Rigor occurs when students can demonstrate mastery of a standard with autonomy. Consider the level of cognition that you want students to reach in each activity and the instructional strategies that will make that happen. Once you’ve done this, you can develop learning goals and scales that match assessment to the required type of thinking. […]
By Scott Sterling We often consider cognitively complex tasks as ideal classroom activities—the culmination of rigor. It’s a very specific process; for students to find success, instruction must be precise and deliberate. Luckily, one of the latest books in the Essentials for Achieving Rigor series, Engaging in Cognitively Complex Tasks, goes into detail about how […]
By Scott Sterling Just like a computer or office, the brain needs to organize information in a way that makes it easily accessible while enabling further growth. For example, if you can’t classify and find information related to the solar system, how are you supposed to understand astrophysics? Students need to move from rote memorization […]
By Scott Sterling; adapted from Gwendolyn Bryant’s concurrent session at Building Expertise 2014, “Decision Making for CCSS: A Cognitive Process” Human beings make hundreds—perhaps thousands—of decisions in a day, from the mundane to the life changing. So it’s easy to think that decision making occurs naturally in all of your lessons and you really don’t […]
By Scott Sterling Last month, we discussed conative skills. You won’t find conative skills on many pacing guides or curricula, but students need to master them. Our list from that post included: Interpreting situations Cultivating a growth mindset Developing resiliency Avoiding negative thinking Taking various perspectives on an issue Interacting responsibly with other people Handling […]
By Scott Sterling A few weeks ago, we discussed planning a rigorous unit. Of course, a unit is made up of individual lessons. Those lessons need to be focused on the goal of college and career readiness, as dictated by your state standards. However, on a daily basis, what does college and career readiness look […]
By Scott Sterling We’ve already talked about the importance of collaboration among teachers and the components that make for an effective professional learning community (PLC). Everyone knows you need to work with fellow teachers for maximum student achievement. The problem, as most teachers and administrators report, is a lack of time. A teacher’s planning periods […]
By Scott Sterling The story of Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player to ever put on sneakers, being cut from his high school basketball team has reached the stuff of legend (a legend that’s true, but legend nonetheless). It’s a story of perseverance—and practice. The story has implications for any skill that requires effort toward […]
by Scott Sterling When you look at your curriculum at the beginning of the year, some units just naturally stick out. It might be because every year, teaching place value is an uphill slog—or that the poetry unit always turns out to be a highlight. Some lessons just belong together. We operate in units because […]
by Scott Sterling The “greats” do it without even thinking. Those who are the most organized write it into their lesson plans. The rest of us have good days and bad days with it, and that’s OK. I’m talking about formative assessment, the great equalizer in educational practice—namely because it forces you not to equalize […]
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