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Introducing Rigor at the Secondary Level

This chat was spirited from the very beginning. The first question asked  participants to define the term ‘rigor’ and many different perspectives were expressed. In terms of this topic, most could agree that rigor was academic challenge that needed to be tailored to the individual student. All were in agreement that more rigor was needed at the secondary level. According to Kingore, we need rigor to reverse learned ‘habits of mind’ from ‘the least I can do’ to higher-level thinking.

Instructional strategies mentioned included differentiation, Socratic learning and Problem/Project-based Learning. Students need to have increased opportunities to apply learning to real-life situations making learning relevant to their lives. Schools need to provide equitable access to many possibilities including additional rigorous courses for advanced learners. Educators need time to collaborate to ensure the organization and sequencing of curriculum.

It was noted that sometimes increasing rigor can unintentionally promote failure and frustration when it is perceived as more work, more difficult work and too fast-paced instruction. Well planned implementation was seen as key.

Although it was suggested that an increase of rigor and subsequent instructional strategies would be good for all students, it was noted that gifted students still need greater depth and complexity in their studies. A full transcript can be found on this blog.



Differentiating Instruction To Promote Rigor/Engagement For Advanced/Gifted Students 

Lift the Ceiling Increase Rigor with Critical Thinking Skills (pdf)

Differentiation at the Secondary Level (pdf)

Increase Complexity and Rigor in Tiered Assignments

Encouraging Achievement: Igniting Student Passion for Learning (Coil) (pdf)

Before and After the Walkthrough: What to Do to Improve Instructional Rigor (pdf)

Getting Rigor Right: Academic Challenge without the Backlash of Failure (pdf)

Increasing Rigor Throughout the Lesson: Data-Driven Classroom Best Practice

Rigor Redefined

A Resuscitation of Gifted Education (pdf)

High School Reform and Gifted Students from @DukeTIP

Introduction to Curriculum for Gifted & Talented Students (pdf)

Introducing Depth and Complexity” from @ByrdseedGifted

Go Deeper! Get More Complex” from @ByrdseedGifted

Transforming Textbook Questions” from @ByrdseedGifted

#gtchat : Curriculum Differentiation



Our chat on ‘Curriculum Differentiation’ began by discussing what differentiation was and noted that differentiation can be based on students, curriculum, instruction or learning environment. (Kaplan) You can differentiate where, content, resources and product. (Byrdseed Gifted) The transcript may be found here.

Special thanks goes to Leslie Graves for her substantial contribution of pertinent links to this chat to add to those provided by the moderator. Teachers will find these links a great resource in learning about differentiation for gifted students.


Differentiation of Instruction From @HoagiesGifted 

The Concept of Differentiation (Tempo – TAGT)

Four Ways to Differentiate Objectives From @Byrdseed Gifted 

The Differentiator From @Byrdseed Gifted 

Strategies for Differentiating Instruction: Best Practices for the Classroom  (Amazon)

Teaching Gifted Kids in Today’s Classroom: Strategies and Techniques Every Teacher Can Use  (Amazon)

Twice Exceptional/Twice Successful: Back to School Strategies that Work  (SENG)

Developing Mathematical Talent: They Don’t Have to Be Bored to Tears Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik (pdf -CMU)

How The Gifted Brain Learns (Sousa)  (Amazon)

Tips for Parents: The Gifted Brain & Learning: At Home and at School

Differentiation of Curriculum and Instruction 

Practical Strategies For the Classroom Part I: Pre-assessment (pdf)

Teachers: Practical Strategies for the Classroom, Part 2: Content, Process, Product (pdf)

Dare to Differentiate

Gifted & Talented and Differentiated Instruction

Differentiation for High Ability Learners

Group Work

Differentiated Instruction from @cybraryman1

Differentiating Instruction to Promote Rigor and Engagement for Advanced and Gifted Students (Kingore)

Differentiating Instruction For Advanced Learners In the Mixed-Ability Middle School Classroom

Helping Gifted Kids Soar (pdf)

Differentiated Instruction Activities

Books by Laurie Westphal

Implementing Curriculum Compacting and Type III Studies to Reverse Underachievement

Universal Themes and Generalizations


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