The Trouble with my Rubric

Oh, you lovely rubric, how hopeful I was that I got it right.  And how frustrated I was as I tried to make sense of those sheets of paper with the boxes checked when I worked on quarter grades and progress reports.  There was no way to absorb the information or even to eyeball it.  Had they just been a waste of time?  Plus, worse, was I wasting my colleagues’ time?  Lovely Joan and Katie, trying this idea so willingly . . . aaaaarrrgghhh!

Here are my complaints.  Solutions forthcoming.  Here is the original if you’d like to see it.

1. there is a box to check for “not applicable” – while this was useful vocabulary to teach my students, it was on the wrong side of “needs improvement” and so catches the eye as a negative

2. the most useful part were the couple of words I would add to explain a checked box – “answered a difficult question” or “playing with iPad while others were presenting” – okay, that’s not a couple of words, but these kind of comments were so useful when I thought about the child’s whole quarter – and there was hardly any room for them, and the students never added them

3. a huge percentage of rubrics had a bland date or blank assignment (or both) – not super useful, especially when I made a comment about the assignment! – or when I was trying to put them in chronological order!

4. number three above made tracking homework completion tricky

5. many students told me that because they had worked hard and done their best, they deserved a certain grade for the quarter – there is no place for content mastery on the rubric, and, uh, hello, you need to know the content to, uh, you know, pass the class?

6. even though there is a space to track corrections, the students didn’t understand what I was hoping for – they only made corrections when I told them to, not whenever something needed correction or improvement

7. there is a space to track “evidence-based writing” but it did not get well-used – typically I gave this kind of feedback on the assignment itself, so the row went unused, with lots of N/As distracting from other parts of the rubric

Oooooh!  I have some great ideas on how to fix these.  I can’t wait to get started.


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