Want to differentiate instruction while assuring rigor? Create a 3-D portrait of each of your students using a mix of formal and informal strategies. Teaching expert Barbara Blackburn has tips for gathering insights about background knowledge, culture, and growth mindset.
We may believe our students who are struggling – whether they have special needs, are English learners or are otherwise challenged – simply cannot learn at high levels. By exploring the meaning of educational “rigor,” Barbara Blackburn and Bradley Witzel show how they can.
Kelly Owens saw that polished texts didn’t model the struggles writers go through. “It was like showing kids an elite Olympian’s performance and asking them to replicate it.” With her ‘Draft Along’ activity, students now experience the wrinkly reality of the writing process.
Barbara R. Blackburn and Melissa Miles show how a re-interpretation of “rigor” can boost ELA and social studies engagement and learning in grades K-5. Teacher educator Linda Biondi notes the authors offer easily implemented solutions along with thought provoking questions.
Rigor in the Remote Learning Classroom is a valuable guide that will help teachers and schools reframe the conversation about remote teaching. The book’s tips and strategies can make a remote approach both robust and rigorous, writes middle school head Michael McLaughlin.
As teachers work to offer SEL support during remote learning, they can also adapt assignments to provide students with academic challenges that engage them in higher order thinking and teamwork. Barbara Blackburn and her colleagues share examples across content areas.
Adjusting instruction to virtual learning can be a challenge, and it’s tempting to create easier lessons, says teaching expert Dr. Barbara Blackburn. But educators “need to ensure we hold students to standards that promote deeper learning, no matter the delivery system.”
ELs are capable of doing the same kind of thinking that non-ELs can do. They might just have to temporarily show their understanding differently than their peers do. EL teacher Tan Huyhn shows how teachers can focus on the ELs’ thinking and differentiate everything else.
Authors Barbara Blackburn and Abbigail Armstrong give teachers a practical yet powerful classroom instructional tool for bringing rigor to Grades 6-12 math and science classrooms. Science educator Jennifer Sexton shares favorite strategies that will improve her practice.
Rather than approaching differentiation as “making it easier” for some, Barbara Blackburn suggests a strategy that assures lessons will be rigorous while also giving struggling students the supports they need. Her example involves an informational reading lesson.