Empowering Little Learners AND Simply Centers! I want to talk today about a little 5 letter word that probably drives you mad and that's RIGOR!
Rigor is defined by the dictionary as strictness or harshness and so it is very reasonable in my eyes to want to resist those around you constantly asking you to increase the rigor of your instruction. But what does that really mean in the early childhood classroom - to increase the rigor? Do they want us to be ridiculously mean and tough with the kids? Of course not!
Rigor in the early childhood classroom simply means to focus on the objective taken directly from the standards and to move at a quick, engaging pace.
Well… this is where I say it is your job as a trained early childhood educator to defend what you know! In response to this question you should say drawing is an early stage of writing! Also, how can we expect kids to add word details if they can't first add details in a drawing.
So here are some easy ways to add rigor to your lessons that you and administrators will love:
1. Watch the amount of time you are talking compared to the kids.
2. Watch how many students are engaged at a time, instead of calling on one child to answer a question, have them tell their partners. Or have students read to partners instead of one at a time. Partnerships help increase this number with no effort!
3. Use "My Turn, Your Turn" at least every 10-15 minutes.
4. Allow students to reflect through partner sharing. Chances are if they are talking when you are instructing, it's because they need time to reflect and get it out!
5. Add motions to everything! Students remember more what they do than what they hear or say. (I have a great freebie for you listed below!)
6. Have students move often, even if it's just a turn. For example, we may do our letter sounds facing east, our letter names facing west, and our writing our letters at our seats. Young learners need to move, this we all know!
7. Worksheets are considered independent work. If you are doing a worksheet, take that time to pull a small group instead of walking around. They can even do that same worksheet with you as a group. Administrators love that!
8. Have students work with partners for a worksheet (one paper, two kids.) Being able to talk about an activity takes it to a whole other level!
9. DEMAND participation. While students are speaking, you should be watching their mouths and motioning to students to participate who are not. This is during choral responses and partner talking. Essentially, any time you are asking them to do something, you need to hold them accountable that they are doing it. They are not going to learn if they don’t do it!Hope everyone is getting some really great ideas from this site! I know I have! I just love it!
Again, happy Tuesday. Please feel free to post any comment on how you met the requirement of rigor with your little learners!