What is a rubric?
Here is what Wikipedia has to say:
“A rubric is an assessment tool for communicating expectations of quality. Rubrics support student self-reflection and self-assessment as well as communication between assessor and assessees. A rubric is a set of criteria and standards typically linked to learning objectives that is used to assess or communicate about product, performance, or process tasks. A rubric is an attempt to communicate expectations of quality around a task. In many cases, rubrics are used to delineate consistent criteria for grading. Because the criteria are public, a rubric allows teachers and students alike to evaluate criteria, which can be complex and subjective. A rubric can also provide a basis for self-evaluation, reflection, and peer review. It is aimed at accurate and fair assessment, fostering understanding and indicating the way to proceed with subsequent learning/teaching.”
What does that mean for us?
In third grade students are asked to do projects and book reports to count toward their grades. This helps foster the continuation of learning and application of knowledge at home. Rubrics provide a clear outline of the teacher’s expectations for a project so that all students have an equal opportunity to be successful.
Upon grading the first Social Studies project (timeline) and the first book report (roller coaster) I noticed that many students lost a great number of points unnecessarily. Of course I review the rubric in class with the students when I hand it out and verbally remind them of my expectations. As the parent, I encourage you to also review all requirements and expectations on the rubric with your child so that all students can be successful. One example is that the roller coaster book report called for both a plot-line and a summary. Many students did not complete both requirements and lost half of the available points in those categories. Another common problem was a five point deduction for a lost rubric. Students need to learn responsibility for their paperwork. But keep in mind that all rubrics are available on this website and can be printed and turned in with the project to avoid loss of points.