What does rigor, a word that frequently pops up in conversations about education, really mean? More specifically, what does it mean for literacy instruction, and how does it relate to challenging standards-based assessments? In this informative and practical guide, literacy expert Nancy Boyles uses the framework from Webb’s Depth of Knowledge (DOK) to answer these questions, offering experience-based advice along with specific examples of K–8 assessment items.

Boyles defines rigor and shows how it relates to literacy at each DOK level and explains the kind of thinking students will be expected to demonstrate. She then tackles the essence of what teachers need to know about how DOK and its associated rigors are measured on standards-based assessments. Specifically, readers learn how each DOK rigor aligns with

  • standards,
  • text complexity,
  • close reading,
  • student interaction,
  • the reading-writing connection, and
  • formative assessment.

Teachers, coaches, and administrators will find clear guidance, easy-to-implement strategies, dozens of useful teaching tools and resources, and encouragement to help students achieve and demonstrate true rigor in reading and writing.

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