Teachers use rubrics. We use rubrics for writing, math, social studies projects, listening and speaking, science-- everything! We are even evaluated on a rubric (depending on if your county or state has gone that route)! So why can't our kids? I got to really thinking one day and I was so tired of constantly reminding my kids (and sounding like a broken record) of what my expectations are and how I will be evaluating them that I decided that they would be coming up with a grading system of their own. Hence the birth of a student created rubric.
I know that these are not new but I know that many teachers shy away from these. What do you mean, my kids grade and assess their own work? How will they know what to expect? What are the exemplars and non? Those are all very good questions! Much like the data notebooks (my update blog post is almost ready!) they require time and patience on your end as well as theirs.
My class and I had a serious heart to heart. I showed several pieces of work up. I erased names and asked them, if they were Mrs. Hamlin, how would they grade this? I will not show the work but I am sure you could pull some examples from piles on your desk. Depending on the work, they gave me their honest answers:
Oh, that is nicely written!
What is that?? I can't read that!
Did they do their work?
Look how nicely that is colored! Cute!! (the girls said this, of course! haha!)
You get the picture! I totally agreed with them. I conveyed to them that that was how I felt when they showed me their work. So, we decided on three major points:
From there, there were varying degrees where we used words like always, sometimes, and never. Every class will work differently. You and your class may want different criteria.
(If you'd like a copy of this rubric, click on the picture to download it for free)
We talked about what each meant. They (and I did , too) wanted smiley faces. You could also do a 3-point scale if you are doing standards based grading. I tried to keep it simple for my kids to do. This is an example (above) of the rubric my class came up with (after I tidied it up a bit!).
After every piece of work we do, they ALWAYS come up with a self assessment. I have stapled a smaller version of their rubric to their center folders as well as placing a rubric at each center they go to as a reminder to the goal they are working for.
The ability to change the status of their assessment is key! Sometimes they just run out of time or maybe it took them a while to figure it out. I always give them an opportunity to change that "frown upside down"! Thanks McDonald's for that saying. I am not a fan of coloring in a circle red, green, or yellow. I feel like that color just stays with them. This way, they can just change that smile around! Plus, it changes the real smiles on their faces! Again, what you and your class decide is up to you.
Again, another key point. After they have made their assessment and I have come around to double check, we must come to an agreement. Honesty is the best policy. We talk about their work and one point that they are especially proud of and one point to work on if they happen to get a straight or sad face.
These have really worked well in my class. Their quality of work has GREATLY improved. They have the zone or goal that they want to work based on their rubric that they created! I just love that. That has made me one happy teacher. They have worked hard to be in the smiley zone but also understand that there are times we work in the straight and sad face zones. I think that also teaches them about life skills and that sometimes we do our best and work to meet the goals we want to achieve!
Have a great week!