Category: Common Core

Tasks that Expand a Student’s Decision-Making Skills

By Scott Sterling Providing students autonomy in learning tasks is a key component of rigor. Tasks are simply less rigorous when students receive more guidance and less productive struggle. There are many ways to generate that autonomy, but key among them is providing tasks in which students have to choose

Cooperative Learning’s Role in Rigor

By Scott Sterling Not surprisingly, when the 21st century college and career readiness standards were unveiled, they all called for increased rigor in the classroom. One of the ways they suggested to accomplish that goal, as well as to prepare students for the stresses of the 21st century economy, was

Infusing Homework with Declarative Knowledge

By Scott Sterling Too often, homework takes the form of simply practicing knowledge and skills students learned in class. Although that can be an important facet of the learning process, depending on the lesson, it can be much more beneficial to infuse exercises that ask students to work with what

Helping Students Effectively Interact with New Knowledge: Dramatic Instruction

By Scott Sterling Key in the Marzano Framework’s efforts toward rigor is the concept that students not only need to be taught new knowledge, but how to interact with it. How can they use it? Why is this important? How do we expand on these new ideas? These are all

How to Effectively Think-Pair-Share

By Scott Sterling Among formative assessment strategies, Think-Pair-Share might be one of the most popular and effective. When done right, it’s a mix of reflection, collaboration, and whole-group sharing. Instead of having a haphazard class discussion period that may or may not accomplish the objectives, Think-Pair-Share lends some organization to

The Grit Conundrum

By Scott Sterling Grit has become a buzzword in the education community. It falls in with the conative skills that we discuss occasionally—skills that are not academic by nature, but important in the cognitive and academic growth of a student. To be sure, perseverance is important. An effective teacher’s classroom

Book Preview: Creating & Using Learning Targets & Performance Scales

The latest book in Learning Sciences’ Essentials for Achieving Rigor series is Creating & Using Learning Targets & Performance Scales: How Teachers Make Better Instructional Decisions by Carla Moore, Libby H. Garst, Dr. Robert J. Marzano, Elizabeth Kennedy, and Deana Senn. Success in the Marzano framework hinges a lot on

Monitoring for Learning

By Scott Sterling Formative assessment can be very hit-or-miss. It can be as simple as a show of hands or as complicated as a written assessment. However, the goal is always the same: finding out whether students are “getting it.” Like most things in education, there is a process for

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Twitter for Teachers: Using Social Media in Education

By Scott Sterling In education, Twitter has become as indispensable a tool as we have. Its implications are wide-ranging. It can help: Teachers bring the outside world into the classroom Students practice important writing skills Educators from all over the world connect with each other That’s a lot of tasks

Socratic Seminars: The Big Leagues of Student Questioning

By Scott Sterling One of the tenets of the Common Core and its related next generation standards is the idea that students should be able to question just as skillfully as they can answer. Nothing should be out of bounds. They should be able to rigorously question everyone in the