Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Rigor and Relevance Framework

Do you guys use this at your school? I'm preparing a training on it for my campus and wondered if others were required to use it with their planning as well. 

At first I thought it was just going to be another thing we'd have to include in our lesson plans (we actually have to denote each objective as to where it falls in the framework). But I actually really like it now. The goal of course is to have the activity fall into the category where it is both relevant (like a real-world problem) and rigorous-involve critical thinking skills. This isn't possible to do with every lesson-especially with the little ones, because there are basics like the alphabet and counting that, especially in the beginning, have to be taught in a basic recall kind of way. But at least for my end of the unit activity-I aim for a level D.

For example, if I was doing a unit on the rainforest:

level  A= would be to name some animals in the rainforest.-low level and not including real world application.

B=watch a discovery education clip of rainforest animals (lower level engagement-wise, but still real-world)

C=write from the perspective of a rainforest animal (rigorous, but not really real-world)

D=How would you solve the problems in the rainforest right now-losing forests, animals losing their homes, etc. (rigorous thinking and real-world application).

It sounds complicated but once you use it, ideas start to come naturally. Just another resource to help us gauge how challenging and meaningful our lessons are. :)


  1. Our school system "kind of" used it. Our school had to denote on our lesson plans which quadrant each lesson fell within. I used small colored dot stickers, the color of the sticker matching the color of the quadrant. It ended up being a very visual reminder and helped in reflecting on the balance of rigor/relevance versus basic instruction.

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  3. Thanks for visiting my new blog! I like this chart-can you email me a copy of this? I'd like to put it in my planbook when lesson planning-definitely makes you think. But, like you, I wouldn't want to document that for every lesson! Your example made it easier to understand-I like examples! :)

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