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Presented by Fannie L. McKenzie. Adding Rigor to Instruction. Anticipatory Set: Quick Rigor Quiz. Take 6 minutes to rate the level of rigor embedded in each of the statements on your Quick Rigor Quiz using the following: 1--------Lowest 2--------Below Adequate 3A--------Adequate

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Adding rigor to instruction

Presented by Fannie L. McKenzie

Adding Rigor to Instruction

Anticipatory set quick rigor quiz
Anticipatory Set: Quick Rigor Quiz

Take 6 minutes to rate the level of rigor embedded in each of the statements on your Quick Rigor Quiz using the following:1--------Lowest

2--------Below Adequate



Adding rigor to instruction

OBJECTIVES:Participants will be able to:

  • more clearly define rigor

  • identify rigor in the curriculum and instruction.

  • develop curriculum and activities that have rigor.

Adding rigor to instruction

Our Essential Questions

  • What is rigor?

  • How can we increase rigor in our lessons?

Adding rigor to instruction

What is RIGOR?

1) One of several variables essential for achieving high levels of learning.

2) The elements in the curriculum and/ or instruction that cause the learner to engage in complex, strategic thinking.3) It results in learners engaging in solving problems, analyzing arguments, negotiating issues, making predictions, examining assumptions & values, evaluating evidence & conclusions.

Adding rigor to instruction

Characteristics of Rigor

  • Complexity: To what extent is the curriculum organized around complex, interrelated concepts?

  • Emotional Engagement: To what extent does the curriculum arouse strong feelings?

Adding rigor to instruction

Characteristics of Rigor

  • Provocativeness: To what extent is the curriculum concerned with central problems in the discipline that challenge students' previous concepts?

  • Ambiguity: To what extent does the curriculum focus on symbols and images packed with multiple meanings?

Adding rigor to instruction


Findings From the

Silent Epidemic

  • 47% of dropouts said classes weren’t interesting.

  • 43% had missed too many days of school and couldn’t catch up.

  • 69% were not motivated to work hard.

  • 66% would have worked harder if more had been demanded of them.

Adding rigor to instruction


Recommendations from


71% recommended making school interested.

55% said there should be help for students who have trouble learning.

81% called for more “real-world” learning opportunities.

75% wanted smaller classes with more individual instruction.

Adding rigor to instruction

Rigor is Not…

Fifty math problems for homework when fewer will achieve mastery

More grammar worksheets for the student who finished the assignment early

Using a seventh grade text book with your high performing sixth grade students

Covering more material in a shorter period/ time

Cold or impersonal

For a select group of students

Inviting students to think critically using rigor all levels are significant
Inviting Students to Think Critically Using Rigor (alllevels are significant)

Rigor and higher order thinking
Rigor and Higher Order Thinking

  • Higher order thinking is also called “critical” or “strategic” thinking.

  • Higher order thinking can be described as the ability to use information to solve problems, analyze arguments, negotiate issues, or make predictions (Underbakke, Borg, & Peterson, 1993; Wenglinsky, 2002).

  • It involves examining assumptions and values, evaluating evidence, and assessing conclusions (Petress, 2004).

Fannie s rigormeter
Fannie’s RigorMeter

Level 1 A. point to in book, etc. (fact, info, process, etc.)

Level 2 A. point to.. B. use skill C. 2 or more steps

Level 3A

A. reasoning required B. some complexity C. more than one possible answer

Level 3B

A. create, judge, evaluate B. needtime to think C. requires investigation

Which has more rigor
Which has more rigor?

What are the science lab rules?


What do you think happened here?

Comparing payment plans
Comparing Payment Plans

Activity: Answer the following question. Note your plan of attack. What are you thinking? Does this require rigorous thinking?

  • A video store charges $8 to rent a video game for five days. Membership to the video store is free. A video game club charges only $3 to rent a game for five days, but membership in the club is $50 per year. Compare the costs of the two rental plans. Justify your answer.

Injecting lessons with rigor
Injecting Lessons with Rigor

Ask probing questions.




Injecting lessons with rigor1
Injecting Lessons with Rigor

  • How did the use of adjectives enhance the meaning of the short story?

  • What is the relationship between an adjective and an adverb?

  • Identify the adjectives in the paragraph.

  • What is an adjective?

Injecting the three little pigs with rigor
Injecting “The Three Little Pigs” with Rigor

Invent a new ending for the story where the wolf comes out ahead.

(Extended Thinking or Reasoning, Synthesis, Create)

Judge the homes from worst to best, according to strength, cost, and building time.

(Extended Thinking or Reasoning, Evaluation, Evaluate)

Using models, demonstrate which house stood up the best.

(Reasoning, Using Skills and Concepts, Application, Applying)

Read the story and list the type of house built by each pig.

(Recall, Knowledge, Remembering)

Let s practice using the rigormeters
Let’s practice using the rigormeters!

  • Name the planets

  • What is an ABAB rhyme scheme?

  • List the southern states.

  • What are the four basic mathematical operations?

  • What are the elements in the story?

Group practice w rg
Group Practice w/RG

  • Each group of two is to choose one of the following questions/activities to develop a question/activity that mirrors each of the remaining three levels of the rigormeters. 1. Recite the preamble to the Constitution.2. Why did the character in the play leave?3. Larve is made from what?

    4. Identify the scientific method.

    5. Measure each chemical element.


Independent practice w rm
Independent Practice w/RM

  • Using data from your discipline and the rigor meters to:

    STEP 1) develop a Level 1 question/activity.

    STEP 2) develop one question/activity for each of the remaining three levels of rigor.


  • Retake Quick Rigor Quiz

  • Discuss Key Points

  • Next Steps……

Adding rigor to instruction

Our Essential Questions:

What are your answers?

  • What is rigor?

  • How can we

    increase rigor in our lessons?

Rigormeter observation form
RigorMeter Observation Form

Q/A #1

____Level 1: point to in book, etc. (fact, info, process, etc.)

____Level 2: point to, use, & 2 or more steps

____Level 3A: reasoning, some complexity, more than one possible answer

____Level 3B: create, judge, evaluate & need time to think & requires investigation

Adding rigor to instruction

(Optional) Write the question/activity for #’s 1 – 3.



Q/A #2: ______________________________________ ___________________________________________

Q/A #3: ______________________________________ ___________________________________________