Question 3: Where does rigor fit?
Good question. Lawmakers, who have little or no classroom experience, want to pass judgement and make changes in schools. It really frustrates me. I know most of them have good intentions, but without recent, varied experiences in schools, most of their ideas are circling the drain.
We are teaching harder things in school now than ever before. We expect things from students that are developmentally inappropriate because lawmakers have decided they should know how to do it. We have lost rigor in many aspects of teaching. Behavior expectations, for one. Children do things in schools today that would shock and appall you. Then they are talked to, calmed down, and sent back to class, where the whole process can begin again. Our behavior standards lack rigor and that severely impedes the rigor that should be going on in the classroom.
Stepping off the soap box....
And I'm back. Sorry.
"Rigor is not an attribute of a text, but rather a characteristic of our behavior with that text. Put another way, rigor resides in the energy and attention given to the text, not in the text itself." pg. 20
I L.O.V.E. that definition. It clears everything up for me. Thank you!
Then they wrote this: "The essential element in rigor is engagement. The rigor has to be achieved by engaging the readers in a process that is sufficiently interesting or rewarding that they'll invest energy in the work."
Light bulb! #itmakessense
In our reading this year, the kids were engaged in responding to the text because they were super interested in what we were reading, moaned when I stopped reading at the end of a chapter, raised a cheer when I picked up the book and invited them to come closer to read, and couldn't wait to share their work with the class.
Question 4: What do we mean by 'intellectual communities'?
Yes! Yes! Yes! and ouch
I could just quote the entire 2 1/2 pages...
"The purpose of schools ought to be to create intellectual communities where students are encouraged to be risk takes, to be curious, to be willing to try and fail, and to be more interested in asking questions than providing answers. The profit for that purpose --that goal-- ought to be satisfaction in creating places where we all want to work and students want to attend; places where engagement is high and rigor results from students wanting to know more; where work is challenging because the attempt --the challenge-- won't penalize you with a low test score; where work is relevant and so attendance goes up, discipline problems decline, and as a result of all of that, test scores climb." pg. 24-25
Can I just say -- "Guilty as charged."
Ugh, I hate that I get caught up in the pass the test or death atmosphere! Every year I tell myself to keep away from that mentality, but every year I allow myself to get sucked in.
What would happen if I encouraged all questions and answers? If I praised effort louder than ability? What would happen if I did these things consistently? I think it would be wonderful.
New goal for next year!
Are you loving this book? I am.