email protected]

Elin Reuben

Roland-Grise Middle School

910.350.2136 ext. 718

[email protected]