What Is a Rubric?
A rubric is a scoring tool that lists the criteria for a piece of work, or “what counts” (for example, purpose, organization, details, voice, and mechanics are often what count in a piece of writing); it also articulates gradations of quality for each criterion, from excellent to poor. The term defies a dictionary definition, but it seems to have established itself, so I continue to use it (learnweb.harvard.edu). Rubrics have a large appeal for educators and their students. They identify a set of criteria, offer score points, and provide descriptors for all content area work.
In addition, they can take the subjectivity out of grading or scoring by offering a consistent approach to assessing the work. A well-created rubric is a tool for learning and for assessing. Students like rubrics because they know exactly what they have to do to earn a high score. It also allows the teacher and student to come together and provide specific feedback based on a learning objective. Teachers like them because it cuts down on lengthy narrative comments. Parents like them because they know exactly what their child needs to do in order to be successful.In order for a rubric to be usable it needs to match the instruction taking place! For this reason, we designed genre specific rubrics. The link below is used for opinion writing. The rubric breaks down the skills of opinion writing and gives a score of 1-4 for each component. What I love is that I can use just one section of the rubric during the year as I instruct, or I can use it as a whole when we are creating process pieces or when I give an assessment. These rubrics are also aligned to the standards so I know I am teaching with fidelity to those standards.