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Using rubrics is an easy way to grade student papers and projects. Rubrics let students know what teachers expect on assignments and give teachers a standardized, compact checklist from which to grade. The best part about rubrics is that they're easy to make; you could make a rubric for almost any assignment in less than five minutes! Read on to learn how.
The basic idea behind any rubric is to score students based on their effort, performance and ability to follow directions. The first step to creating a rubric, then, is to write down exactly what you expect in a project. Make bullet points that clearly indicate what the student should turn in. For example, with an essay, you would probably write down "introduction," "body," and "conclusion." Within each bullet point, write down the elements necessary for successful completion of that section. Again, with an essay you might put "thesis," "hook," and "creativity" under "introduction." Continue to do this for all the main bullets you listed.
After you've identified the components of a project and how to create these components successfully, you're ready to add a few more sections to your rubric. Most teachers like to reward students for technical ability and creativity. So, for example, you may want to include sections for grammar and originality on your essay rubric. If you're making a rubric to grade an artistic project, you might want to include something abstract like "effort" for students who may not be the best artists but still try hard. Write down anything that you would consider when assigning a grade for a project.
Rubrics come in a variety of forms, but the most common types are table rubrics and list rubrics. If you'd like to use a list form, then you've already got a basic outline set with your main points and supporting details. For a table, make the main points run down the left side of your page. Across the top, write in evaluative terms from poor work to excellent. Then, under the excellent column, write your ideal project descriptive terms according to the elements you've listed. Fill in a description of the project under each other skill level too. For example, under "good," you would fill in a description of a project that's almost perfect; "poor" would be a project that meets none of your expectations.
Next, determine the points you'd like to make each component of the project worth. It's easiest if you make your points add up to 100; then, you'll have the student's grade just by adding together the points he or she obtains. Alternatively, you could make total points any number that suits your grading system. Go through each bullet point and assign points for that section. Then, break down these points among the subsections you added. Let's consider the essay example again: you might decide that the "introduction" section is worth 20 points. Of that 20, you could break down the subcomponents so the thesis is worth 10 points, the hook, five, and creativity worth another five points. In a table system, each capsule is usually worth a certain number of points. For example, an introduction that's rated "good" according to all the descriptive terms would get five points, while "poor" would only get one.
Continue to assign point values until you've filled out all sections of the rubric. And then you're done! You've just completed your first rubric. Of course, your rubric will need to be typed, formatted and saved so you can use it for multiple projects in the future. But, all in all, the process of creating a rubric should take no longer than five minutes to write it down and another 10 to type it up.
Once you've make your rubric, distribute it to your students before their project is due. This way, they'll know exactly what you're looking for. They'll be able to better meet your expectations, and you'll be able to grade your students' work to a standard. Rubrics, therefore, work wonderfully for everyone. Once you use your first rubric, you'll be hooked!
Is 5 minutes too long? If you would like to create rubrics in seconds, you could always use our Rubric Maker.