So it’s currently Wednesday as I “pen” this post, and I’m sitting at home reflecting about my day of teaching.
As you might remember, I’ve been on a quest to stretch myself as a teacher while also stretching my students. My most recent foray into uncharted waters involves having classes create their own rubrics for a small writing assignment. I blogged about it here.
On Wednesday, students finished writing their rubrics and evaluated each tables’ creations via a Kagan structure called Carousel Feedback. I’ve used this structure below, and it’s been a popular one.
To keep students accountable, I created this form for each table to complete:
I did have to go back and ask students to give specific feedback if the answers to the questions were “yes.” They were answering yes just to finish quickly. Being specific required them to dig deeper and justify their responses.
I also had to help students begin answering the questions. They’d never analyzed a rubric this way, so it was a learning experience for all of us.
After students finished, we began discussing common things they had seen…had a lot of tables left off important skills that needed to be measured? Which skills needed to be weighted heavier? Students had assigned percentages (see below) to the skills. This was the BEST discussion of all because it required students to really analyze what the purpose of the writing assignment was and match it up to the importance of the skills on their rubrics.
I was pleasantly surprised when one of my students insisted that topic sentences be weighted heavily because, in her words, “That’s the main idea, and without it, a reader won’t know what the paragraph is about.”
Hello? Can I hear a Whoop Whoop?!
I am thinking that perhaps some of the teaching is beginning to stick!
Take a look at a couple of rubrics and evaluation forms my students completed.
We then discussed which skills should be on the final rubric (each class rubric wound up being a little different), and I wrote down these skills under the document camera. Then, we decided on the weights to assign the skills.
When I got home from work, I filled in the rest of the rubric, using the feedback they had provided on their evaluation forms. The rubrics I finished Wednesday night looked like this…
This has been an interesting experience. I wish I’d introduced rubric-creation using non-academic material, but that is something I will change next year when I teach this skill again…earlier in the year.
I also need to teach more skills this way…through real-world tasks. My students have had a hard time connecting the importance of these skills with FCAT, where they won’t be asked to “create a rubric.” That may be the case, but they will be asked to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate information…skills they practiced during the creation of the rubric.