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Common Core Math: How "Deep" Do We Go

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Rigor is a word receiving alot of attention in regards to the common core state standards.  So what does it mean in terms of teaching and learning? The 8 mathematical practices and the college and career readiness standards give us a look at what rigor refers to. 

Students should be challenged to solve rich, relevant problems that require effort and persistence. Problems should have multiple entry points and multiple solution paths and strategies.(M.P.1) Students should be encouraged to reason, explain, and make sense of their learning. (M.P.2)(M.P.3) Students will demonstrate independence and take responsibility for their own learning.

Teachers will need to consider rigor when planning their units and lessons.  Concepts should be introduced in contexts that are interesting and motivating to students and students will  explore and discover solutions in their own ways.  Tasks will build off prior knowledge and will not focus on just one correct solution path.  Teachers will encourage productive struggle and will facilitate learning through effective open-ended questioning. Rigorous formative assessment will need to be used during a unit to inform the next steps in instruction. 

As always, teachers should consider where lessons and tasks fall on Bloom's Revised Taxonomy and Webb's Depth of Knowledge Levels.  Most teachers have studied Bloom's, which defines the type of thinking needed to complete a task, but may not be as familiar with DOK Levels.  Webb's refers to complexity and defines how deeply one must understand content to interact with it.

The following video gives a brief overiew of Webb's DOK Levels.

The following documents give content specific examples as they align to Webb's and Bloom's.

Math Matrix:

Science Matrix:

ELA Matrix:

Social Studies Matrix:

Other D.O.K. Information:

Teachers will need to  "dig deep" into rigor to ensure the success of their students in the common core. 

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