Lisa Hansel on rigor in reading.
Key idea: the “just right” book isn’t rigorous enough. It doesn’t expose kids to enough challenging vocabulary needed to build their knowledge, and their reading skill doesn’t increase without that increased rigor–past elementary school, spoken English can’t compare with the vocabulary density of written text.
Is there a parallel for math? I think about middle school curricula that reteach and emphasize basic skills–in particular whole number and fraction operations where many kids’ love of math goes to die. Do we do this at the expense of a rich understanding of mathematical problems and a perseverance in answering novel questions? How can that be balanced with fact fluency and foundational skills?
What would a map of Common Core power standards look like?–topics that shouldn’t be skipped, and have the depth to push students’ conceptual as well as procedural thinking. I bet dividing mixed numbers wouldn’t be on there.