Monday, August 5, 2013

Inside the Box of Rigor & Relevance

"Out of the box thinking" got me to thinking of the boxes within the Rigor & Relevance framework (seen below). 
If you look at the framework above you easily see each of the 4 individual boxes.  However, if you look more closely at the framework you will see the 4 boxes actually make up one big box.  Without boxes A and/or B there is no foundation to support the overall box.  With boxes A and B in place, the box is still incomplete without boxes C and D.

Lesson planning without regard to these boxes will likely lead students so far outside the box that it does not support the learning objectives.  We've seen this slippery slope all too often...a well intended "fun" web quest, poster project, or any number of 1:1 activities can easily stray from the intended learning outcomes. Therefore, it is imperative we teach within the box.

Here are just a few tips for...

Lesson Planning Inside the Box of Rigor/Relevance

1) Weed out the essential from non-essential learning objectives

2) Define and Scaffold levels of student understanding regarding each essential objective  Unwrap each essential objective using the Bloom's Taxonomy verb list.  Below are a two links you may find useful to have on hand:

2) Embed multiple levels (multiple boxes of the R&R framework) within each lesson (and all levels/boxes within a unit) in order to differentiate for levels of readiness.

  • Keep your fingers on the pulse of student understanding by frequently evaluating formative assessments (click here for implementing Reality Checks)

3) Opportunities for collaborative AND independent learning must occur within all levels/boxes.

  • Consider tracking types of student grouping that you embed within your lessons (Whole group, Pairs, Small Group, Individual) so to ensure you vary grouping for each level

For more ways to think inside the box check out the website for the International Center for Leadership in Education by clicking HERE as it provides great detail regarding the Rigor/Relevance framework.