Reflection: Rigor Day One of Seth Gets All Shook Up! - Section 3: Guided Exploration


Providing for rigorous, complex learning is a daunting task.  It is like standing on the precipice of failure on one side, and amazing success on the other.  I can't remember where I heard it - but rigor without adequate support is just plain hard.  Rigor with the correct amount of scaffolding tells students, "You are smart!  You can do this!

I do believe Vygotsky got it right when he theorized that the best kind of learning occurs when we give students tasks to learn that are just beyond what they are capable of doing - but not so far beyond that they give up before they begin.  Figuring out what that level is for each student when you have a classroom full of them is the difficult part.  

Scaffolds provided in this lesson:

  • Peer support via carefully selected "Expert Groups"
  • Peer buddies were assigned ahead of time and provided to those students who would be entering the classroom late from the resource room
  • Signposts - adapted student instructions and written on whiteboard in different colored markers as a visual reminder
  • Plaid Pete is Modeling Earth's Systems Map Questions
  • Teacher support provided to the neediest students first to get them started


Students need the opportunity to learn content that is challenging and engaging - with just the right amount of support to assist them in being successful.  Our students are often more capable than we realize.  This lesson proved it for me - yet again.

  Don't Be Afraid!
  Rigor: Don't Be Afraid!
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Day One of Seth Gets All Shook Up!

Unit 4: Plaid Pete is Modeling Earth's Systems
Lesson 6 of 15

Objective: SWBAT develop a model to describe how the geosphere interacts with at least one other Earth System.

Big Idea: What are the processes that occur at plate boundaries that cause the geosphere to interact with all of the other spheres on Earth? Students engage in a data rich activity over the course of 3 lessons to answer this question.

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2015 04 01 14 24 34
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