Just last week I was working with a group of lead teachers on how to plan rigorous lessons. We started by learning what rigor is and how to move students to a place where they can think for themselves.
At the end of the session for day 1, the principal gave me a copy of her state standards (her state does not use the Common Core), their curriculum guide, and the lesson planning template they used at their school.
Her question? How does your rigor blueprint work with these?
Now, whenever you learn a new framework, blueprint, or strategy, the danger is that as soon as you master that methodology, someone will come along with a new set of standards or a new unit planning format, or a new philosophy of planning that will render your framework, blueprint, or strategy completely irrelevant.
Is there any wonder so many teachers spin their wheels, are totally frustrated, and are not seeing real results in their students’ performance over time?
I used to worry about that with the rigor blueprint. But, after applying it for over 5 years, I no longer worry. This blueprint is curriculum-, standard-, grade level-, subject-, and teaching style- agnostic.
It literally works with everything.
So I took a look at the standards and her lesson planning template, played around with them for a few minutes and soon figured out exactly how our rigor blueprint applied.
The next day at the second part of the training, I shared what I’d done with the teachers and they immediately began to build rigorous lessons and units using our blueprint with THEIR standards, THEIR lesson planning process, THEIR curriculum, and THEIR teaching style.
What’s more, now that they’ve learn the process for planning for rigor, they won’t have to reinvest in a new process a year from now when the curriculum changes or the standards shift. No matter what changes are ahead for them, the rigor blueprint will help them quickly unpack standards, think through their entire unit, and plan lessons that are engaging, rigorous, and help students think deeply about what they are learning.
You see, I don’t believe in investing in strategies that are here today, gone tomorrow. If I am going to invest my time and energy learning a strategy, I want something that lasts.
As the school year gets started for many of you, think carefully about how you will invest your time and energy. Will you choose to invest in something that will be here today, and gone tomorrow? Or will you choose to invest in something that you can use no matter what changes are coming down the pike?
If you’d like to invest in something that lasts, I want to invite you to join me in Washington, DC on September 29-30 for our Rigor Blueprint Training where you’ll learn how to plan highly engaging lessons that will help students learn how to think for themselves. Not only will you get a chance to work with your own standards, curriculum, and lesson planning format, you’ll walk away with a blueprint for rigor that will help you manage all the changes you’re facing this year and in years to come. Click here to learn more.
We Wanna Know… What big changes are you facing this school year? Tell us about them below.