Make Room For Rubrics

A rubric is a device for organizing and interpreting data gathered from observations of student performance. More precisely, it is a scoring guide that differentiates between levels of development in a specific area of performance or behavior. Conventional rubrics, such as the Science Journal Rubric pictured opposite, use a range of three or more levels to assess performance — for example, from beginning to developing to proficient. Each of the levels contains specific, measurable performance characteristics, such as “makes few/occasional/frequent spelling errors.” Checklists, which provide specific steps for completing tasks to the highest level of quality, such as the Student Rubric, opposite, are another form of rubric. Combination rubrics incorporate aspects of both.