Saturday, September 27, 2014

Assessing Student Writing with a 4-Point Rubric

I have been looking for a quick and easy way to grade student writing this year, given the fact that we no longer have an explicit writing block built into our schedule.  (You can read more about how I am weaving writing into reading centers here.)

I wanted a rubric that would mirror NYS's 4-point expository writing rubric used to score extended responses on the NYS ELA test.

I wanted students to be familiar with this rubric so that they would be well prepared for their state test.

However, I was having a little trouble finding a child friendly version of this rubric.  One that I could use on the fly with multiple genres because lets face it, there just isn't enough time in the beginning of the school year.

So, I came up with this.

I used the same categories, I just simplified them and organized my rubric as a checklist.

In the beginning of the year, I plan on checking off each box for student strengths, leaving them blank if that specific area was a challenge, and then counting the checks to get a quick score out of 4-points.

As we progress through the year, and dig deeper into the greater meaning of each rubric category, I plan on giving students a score of 1-4 for each category.  This will provide me with a total of up to 16 points which I will then divide by 4 to get my usual score out of 4 points.

Throughout the week students have been working on writing during reading centers.  On Friday, I have been providing them with a little time to select their favorite piece, edit & revise it, and submit it for scoring.

To submit their writing, I have them insert their favorite piece into the plastic sleeves I placed in their purple writing folders.

When I score their writing, I just slip the rubric into their writing sleeve with the corresponding piece.  That way they can easily see how they did.  However, I have not written on or marked up their wonderful writing piece.

I left just enough room along the side to jot down a few notes, compliments, or suggestions for students.

I've also placed a large copy of the rubric in the back of each folder for students to refer to when selecting a piece to be assessed.

I hope these writing folders will serve as a wonderful portfolio of their writing in fourth grade.

Snag a free copy of my writing rubric here.

How are you scoring writing this year?