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Rigor and Relevance Framework for Chem?

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Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

Good Evening! My school has really been pushing us on the Rigor and Relevance Framework this year and pushing us to do more Quadrant C and D activities.  Anyone familiar and know what I'm talking about??? One problem is we can't really come to a consensus in our chemistry PLC on what is considered Quad A, Quad B, C and D etc. The way it was presented to me was that any time i'm "teaching" or they are doing memorization type work that is Quad A. Any time they are doing "practice" or solving problems, maybe cookbook type labs that is Quad B.  One person was saying that Quad B is projects, but I was taught that that is Quad C... Quad C was presented to me as more in depth projects and application.  I would consider maybe an inquiry based lab or a lab where they aren't given direction as Quad C.   Like a stoichiometry lab where all I said was you have Al and Copper Chloride...bring me 3.5 grams of Aluminum Chloride.. We are kind of stuck on Quad D. Does anyone have or know of any good sites, resources that pertain specifically to chemistry while looking at this framework.  There are lots of resources I can find that are about the framework...but none really that truly say...what this should look like in the chemistry classroom.

Juleen Whall Juleen Whall 90 Points

I am familiar if I recall correctly. Quad A is low rigor and low relevance or "acquisition." Quad D is high rigor/high relevance and is a significant jump from the other quads. One thing I like to keep in mind is a unit planner I saw in a NSTA book on formative assessment that had student learning progressing through: Accessing prior knowledge Engagement and question asking Learning new content and practice Applying new content Connecting to real world Extending to new context Can you see all 4 quads in that? While your school is right to seek more quad c and d tasks (sometimes schools/classes have few), IMHO you have to spend some timea in quad a and b too. But not live there. I don't think you can lump a type of task firmly into a quad ( ex/ projects are quad d). You need to look at the type of thinking they do in the task. I can call something a project and it can actually require thinking that is low rigor and low relevance, right? I can also zing them with one question that might be a quad c task. "How far up would a column that is made of 1 mole of pennies reach? A tall building? A mountain? The moon? Pluto? Make a Prediction based on a few measurements you choose and figure it out."   One very helpful thing is to take a unit - all the work you ask students to do - and with your colleagues sort the tasks into the quadrants. Perhaps it is all quad A work. Ok - then analyze and figure out which tasks make sense to increase the rigor and relevance and how to change the task to bump it up into other quadrants.  This discussion will help the collective understanding of what rigor and relevance mean in practice. There are no firm definitions for the quads. If you google search images, you will see a variety. Maybe your dept should take the science practices descriptions in the NGSS and sort them into the quads to blend that work together and develop a shared understanding for your dept. Keep it simple for now with high rigor/low relevance as "c" and low rigor/high relevance  as "b." D is challenging: by defn high rigor and high relevance would be a demanding task.  You cannot live there; practice and acquisition has to happen too. Maybe your dept seeks a goal of taking two tasks per unit and tuning them to increase rigor or relevance rather than trying to classify types of tasks into the quads. In any case, it sounds like your dept is having good conversations on the topic and starting to examine the work you ask students to do.

Chris Leverington Chris Leverington 4035 Points

They said in our PD the other day that you should be like 40% Quad A, 40% Quad B, 15% Quad C and 5% Quad D as far as your time is spent. Especially in something like chemistry, you have to spend a lot of time in Quad A, I feel. I just don't really envision what quad C looks like. I've done an activitiy similar to your pile of pennies with marshmallows. How many classrooms would a mole of marshmallows fill...but I lay out the math for them. I'm sure if I just presented them with the question and said "go" that would be a quad C?

Juleen Whall Juleen Whall 90 Points

Those percentages seem reasonable to me. I would want my admin to understand those numbers too. I could see some believing all time and tasks should be in C and D. But does a golfer work on putting and swing or does he or she just play a new course every day and design golf courses? Right? You need to practice the basics so it is seamless when you are in application/extension time. Penny task - I differentiate the math support based on the class and kiddo. If Honors class, I throw it at them. I do the classroom one too but have them choose the object and predict the number of rooms needed, again after some prelim measurements. But I think you are right that we can remove some directions or modify a task slightly to get it to the other quads. You can differentiate a task too to make it a "c" or "d" for some who might be ready for that.

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