Friday, November 14, 2014

Time for a little R and R!

Our pirates at Curtis Elementary are working hard to create engaging learning experiences for students.  Teachers have been spending a lot of time planning lessons that will help students to master the standards for the school year.  Teachers are getting tired from all of the hard work planning amazing lessons so it is time to take some R and R!

I know what you are thinking.  You are thinking that I mean rest and relaxation, but that is not exactly what I had in mind.  R and R is Rigor and Relevance!  At Curtis we have been focusing on getting the frame right.  Framing the lesson is critical because the quality of the lesson begins with the frame.  We will continue our work by examining  the Rigor and Relevance of lessons.  Rigor and Relevance helps to ensure that the lesson frame is addressing the learning goals at an appropriate level.  In order to support students in their journey to become critical thinkers and problems solvers, teachers will continue to design lessons with rigor making sure that the content is also relevant to them. 

Rigor is depth.  The teacher has the opportunity to extend a student's ability to learn.  Raising expectations for students will help students achieve academically.    Relevance deals with purpose.  Why does the student need to know the content?  When content is relevant to students, engagement increases as well as effort.   Students become excited about what they are doing in class, and they learn not just because it is something they are supposed to do.  Students decide that they want to learn.

Next week we will begin to examine the level of rigor and relevance more closely in our classrooms by collecting the data during our Powerwalks.  Our powerwalk team will specifically look at the rigor and relevance during classroom walkthroughs to help us continue to provide the very best learning opportunities for our students.  Ensuring that the rigor of the lesson is where it needs to be along with relevance for students will help to ensure that students continue to achieve academically.