A rubric is a set of guidelines for measuring progress towards a standard or objective. Using one helps students and teachers share the same understanding of how progress will be measured and what constitutes mastery of that skill or goal. Unlike letter grades, rubrics allow you to measure a child’s progress by identifying skills mastered and which ones need additional work. They can be written as a number, a checklist, or a narrative.
Rubrics can be developed by individual teachers, school or districts but the most powerful ones are developed WITH students. Children sometimes have a tough time understanding what a “good job” means in a classroom. Often, it’s said without clarity and sometimes it looks different for different kids. Also “good job” can vary from teacher to teacher or time of the day. So, as teachers, we have to be sure that we are using language that kids understand and that understand the skills they have to achieve. Once rubric language is taught to kids, teachers have to consistently use them to improve student learning.
I used to explain to students the reason for using rubrics by using this example. When your parent tells you to clean your room, you do it, they check it and they think you did not do a good job. Kids immediately saw the need for a rubric. They had experienced the difference between “mom’s clean and kid clean”.
Rubrics give details into a rating and can be created for all kinds of things! What’s important is that kids and adults need to understand what they need to do at each level so they understand how they are doing.
- Teach-nology (https://www.teach-nology.com/web_tools/rubrics/ ) Great teacher resource but outstanding for rubrics. The site includes rubrics by subject areas, as well as Rubric Maker Tools. One stop shopping and it’s FREE.
- RubiStar Home ( http://rubistar.4teachers.org/index.php ) is a free tool to help teachers create rubrics. Teachers can either register to create their own rubrics or search for already created rubrics using a simple search tool.
- Teacher Planet (https://www.teacherplanet.com/rubrics-for-teachers Rubrics can be searched by subject or terms.
- RubricMaker ( https://rubric-maker.com/ ) You can create customized rubrics for primary, elementary, middle, and high school. Premade rubrics are also available.
- Schrockguide (https://www.schrockguide.net/assessment-and-rubrics.html ) Kathy Schrock has been a guru in teaching technology for a long time. This site is great. Includes background on rubrics, how to’s and premade rubrics.