Reflection: Student Communication Who Are You Calling Disobedient? Mini-Research Project (Day 2 of 3) - Section 4: Application


I have found that giving students a rubric to work from after they begin a project, but significantly before they finish the project, helps them to maintain creativity and increase focus on requirements while working on projects.  In the past, I have handed out rubrics with the project introduction, but my students tend to become more fixated on finding the "easiest" paths to a good grade rather than developing a genuine interest into the required project.  Not handing out a rubric at all also typically spells disaster for my students, as they sometimes decide to skip parts of the project they don't feel like doing without considering the impact this would have on their grade.  I clearly remember a Journalism class I once taught that, even though students had rubric to self-grade their final projects, unanimously graded themselves as failing.  They were horrified when I revealed that they had all failed themselves (as I did not include a "total" at the bottom for them to fill out), and we opted to revise and redo the projects to allow students to turn in a higher-quality project.  Since those days, I have learned that really frequent checks on student progress and understanding of requirements is absolutely crucial to student success.  I do believe rubrics help this when properly introduced and discussed, which is why I take class time to do so here.  Giving out a rubric helps to emphasize which parts of the project you find most important and allows them to give those areas special attention.  

The openness of this format also helps students, parents, and teachers to be on the same page from the beginning of the project, rather than having to try to explain yourself after a student earns a lower-than-expected grade.  I'm not sure how many times having a rubric distributed in advance has saved me a headache, but it has to be approaching a hundred by now!

  How to Maximize Student Rubric Usage
  Student Communication: How to Maximize Student Rubric Usage
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Who Are You Calling Disobedient? Mini-Research Project (Day 2 of 3)

Unit 4: Arguing with the Transcendentalists Mini-Unit
Lesson 2 of 7

Objective: SWBAT develop an argumentative outline into a Google Presentation which logically sequences the claim, counterclaim, reasons, and evidence, while using visual elements and conventions of slideshows to enhance effectiveness and clarity.

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