The first time my son came home with a rubric for an assignment he had been given I thought, “This is genius!” My son who communicates in grunts gave me very little information about his school work except what I could decipher with those grunts. He also hated that I checked his work to be sure it was at least done. Don’t get me wrong, he is a great kid with a great attitude. He just had a hard time communicating his assignments with me. Until the day he brought home his first rubric. I was delighted to say the least because I could read the score points with him and identify the work he would have to do in order to be successful.
Rubrics identify a set of criteria for an assignment along with the indicators of success. These indicators usually have a range of numbers from excellent to poor. The hard part often is deciphering the language of the rubric. This instructional tool also needs to reflect the teaching that has happened in the classroom.
With this in mind, we developed genre – specific rubrics to reflect the instruction that is happening in your writing classroom. The language of the expository rubric below is easy to decipher and each score point, from 1-4, for each skill area has an example of what the writing should look like. The rubric is broken into skill areas so that they can be used as instruction takes place. They can also be used when an entire piece is completed either as a process piece or as an assessment.
Here’s what I love about them! I can use these rubrics throughout the year to monitor student progress and to adjust my instruction based on the results gathered. I can use them as formative or summative assessments and gain valuable insight into my students’ writing because of the diagnostic quality of the rubric. And it matches my teaching!