If you have to create work for assessment, it helps to understand how it will be assessed. The TN Writing Assessment uses a rubric designed to complement the CCSS outcomes.
To prepare for this important test of student writing, I thought an examination of the rubric would help. The language of this document is “teacher speak,” often difficult for young learners to grasp its meaning. We performed a close reading of the rubric.
Because this is an advanced ELA class, we specifically focused on the Level Four expectation, the goal for each student. That did not mean the rest of the rubric was ignored but the goal of the lesson was to comprehend the expectations of the highest level of the rubric.
Step One: Read each category of the performance level four section and highlight the words you do not understand OR you believe the average student would not understand.
Step Two: Decide what the words means used in context and then look for a synonym of the word that is student friendly. Replace each of the words with the synonyms.
Step Three: Read each of the performance levels of the categories: Development, Focus/Organization, Language, and Conventions. Underline the words/phrases that changed as the level performances grew. Identify the key ideas of the each performance category.
Step Four: Paraphrase the Level Four expectations. Students worked in small groups with a place mat strategy to come up with the paraphrasing.
Step Five: I then put all of their ideas together and recreated a paraphrased Level Four Rubric. Students copied their ideas onto a new rubric grid.
Based on an idea from Crazy Lady Teacher, I have implemented a weekly self-assessment based on the clear targets for the week. The following is a very thorough example of one’s student’s ideas.