Rigor is when students are appropriately challenged when using grade level curriculum. As teachers, we often want students to feel comfortable, but if they can complete work independently without pushing themselves a little, they aren't really learning. We need all students to perform a little out of their comfort level so an expert individual (the teacher) can teach them things they never would have discovered without the support. Teaching them in this zone of proximal development insures that our students are neither bored nor anxious. You need to think about each student and how you can push him or her into new learning territory without totally overwhelming him or her. To do this well, Universal Design for Learning is an awesome framework. There are principles to help move students toward higher level of achievement while helping them to monitor their own progress and persist despite obstacles. For more about UDL, check out http://www.cast.org/udl/ For lessons that help with this rigor, check out this post: http://katienovakudl.com/free-common-core-resources/
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