There were two phenomena so exciting for me I had to scribble them down on a scrap of paper to share on this site:
First. I have always tried to keep track of the little things my students do: great comments, someone making an extra effort, late arrivals, forgetting details. I have tried many ways including codes in the gradebook, notes withing an excel sheet, more scraps of paper. All these methods failed, mostly because I used them inconsistently. If they are not consistent, they are useless, right? What if you pick the week when you capture both times one child forgot a pencil, or none of the ten times someone else had a hard time settling down to work? And it’s even harder to keep track of the commendations.
The daily rubric to the rescue! So far, this has captured all of these and more. Plus, the early attention to these details helps me to know this group of wonderful kids better and sooner. I’m grateful for the easy warmth we are developing together so early in the year, due to the my heightened attention to them and my reviewing their contributions each day. Plus plus, the early, honest feedback from me is guiding them as they make their choices each day in their preparation, attention and participation.
Second. Today I filled in the homework section of the rubric only. At the end of class, I passed out the rubric to them AND THEY FILLED OUT THE REST THEMSELVES! And they filled it out as well as I could have. One student came to class with no charge on his iPad – he dinged himself in Preparedness. Another left his homework at home – he dinged himself in Homework Process. Talk about taking responsibility for their own learning! I did have to proofread and make some adjustments, but none involved me taking them down a notch. Most of my corrections were adjustments. For example: some graded themselves on Evidence-Based Writing, when we hadn’t really done that kind of work. N/A is still sort of a new idea for them.
So, imagine the power over their education transferring to them as they fill out their daily rubrics themselves. Not to mention that it lifts from me an untenable amount of work. It’s hard to imagine giving up the daily rubric at this point. It’s sort of like making homemade mayonnaise – once you realize how much better it is, it’s hard to go back to store-bought.