Facilitating Academic Rigor

Posted by Kristy Beaudry McCain on Jan 3, 2015 5:58:13 AM

Academic Rigor Advances Student Thinking



Providing students with a rigorous curriculum is essential in an effective and engaging instructional program. Educators can foster a classroom environment that encourages students to utilize critical thinking skills as well as create questions and conjectures.

Ways For Teachers and Parents To Engage Students In Academic Rigor

  • Ask open ended questions
  • Give children and teens ample time to think and respond to the questions
  • Provide instruction on ideas and concepts that are engaging as well as interesting, and require critical thinking
  • Teach students academic vocabulary that enriches their educational experience (don't limit student's vocabulary based on their age, very young children are extremely capable of learning and using sophisticated language)
  • Encourage learners to create conjectures
  • Promote a culture of investigation and inquiry

What Is Academic Rigor?

Academic rigor expands the student's thinking and encourages them to engage in challenging educational pursuits. Finding a cure for the Ebola virus would require a rigorous thinking environment.

The Ed Glossary states that academic rigor is the following...

Excerpt and definition taken from http://edglossary.org/rigor/

The term rigor is widely used by educators to describe instruction, schoolwork, learning experiences, and educational expectations that are academically, intellectually, and personally challenging. Rigorous learning experiences, for example, help students understand knowledge and concepts that are complex, ambiguous, or contentious, and they help students acquire skills that can be applied in a variety of educational, career, and civic contexts throughout their lives.

Books And Guides To Assist With Academic Rigor

Educators and parents can utilize multiple titles to plan and implement academically rigorous lessons. Big Universe offers teacher’s guides, educational resource books and student reading books on thousands of topics. Find these informational and useful texts at www.biguniverse.com

thumbImproving Creativity, Critical Thinking,

Communication, and Collaboration-Book C

by Saddleback Educational Publishing (author) © 2011
ISBN: 9781612473321

Thirty-six activities and lessons (Lessons 1-36) teach students a wide range of critical thinking skills including excellence in communication, problem solving, creative thinking, and collaborative learning. Sample activities include: Thinking like an Innovator; Protecting Ideas; Thinking Critically; Making Good Decisions; Communicating Ideas; Collaborating and Presenting Together. Includes 16 graphic organizers & assessment tool.

Screen Shot 2015-01-03 at 9.16.39 AM


thumb-2Inside the Brain

by M.D. Halvorson (author) © 2013
ISBN: 9781614809753 AR: /

Find out what goes on every day inside of the human body! This title offers children an exciting voyage through the brain. Detailed illustrations, color photos, and simple text combine to make a fun and easy introduction to how the brain works. This book also includes simple activities and crafts like Reaction Action, Thinking Cap and how to make a Brain with how-to photos to further engage young learners. Super SandCastle is an imprint of ABDOPublishing Company.


Utilize Texts That Teach Students About The Brain....

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Utilize Texts That Require People To Figure Things Out....

thumb-1Mark & Trace Analysis

by William Hunter (author) © 2014
ISBN: 9781422289570

Crimes happen every day all around the world. Sometimes, criminals think they have taken every possible precaution to avoid capture, but they are often mistaken. Every crime leaves a trace, and forensic science has evolved to find the tiniest bits of evidence imaginable at a crime scene. Mark & Trace Analysis gives readers some insights about the tricks and techniques used by forensic scientists and crime-scene investigators when evidence is scarce. Criminals always leave a trail. The trick is finding it.

Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Differentiation, Literacy

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