Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Single-Point Rubric

A friend at my school showed me the following article on the "Brilliant or Insane" blog:

Your Rubric is a Hot Mess; Here's How to Fix It

This is an amazing post and I have shared it with a lot of teachers. I was meeting with a group of teachers at school and they absolutely went crazy. Our English department has totally gone to Single-Point Rubrics in their grading.

As we have discussed this with several teachers, one of my friends at school called the Multi-Point Rubric (the one that teachers mostly use) is like a word-search. Students have to go through and search the correct words that they want. A Single-Point Rubric tells students exactly what they should be doing.

I always tell teachers that when we do a Multi-Point Rubric, we are essentially telling students at least two ways NOT to do the assignment correctly. Why do we do that? (And, I am including myself in this as I have given many Multi-Point Rubric in my time as a teacher).

We are also telling students that there is only one way to excel at the assignment. Even when we put the "wow factor" in the rubric (and, yes I have done that myself as well). One problem with the "wow factor" is that once you see one "wow" from a student, it is difficult to be "wowed" from other students. Plus, sometimes we have graded so many assignments that we are just tired and no longer "wowed" by things.

To me, the Single-Point Rubric is one of the best ways to give students feedback as well as helping them to know what exactly they are supposed to do.

Teacher Evaluation

This last year we had to start a new teacher-evaluation system in the state where I live and teach (Utah). The districts in our state are trying out online systems to help us evaluate ourselves and have our administrators evaluate us. Here is the rubric (ugh, it is ugly):

As I went through the process of evaluating myself with the system I found out one major thing about rubrics. The evaluation system had us evaluate ourselves on several different items. Each item had an option of 1-4 (or basically a Multi-Point Rubric). As I was going through my evaluation I found that I started thinking that if I wasn't doing EVERYTHING on Level 3 (the one where we are supposed to be), then I felt I had to grade myself as a Level 2. 

When my administrator talked with me about my evaluation. He indicated that the three administrators were looking at my self-evaluation and were laughing because I had graded myself so low on things. As I started thinking about that I realized that the Multi-Point Rubric doesn't work. So, I took about 30 minutes one morning before school and went through the evaluation system and created a Single-Point Rubric of it. Here is what it looks like:

I find this rubric so much better. For of all I decided to use the single-person pronoun so that it makes it more personal. I also eliminated all of the wording how "effective" a teacher is. This again limits a teacher to saying they are only effective in specific ways. Sometimes I have become "effective" in an area in a totally different way, but the old rubric doesn't seem to allow for this. With the Single-Point Rubric I and my administrator can write down what I need to work on and what I excel at. This, I believe, will help me to become a better teacher.

I haven't used this rubric yet as I just came up with it at the end of the year, but I am hoping to use it this next year in my teaching.

Collaboration Rubric

We also have a rubric in our district for our collaboration teams. I decided to do the same thing with it. Here is what the original looks like:

Here is what it looks like as a Single-Point Rubric:

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