Monthly Archives: May 2013

Defining Rigor and Busting Myths


This week over 70 staff completed day 2 of the  “Units of Study” workshop at the District Training Room. Participants continued their work around unit planning and the Understanding by Design backwards planning model they started a couple of weeks ago.

Part of the discussion was around designing for the level of rigor required by the standards and reflected in your assessments and learning activities. But what is rigor, exactly? During the workshop conversation around assessment, rigor includes selecting the “right” kind of tasks/assessment, and the “right” scoring of those tasks.

Those interested in reading more about the concept of rigor, here are a few resources collected by the Pennsylvania Dept of Education:

The Beginner’s Guide to Understanding Rigor, Barbara Blackburn, 2012

4 Myths About Rigor in the Classroom, Eye On Education, 2010

The Characteristics of a Rigorous Classroom, Instructional Leader, 2009

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