The Common Core State Standards have brought about a shift in the way mathematical concepts are taught. Now educators are being tasked to bring rigor into their classrooms and ensure their students can not only memorize mathematical formulas, but apply mathematical concepts and explain their reasoning when problem-solving.
According to Education World, rigor can be defined as:
“Rigor is more than what you teach and what standards you cover; it’s how you teach and how students show you they understand. True rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels, each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels, and each student demonstrates learning at high level.”
As students progress from learning basic concepts to higher levels of understanding, their newer knowledge builds and expands upon what they previously learned. The introductory level might ask a student to recall and/or apply a formula. Higher levels ask students to justify their thinking using reasoning to apply the skills they have learned.
Rigor has three basic components, these three components or parts include -
- Conceptual Understanding – Knowledge about something acquired in a meaningful fashion; deeper understanding for something.
- Procedural Skill and Fluency – The skill in carrying out procedures flexibly, accurately, efficiently, and appropriately.
- Application – Applying appropriate skills and knowledge towards a problem with ease.
In the following video, “Common Core Instructional Shift in Mathematics: Rigor”, the three components are explained in greater detail with examples in each stage.
As you can see, adding rigor to the classroom allows for a student to think, learn and understand mathematical concepts on a deeper level. This is not just beneficial for students as they move through their academic careers, but rigor is also what the Common Core calls for.
Have you successfully implemented rigor into your classroom? Let us know your thoughts on the subject by commenting below.