So first of all we started the class with this presentation by Cory Antonini who went on and explained this fantastic, wonderful and creative (I could go on and on) resource for teachers. This website has everything all combined for a lesson plan. Outcome, indicators, different ways of assessment, ability to create your own rubric and so much more. Basically it is everything which is so cool for teachers to use and from what it sounds like is that he is improving it even more during the summer. So definitely check it out in the future.
He continues to talk about rubric development and how he uses it in the classroom, which I think is really interesting. For the rubric there is four different levels: established, meeting, progressing and beginning. What he wants is everyone to be at the meeting level, so he decides what it means to be meeting and then leaves everything other box on the rubric blank. As students are working on their projects he meets up with them everyday and gives the students feedback by writing in the rubric where he thinks the students are at for the day. Each day he uses a different coloured pen so he can see himself how the students are progressing.
Why has no one every mentioned this before. I think this is such a smart way for teachers to give both summative and formative assessment for students. During the assignment you are able to help students improve their work and when you are ready to “grade” the assignment you already know where they stand. Genius! I can not describe my excitement for this.
What I also like was that it was in the 4 point grading system. Recently in a different class I was reading about how we should use a 4 point grading system because it helps the scorers to be less discriminating. (Chapter 10 of Teaching Mathematics for the 21st Century: Methods and Activities for grades 6-12) When creating your own rubric, you have to be very clear about what is acceptable and unacceptable (2 or 3). A teacher also has to set clear expectations for what is barely unacceptable to one that is filled with mistakes/errors and one that is acceptable but so-so to one that is shows a good understanding. Being clear is a necessity so the students are not surprised by their grade. I personally think that I would want to have a blank rubric with only the meeting filled in but than go over with the students what 1, 2 or 4 means. That way the students know exactly what I want them to achieve (3) but also they know what is unacceptable.
However in this reading they did say that some teachers have difficulty grading because they have a tendency to give better papers or projects in the class a higher score even if they don’t necessarily meet the rubric. Cory said that in his rubrics they have low, middle or high end for each level. I think that using this especially for beginning teachers helps them narrow down what each individual students is at. There are many different ways to create/use a rubric. Because I am a math person I always try to relate what I learned to my subject area and I think rubrics are awesome. In school we are learning to go from a textbook/lecture based class to a more open one with projects. Obviously rubrics are going to be essential for me when I do projects.
p.s. I also wanted to say that the remote he was using for his presentation was so awesome. I have yet to try it but he controlled his computer from his phone with an app called unified remote (I believe it was only for android but could be wrong). This looks so cool and I can’t wait to try it.