We have a very high level of rigor. As the National Turn Around Model, a Blue Ribbon School, the Intel School of Distinction in Mathematics, etc... I only do things with a high level of rigor. I have open ended stems they must write to answer, which is high order thinking and writing skills. I have them write thoughts from the characters' points of view, which is higher order. We color maps, yes, but they are labeled and they have to determine the route the man took through the south on their map using the written directions in the book. I know the fears over common core, but I assure you we've worked at a high level of rigor for many years in my school and these are just one of the ways we accomplish those goals. I hope you'll try it.
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