Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Setting Rubrics Up For Success

Setting Rubrics Up For Success

We have lived with the Common Core State Standards for quite some time now.  In fact, at WSC we have about a year or two more experience with many of the schools in New York City, for we saw the way the winds were blowing and tacked accordingly.  

Whether yo love them, hate them, or fall somewhere in between, you must admit that they have provided a common language that has sped our increase in academic rigor.  Still, they are bit imperfect.  They do not always fit in the way you want, or need, them to.

Recently I have been looking at may of our 8th grade rubrics and performing small, outpatient, surgeries on them.  I have had a lot of difficulty being confident in the rubric-based scores/ratings I have been giving students for their work.  In the 8th grade we have been using the New York State Argument Writing rubric as a basis for most of the feedback given to students about their mastery of skills, but there are places where criteria is co-mingled.

Placing multiple standards/criteria in a single row frustrates your ability to be precise in your rating and in your feedback.  Yes it is true that you can work around it, but why?  Split them up! Doing so will not take up any more space, and you can help your students tease out their level of mastery in a much more straightforward way.

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