Reflection: Student Ownership Stand Alone On-Demand - Section 2: Lesson


Several years ago, it occurred to me that my students were unable to assess themselves using the State's Holistic Scoring Guide, because the rubric wasn't accessible. This was really frustrating. Here, we wanted them to be able to look at their writing, understand their scores, score themselves, but we couldn't because the language of the rubric was so over their head it was impossible for my students to understand. 

Teaching the language of the rubric explicitly seemed kind of like a waste. When were they ever going to use that language again? Really it was the concepts and the standards that I wanted them to understand, then begin meeting that criteria.

So, with my classes, we began translating the stuffy, ole' Holistic Scoring Guide into kid-accessible language, and created this Super-Awesome Kid-Friendly Scoring Guide (clearly, my students also named it).

I'll offer a word of advice: it took a really long time to do. Sometimes my students were so bogged down on single words it felt like we were never going to be able to finish. But, honestly, that's a realistic component of writing rubrics--the difference between proficient and emerging might be one, single word, like "adequately" or "seamlessly," or "sophisticated." Having my students dwell on these subtle difference might have been painstakingly slow, but I can honestly say they understand how, exactly, their writing is graded.

  Student Ownership: Rubrics and Readability
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Stand Alone On-Demand

Unit 11: Writing and Revision Mini-Unit
Lesson 6 of 8

Objective: SWBAT: choose a prompt and write in a timed situation. Then students will peer assess and peer review their finished products.

Big Idea: My school does two different On-Demand activities. The first is a passage-based prompt and is pretty intense, the second is called a "Stand Alone," and is a nice, quick assessment of student writing!

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