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Using Rubrics

This resource includes information to help teachers use rubrics for both evaluation and instruction in their classrooms. Rubrics are performance-based assessment tools that can be used to evaluate and also support student learning. Writing rubrics are generally used in the content areas with formal writing assignments. When students learn the purpose of rubrics and how to use them, the quality of students' work often increases, and their content area knowledge and skills improve.

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Review the Using Rubrics in Content Area Instruction handout, including the sample mathematics rubric.

Did you notice how the elements for writing mathematical responses were incorporated into the teacher-made rubric?

Next, write your answer to the following question in your teaching journal: How do you use rubrics and checklists to support student learning in your classroom?

Teacher Talk: A Look at Two Rubric-Scored Essays

In the next set of videos, teachers discuss ways to help students revise and improve their writing. Their discussion is based on two sample student essays that were scored by using an analytical assessment rubric.

Locate the Video Guide for Teacher Talk: Understanding Rubrics handout.

As you watch each video, record in the right column specific details the teachers share or any questions that come to mind for the main ideas and key concepts listed in the left column.

Locate the Literary Scoring Guide and Expository Scoring Guide handouts. Each scoring guide contains 14 pages.

These handouts contain excerpts from the English I Writing State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) rubrics and sample essays made available by the Texas Education Agency. These excerpts will be discussed in the next videos.

First, on the Literary Scoring Guide handout, review the literary essay scoring rubric criteria for each level of performance on pages 3, 6, 9, and 12.

Then, read the sample student literary essay "Heart Race" and assessment summary on page 5.

When you are ready, click play on the video below. The video depicts teachers looking at an assessment rubric and student writing samples. As you watch the video, think about how feedback can be used to help the student improve his or her writing. Remember to write notes on the Video Guide for Teacher Talk: Understanding Rubrics handout. 

Now, on your Expository Scoring Guide handout, review the expository essay scoring rubric criteria for each level of performance on pages 3, 6, 9, and 12.

Then, locate the sample student expository essay on page 7. The essay begins with this sentence: "Technology is what turns the world—almost literally." Read the essay and assessment summary.

When you are ready, click play on the video below. Remember to write notes on the Video Guide for Teacher Talk: Understanding Rubrics handout.

Review your notes on the Video Guide for Teacher Talk: Understanding Rubrics handout. Complete the chart by summarizing the most important ideas from the discussion.

Next, take a few minutes to read through the other sample student essays and the assessment summaries. After reading each one, decide which fundamental part of the essay (refer to the scoring rubric criteria) you would suggest the student work on and revise. Write your ideas at the top of the essay.

Take a moment to reflect: How did your suggestions (feedback) differ according to the essay score? Write your reflections in your teaching journal.