Redefining Rigor in the PreK-8 Math Classroom

Published November 30, 2015

By Social Team

Perform an internet search for “Rigor in the Classroom” and hundreds of articles on implementation, definitions, techniques and methods will fill your screen. Rigor is a huge topic discussed in K-12 education since the Common Core State Standards shifted to focus on the three aspects of rigor.

Teachers, principals and administrators all understand the importance of creating a rigorous learning classroom for mathematics students. Getting rigor in your classroom—and understanding what that looks like—is important to driving student achievement in numeracy and mathematics. But identifying the specific content that utilizes high standards of rigor in order to increase students’ motivation and collaboration can be a challenge.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) President, Linda M. Gojak, explains that rigor involves everyone:

“Rigor involves all partners in teaching and learning. Teachers must consider rigor in planning lessons, tasks, and assignments. Rigorous lessons build on and extend prior knowledge. They encourage productive struggling. Although the objective of a lesson should be clear in the teacher’s mind, the lesson should not focus on one correct path to a solution or even one correct answer. A rigorous lesson embraces the messiness of a good mathematics task and the deep learning that it has the potential to achieve.”

Read more from President Gojak in her message “What’s All this Talk about Rigor?

Rigor is defined by the Common Core State Standards as, “a deep, authentic command of mathematical concepts.” Whether your state adheres closely to the CCSS or has its own state assessment criteria, it’s critical to implement a program that is proven to ensure that rigorous mathematical content is taught. Adding rigor to program design provides students with the conceptual understanding, procedural skill and fluency, and application of learning context.

Number Worlds is a blended learning program that is built on state standards for struggling students in grades PreK-8, and is widely proven to develop the conceptual understanding and procedural knowledge needed to meet rigorous standards and assessments.

Learn more about how Number Worlds can address teachers’ and administrators’ need to have a strong, rigor-based curriculum in the mathematics classroom. Read mathematics coach and expert Robyn Silbey’s white paper Rigor: Defined and Embedded in Number Worlds.