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Realizing Rigor in the Mathematics Classroom

By: Ted H. Hull, Ruth Harbin Miles, Don S. Balka

Foreword by Suzanne Mitchell

Using the Proficiency Matrix framework along with practical assessment tools, math teachers and leaders will define and achieve rigor in the context of the CCSS mathematical practices.

Full description

Product Details
  • Grade Level: PreK-12
  • ISBN: 9781452299600
  • Published By: Corwin
  • Year: 2014
  • Page Count: 192
  • Publication date: February 10, 2014

Price: $38.95

Price: $38.95
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Rigor put within reach!

Rigor: Everyone is talking about it, and now the Common Core has made it policy. But how exactly do you design a math classroom where achieving that goal is guaranteed? This first-of-its-kind guidebook will help teachers and leaders across the grades make that goal a reality. You’ll not only come to understand once and for all what rigor is, you’ll also learn how to consistently apply that ideal from math classroom to math classroom.

Using their Proficiency Matrix as a framework, Hull, Harbin Miles, and Balka offer proven strategies for successful implementation of the CCSS mathematical practices—with practical tools you can use right away. Whether working individually or as part of a team, you’ll learn how to

  • Define rigor in the context of each mathematical practice
  • Identify and overcome potential issues and obstacles, including differentiating instruction, monitoring classrooms, and using data
  • Relate specific roles and goals for students, teachers, math leaders, school leaders, and collaborative teams
  • Use assessment tools to guide work and monitor progress

With action checklists and record sheets, self-assessments, a teacher planning guide, and much more, this is the only resource you need to guide your team to rigor—and your students to achievement.

Key features

    • In their most recent book, The Common Core Math Standards, the authors created The Proficiency Matrix. The Proficiency Matrix helps teachers identify learning progression in each of the mathematical practices. The Matrix, combined with the formative assessment strategies and techniques, help teachers assess where student are in their learning progression. With this knowledge teachers can adjust their teaching to achieve advanced proficiency of the individual practice and help students succeed. The Matrix plays a critical role in helping teachers and leaders purposefully transform classrooms and places the focus on students' proficiency, thinking, and reasoning as called for in the CCSS-M.
    • At the Common Core Institute, participants commented on how much they liked the Proficiency Matrix. This book will provide a step-by-step guide for teachers and leaders on how to use the Matrix and chart progression implementation of the CCSS-M.
    • Supporting tools are also provided and described within the chapters to assist teachers in transforming instruction:
      • Classroom Visit Tally - Student Actions
      • Classroom Visit Tally - Teacher Actions
      • Teacher self assessment for student actions
      • Teacher self assessment for teacher actions
      • Action Record Sheet
      • Teacher Implementation Progression
      • Coaching Feedback Quadrant
      • Teacher Planning Guide
      • Linking Responsibilities Chart


Ted H. Hull photo

Ted H. Hull

Consulting Description

Ted H. Hull completed 32 years of service in public education before retiring and opening Hull Educational Consulting. He served as a mathematics teacher, K-12 mathematics coordinator, middle school principal, director of curriculum and instruction, and a project director for the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas in Austin. While at the University of Texas, 2001 to 2005, he directed the research project “Transforming Schools: Moving from Low-Achieving to High Performing Learning Communities.” As part of the project, Hull worked directly with district leaders, school administrators, and teachers in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas to develop instructional leadership skills and implement effective mathematics instruction. Hull is a regular presenter at local, state, and national meetings. He has written numerous articles for the NCSM Newsletter, including "Understanding the Six Steps of Implementation: Engagement by an Internal or External Facilitator" (2005) and "Leadership Equity: Moving Professional Development into the Classroom" (2005), as well as "Manager to Instructional Leader" (2007) for the NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership. He has been published in the Texas Mathematics Teacher (2006), Teacher Input Into Classroom Visits: Customized Classroom Visit Form. Hull was also a contributing author for publications from the Charles A. Dana Center: Mathematics Standards in the Classroom: Resources for Grades 6–8 (2002) and Middle School Mathematics Assessments: Proportional Reasoning (2004). He is an active member of Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics (TASM) and served on the NCSM Board of Directors as regional director for Southern 2.

Ruth Harbin Miles photo

Ruth Harbin Miles

Ruth Harbin Miles coaches rural, suburban, and inner-city school mathematics teachers. Her professional experiences include coordinating the K-12 Mathematics Teaching and Learning Program for the Olathe, Kansas, Public Schools for more than 25 years; teaching mathematics methods courses at Virginia’s Mary Baldwin College; and serving on the Board of Directors for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematic, and both the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Kansas Association of Teachers of Mathematics. Ruth is a co-author of five Corwin books including A Guide to Mathematics Coaching, A Guide to Mathematics Leadership, Visible Thinking in the K-8 Mathematics Classroom, The Common Core Mathematics Standards, and Realizing Rigor in the Mathematics Classroom. As co-owner of Happy Mountain Learning, Ruth specializes in developing teachers’ content knowledge and strategies for engaging students to achieve high standards in mathematics.

Don S. Balka photo

Don S. Balka

Consulting Description

Don S. Balka, Ph.D., is a noted mathematics educator who has presented more than 2,000 workshops on the use of math manipulatives with PK-12 students at national and regional conferences of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and at in-service trainings in school districts throughout the United States and the world.

He is Professor Emeritus in the Mathematics Department at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana. He is the author or co-author of numerous books for K-12 teachers, including Developing Algebraic Thinking with Number Tiles, Hands-On Math and Literature with Math Start, Exploring Geometry with Geofix, Working with Algebra Tiles, and Mathematics with Unifix Cubes. Balka is also a co-author on the Macmillan K-5 series, Math Connects and co-author with Ted Hull and Ruth Harbin Miles on four books published by Corwin Press.

He has served as a director of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. In addition, he is president of TODOS: Mathematics for All and president of the School Science and Mathematics Association.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Suzanne Mitchell


CCSS Content and Practice: Opportunity for Rigor

A Clue to Rigor

Outline of the Book

How to Use This Book

Part I. The Foundation

1. Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of Rigor

National Assessments

Teacher Evaluation

Learning Shifts

Meeting the Challenges

Looking at Assessments

Rigor as a Common Factor

2. Defining and Instituting Rigor

Searching for Evidence

Dictionary and Thesaurus

Professional Opinions

Indicators of Rigor

Drawing Conclusions

Decision Point

Contrasting Example Lessons

Problem Analysis

Transforming Classrooms to Support Rigor

Having Productive Conversations

3. Building Team Leadership to Support Rigor

Role of a Steering Committee

Role of a Leadership Team

Role of the Principal

Developing Learning Communities

A Principal's Story

Having Productive Conversations

4. Rigor and the Standards for Practice

Rigor and Practices

A Principal's Story

Having Productive Conversations

5. Rigor Related to Classroom Formative Assessment

Assessment Types

Classroom Formative Assessment

Refining Formative Assessment

Classroom Formative Assessment

Formative Assessment and Intervention

Current Learning

Effective Intervention

Instructional Research


A Principal's Story

Having Productive Conversations

6. Rigor and the Proficiency Matrix


Progress Toward Rigor

Strategy Relationship in the Matrix

Classroom Formative Assessment and the Matrix

Ms. Edward's Classroom

A Principal's Story

Having Productive Conversations

Part II. Issues and Obstacles

7. Issues to Resolve

Issue: Teaching the Identified Content

Issue: Deepening Mathematical Understandings

Issue: Reaching All Students

8. Obstacles to Success

Obstacle: Working in Isolation

Obstacle: Attempting to Evaluate People to Change

Obstacle: Failing to Monitor Student Actions

Obstacle: Over Adoption

Obstacle: Mistaken Efforts

Understanding MAAT

Having Productive Conversations

Part III. Solutions

9. Solution Step One: Monitoring Student Actions Related to the Practices

Opening Classroom Doors

Non-Evaluative Monitoring

Starting With Students

Teacher Self-Assessment of Student Actions


Having Productive Conversations

10. Solution Step Two: Using Classroom Visit Data-Assessment of Student Actions

Conducting Productive Conversations

Understanding Change Process

Levels of Adoption

Intervention as Support

Building a Critical Mass

Changing the Culture

Connecting Actions Chart

Having Productive Conversations

11. Solution Step Three: Monitoring Teacher Actions Related to the Practices

Using the Classroom Visit Tally - Teachers

Conversations About the Data

Working on Individual Needs

Mathematics Collaborative Log

Teacher Planning Guide

Having Productive Conversations

12. Solution Step Four: Gathering and Using Additional Data

Assessments Collectively

Specified Classroom Visits

Validity Visits

Reverse Visits

Teacher Requested Visits

Supporting Teachers' Change Efforts

Adoption Stages

Documenting Progress

Completing the Form

Having Productive Conversations

13. Solution Step Five: Maintaining Progress Toward Rigor


Relating Mathematical Rigor and the Practices

Inferences from the Standards for Mathematical Practices

Rigor as an Outcome


Rigor Analysis Form



Guiding the Work

Input and Outcomes

Having Productive Conversations

Part IV. Inputs and Outcomes

14. Teaching for Rigor



Teaching for Progress in Rigor

Having Productive Conversations

15. Coaching for Rigor



Coaching for Progress in Rigor

Having Productive Conversations

16. Leading for Rigor



Leading for Progress in Rigor

Having Productive Conversations

Part V. Momentum

17. Linking Responsibilities - Assessing Progress

Professional Trust

Professional Conversations

Supporting Teacher Change

Documenting Change


Having Productive Conversations





Price: $38.95
Volume Discounts applied in Shopping Cart

For Instructors

Request Review Copy

When you select 'request review copy', you will be redirected to Sage Publishing (our parent site) to process your request.

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