Reflection: Accountability Geologic Time Mini Project - Section 3: Product Development - 2 days


The use of rubrics has become commonplace to evaluate student work. Rubrics provide a common language between the teacher and students, and serve almost as an agreement between the two about what the expectations for a project are. The key to using rubrics, in my opinion, is to go over them with the students. This means that the students are given the rubric, and then we work together, on day one of a project, to unpack the rubric in relation to the project. The conversation we have centers on the highest point in the rubric as I ask, for example "What does it mean that Ideas are easy to understand and well developed? - I wait for student answers, and clarify points like the sentences need to make sense and have transitions that move me from one thing to another. The reader should not have to work to understand what you wrote, or go searching for more information.

During workdays, we also go back to the rubric. This is really when examples and non-examples arise from the work that is being created. As I move around the room during these days, I often call upon different students to evaluate interim work from one another, with rubric in hand. This helps the student being "evaluated" see where improvements could come in, and see his/her work from a non-creator perspective. When doing this, however, you have to be careful not to allow students to nit-pick each other ("Well, I would use however instead of but"). Although the rubric is there, the conversation between the students must start with identifying a strength, so that it can then move to a suggestion. The students are taught how to do this, and reminded of how this works before they are allowed to continue. This is a sample of what this looks like:

You may have noticed in my rubric that the criteria are not assigned a point value, but rather a level of mastery. This is done intentionally to have students focus really on the expectation at each level rather than on a number that does not really mean anything. 

Follow this link if you would like more information on how to use rubrics.

  Accountability: Rubrics
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Geologic Time Mini Project

Unit 7: Geologic Time
Lesson 4 of 4

Objective: Students will be able to explain that many changes in biodiversity have occurred since life evolved on Earth.

Big Idea: Earth’s rocks and other materials provide a record of its history.

  Print Lesson
Science, Geologic Time, geologic eras, Project Based Learning, PBL
  145 minutes
geologic time
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