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Learn how to keep the rigor and motivation alive in a remote learning or hybrid K-12 classroom.  You’ll learn:

  • how to create a remote culture of high expectations;
  • how to scaffold so students reach higher levels of learning;
  • how to have students collaborate in different settings; and
  • how to provide virtual feedback and deliver effective assessments.

You’ll also discover how common activities, such as virtual field trips, can lack rigor without critical thinking prompts. The book provides practical strategies you can implement immediately to help all students reach higher levels of success.


Read a review!

Just for middle and high school teachers--subject-specific books that enhance your understanding of rigor.    Topics include: creating a rigorous environment, high expectations, support and scaffolding, demonstration of learning, assessing student progress, collaborating with colleagues  Each book comes with classroom-ready tools you can use immediately!

Read a review of Rigor in the 6-12 Math and Science Classroom. 

Read a review of Rigor in the K-5 ELA and Social Studies Classroom. 

Just for elementary teachers--subject-specific books that enhance your understanding of rigor.    Topics include: creating a rigorous environment, high expectations, support and scaffolding, demonstration of learning, assessing student progress, collaborating with colleagues  Each book comes with classroom-ready tools you can use immediately!

Learn how to differentiate instruction while maintaining a rigorous learning environment. In this practical book, rigor expert Barbara R. Blackburn shows that the differentiated classroom doesn’t mean extra work for top students and easy work for others; instead, you can have high expectations for all students and provide scaffolding so that everyone can reach success. 

Increase rigor so that all students can reach higher levels of learning! With this new edition of a teacher-tested best seller, you get practical ideas for increasing text complexity, providing scaffolding during reading instruction, creating open-ended projects, and much more. The enhanced third edition includes new sections on student ownership, Genius Hour, summative assessments, teacher leadership, and increasing rigor in technology.  Review the book and see what you think.

In this book, bestselling author Barbara R. Blackburn and intervention expert Bradley S. Witzel show you how to develop rigorous RTI and MTSS programs that will support students and lead them to lasting success. Written in a clear, engaging style, Rigor in the RTI and MTSS Classroom combines an in-depth discussion of the issues facing at-risk and learning-disabled students with practical strategies for all teachers. You’ll discover how to: 

  • Improve academic and social-emotional performance with scaffolding and demonstration of learning techniques;
  • Establish and teach class rules, expectations, and consequences;
  • Use evidence-based activities to spark student discussion; 
  • Implement rigorous, research-based strategies for overall literacy, reading, and writing development;
  • Assess student growth and encourage self-reflection.
  • Form an MTSS leadership team to ensure that student needs are met across building and district levels. 

Each chapter contains anecdotes from schools across the country as well as a variety of ready-to-use tools and activities. 


Review from Middleweb


Second Review from Middleweb


Learn how to assess students in a way that truly impacts learning. In Rigor and Assessment in the Classroom, bestselling author Barbara R. Blackburn provides a broad range of practical strategies for increasing the rigor and usefulness of your formative and summative assessments. You’ll discover how to…

  • Create an environment where students are expected to learn at high levels;
  • Evaluate and check student learning in a way that ensures growth;
  • Strengthen the validity and reliability of your assessments;
  • Plan assessments in conjunction with planning the instruction;
  • Differentiate assessments to increase the rigor for all students;
  • Enhance the effectiveness of your grading system and feedback;
  • Use performance-based assessment to enhance rigor; and 
  • Design clear, reader-friendly rubrics and scoring guides.

Each chapter includes ready-to-use tools, examples across the subject areas, and "Think About It" questions to help you reflect on what you’ve read.

Review from Middleweb

This practical, easy-to-read guide explains how to raise the rigor for students with special needs so they can achieve higher levels of learning. 

Learn to:

  • Set clear goals and expectations
  • Establish a climate of success
  • Scaffold and model lessons
  • Use graphic organizers and "think-alouds"
  • Apply modifications and accommodations
  • Use rigorous questioning strategies
  • Differentiate instruction
  • Increase family involvement



Review from Middleweb


Teachers are required to increase the rigor for students, but how? The latest book by bestselling author and rigor expert Barbara Blackburn has the answer! It is a treasure chest of more than 200 practical and highly-effective tools that can be used across grade levels and subject areas to increase student rigor, leading your students to higher engagement and deeper learning. Rigor in Your Classroom will be your go-to resource throughout the school year, as you continually return to it to try new tools with your students. 


  • Asking higher-level questions
  • Scaffolding to help all students achieve success
  • Differentiating instruction and using modifications
  • Fostering independence through gradual release of responsibility
  • Increasing text difficulty and teaching close reading
  • Setting high expectations
  • Changing students’ views of success
  • Encouraging effort and goal-setting
  • Creating an environment that is conducive to learning
  • Using effective grading policies and assessment tools
  • Working with parents, colleagues, and administrators


Review from Middleweb

Barbara Blackburn shares the secrets to getting started, maintaining momentum, and reaching your goals. Learn what rigor looks like in the classroom, understand what it means for your students and get the keys to successful implementation. Learn how to use rigor to raise expectations, provide appropriate support, and meet the Common Core State Standards - whether or not rigor is mandated in your district! This book is filled with practical, use-the-next-day strategies for all grade levels and subject areas. Use the ideas to raise the level of learning for all of your students!  Barbara has also created free study guides and a  Facilitator's Guide for Book Studies.  In addition, there's a CCSS Correlation.  Just below you'll find a short video of teachers that share with one another how the book has impacted their understanding and implementation of rigor.  In short, it's fun, creative and has had an impact on not just their students but the teachers as well.