On Twitter, I was asked about the rubrics that I created with my classes, but it was while I was away from my laptop, and so I said I’d write a long-overdue blog post to show some examples. I worked with students a couple of years ago at the beginning of the year on how we could develop good, general rubrics that would be used for our assessments throughout the year. I already had some ideas based on what others have done, and what CPM suggested, but it was nice to work with students on what would make sense to them. We discussed as a large group in each of my classes what qualities showed mastery of a standard skill, and how we could demonstrate that on an assessment, and then how we could describe it in our own language. I used a fake assessment with a variety of fake student responses, and we debated how to sort them into different scores. With some discussion, there was unanimity about how many points (out of 4) each assessment should receive.

That led to three rubrics, one for each of my subject areas (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Pre-Calculus) that I was able to use throughout the year for each assessment. My assessments are designed to measure a student ability on one particular standard or skill. Since I do teach in a private school, I have a fair amount of flexibility on what I am teaching, and am not required to stick to Common Core standards. In any unit, I will have between 3-8 assessments, and each of those assessments is between 2-5 questions. These replace the larger unit tests, and they are in many ways similar to quizzes, except that students are able to retake assessments for any skill, as many times as they choose (until the end of a semester) to demonstrate their growth and mastery of each skill. I’ve seen a number of different excellent variations on this (which I may link to at a later time when/if I get around to a general post on Standards Based Grading). This post is specifically about the rubrics, though.

And speaking of rubrics, here they are.

Algebra 1:

Geometry:

Pre-Calculus: (Note: Pre-Calculus is a little different, because it uses a 6 point rubric. This is because I have an opt-in honors component. All students who are not electing to take on the Honors component of the class are scored on a 4 point scale (although scores of 5 and 6 will count as slight extra credit, and if a student is always getting scores of 5 or 6, I will keep encouraging them to take on the Honors assignments.) Students who are taking the class as an Honors class are graded on the 6 point scale, and have an in-depth assignment for each unit that explores some additional depth or breadth of a unit.)

I hope this helps – it’s just a quick overview, but it’s a great activity that helps students really understand how they are being evaluated, and I love that I’m no longer taking away a point here and a point there for every little thing that doesn’t actually say anything about how well a student has mastered a particular concept.