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Avoiding the RiP Van Winkle Syndrome!!!. Recognizing and Creating Rigorous Lessons that Challenge ALL Students Making Learning Relevant Mary Stout ELA Program Manager Georgia Department of Education. Rip Van Winkle Syndrome:.

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avoiding the rip van winkle syndrome

Avoiding the RiP Van Winkle Syndrome!!!

Recognizing and Creating Rigorous Lessons that Challenge ALL Students

Making Learning Relevant

Mary Stout

ELA Program Manager

Georgia Department of Education

rip van winkle syndrome
Rip Van Winkle Syndrome:

“If Rip Van Winkle were to wake up today, the place he would feel most comfortable would be the American high school.”

Willard Daggert, President of the International Center for Leadership in Education

Graduation Counts

Georgia Department of Education

four rs plus one more
Four Rs plus one more:
  • Rigor
  • Relevance
  • Relationships
  • Readiness
what characterizes rigor in a standards based classroom
What characterizes RIGOR in a standards-based classroom?
  • Results in Desirable Discomfort, leading to continued questioning on the part of Each student
  • Requires content to be deeply considered
  • Differentiates for individuals and flexible, Fluid groups
  • Reflects high expectations
rigor cont
Rigor, cont.
  • Allows for and encourages varying methods of solution or pathways to discovery
  • Teaches to each student’s “zone of proximal development”

Source: Graduation Counts, Georgia Department of Education

what characterizes relevance in a standards based classroom
What characterizes relevance in a standards-based classroom?
  • Leads to the creation of ideas or products that are useful in real-world problem solving
  • Differentiates in order to reflect individual student interests, including career interests
  • Emphasizes inter-disciplinary connection
  • Aligns with articulated workplace competencies
relevance cont
Relevance, cont.
  • Leads to authentic assessments
  • Reveals real-world problems and their potential solutions
crucial points to ponder
Crucial Points to Ponder
  • Too many divides in what students are experiencing
  • The plight of minority students
  • Rigor—the intellectual demands of assignments
  • Relevance—the real-world applicability and students’ involvement in shaping their own learning experiences
what is your answer
What is your answer?
  • Of rigor and relevance, which do you consider the most important and why?
  • Are rigor and relevance incompatible? Why or why not?
  • How many of your high school students face rigorous assignments and how often on a weekly basis? Explain.
instructional rigor and relevance
Instructional Rigor and Relevance

Rigor: Assignments ask students to…

Relevance: Assignments ask students to…

  • Move beyond the reproduction of information.
  • Demonstrate conceptual understanding of important content.
  • Organize, interpret, evaluate, and synthesize information.
  • Communicate clearly and well.
  • Revise work based on informative feedback.
  • Address questions or problems with real world application.
  • Make choices on what they will study and how they will study it.
  • Take on plausible writing roles and submit their work to real audiences.
  • Source: The American Institutes for Research, Evaluation of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (Rigor, Relevance, and Results,
activity 1 rating an assignment
Activity 1: Rating an Assignment

Step 1: Study the points that indicate an assignment is rigorous.

Step 2: Study the points that indicate an assignment is relevant.

Step 3: Read the assignment

Step 4: Rate the assignment in both categories. Follow the rating system

Step 5: Discuss your rating with the group.

guess which level
Guess Which Level?
  • Receive 4 papers from 4 different grade levels.
  • Read the papers and determine which grade level.
  • After rating your paper, complete chart.
where are the rigor and the depth needed to ensure your students a progressive journey
Where are the rigor and the depth needed to ensure your students a progressive journey?

How does your 9th grade writing differ from your 10th grade writing? 11th from 12th? Most importantly, high school writing from middle school writing?

How do you make sure that all students are given work that is not “an abundance of redundancy”?

the need for growth
The Need for Growth:
  • The ladder approach to standards
  • The “must” to know what came before, what is presently being emphasized, and what comes after
  • The standards provide a “skeleton” only
Examination of vertically aligned tasks which definitely demonstrate RIGOR. Review the cognitive levels.
implementing rigor

1. Teach Georgia Performance Standards.

2. Design assignments that require active “thinking”; activities may include annotating, questioning, anticipating, predicting, imaging, connecting, purposing, organizing, revising, inferring, analyzing, integrating, evaluating, problem-solving, researching.

3. Use key words that require higher-order thinking skills such as design, rank, compare, support, justify, evaluate, defend.

implementing rigor17

4. Provide students with opportunities to synthesize information from several sources and to make open-ended responses.

5. Use primary documents and DBQ assignments.

6. Assign challenging texts.

7. Make assignments that require synthesis of sources.

8. Assign readings about math and science concepts.

9. Ask philosophical/open-ended questions.

10. Extend assignments beyond the textbook.

11. Create professional learning communities.

implementing rigor18

12. Give students a chance to use active knowledge from a variety of sources; prior knowledge, other disciplines, cultures experiences.

13. In synthesizing knowledge, student are also learning to integrate, predict, develop concepts, reflect, and create original ideas.

implementing rigor19

14.“Students study and explore ideas from multiple perspectives and build an understanding of their interconnectedness while also building an understanding of core academic concepts.”

15.When concepts and ideas from different courses are brought into meaningful association, students draw their own conclusions and take ownership of knowledge that motivates them to learn. Cross-curricular integration assumes a holistic, real-world approach to learning.


“In fact, a study by the U.S. Department of Education found that the rigor or high school course work is more important than parent education level, family income, or race/ethnicity in predicting whether a student will earn a post secondary credential.”Source: College Board 1999, Graduation Counts, Georgia Department of Education.

definition of all
Definition of “ALL”:
  • ALL students graduating and ALL students post secondary or work force ready
  • Getting students ready for (the next level) instead of getting students our (of the current level)
georgia department of education ela division mary stout ela program manager 404 463 1933

Georgia Department of EducationELA DivisionMary StoutELA Program Manager404-463-1933

Leeann Cornett, ELA Program Specialist, lcornett@doe.k12.ga.us

Jeffrey Dillard, ELA Program Specialist, jdillard@doe.k12.ga.us

Kimberly Jeffcoat, TOA, kjeffcoat@doe.k12.ga.us