- School Culture and Leadership
- School Resources
- Community Resource.
|Culture & Leadership|
|Steering||211 or 212||English COW A|
|Core Values, Beliefs…||230||Math COW A|
|Curriculum||206||Math COW A|
|Instruction||204/205D||Math COW B|
|Assessment||218||Math COW B|
|School Culture and Leadership||210||English COW A|
|School Resources||224||English COW B|
|Community Resources||223||English COW B|
Ever feel shackled by a rubric? Like rubrics are trying to drive a wedge between you and your students? NCHS teacher, unchain yourself! Rubrics don’t have that kind of power.
Rubric is one of those words that has a bum rap; just ask any teacher who knew that a project was a C+ when the rubric insisted it was a B. But perception isn’t reality, and rubrics aren’t just for assessment anymore.
More importantly, rubrics are for communication.
Think about it: we want kids to be effective problem solvers, clear communicators, responsible and productive collaborators, among other things. We also need to teach our course content. How do we know how to connect the important content we teach to the important skills they need to learn? Simple: listen to the rubric.
The bullet points in those boxes are the places where our learning expectations reside. They articulate skills that we have always assumed we were teaching, and they show us something we might not have known: that social studies teachers are asking kids to collaborate the same way they do in an engineering class; that science teachers are demanding the same clear communication as English teachers.
By breaking those skills into their constituent parts, and naming those parts, what we teach becomes clearer to us. And by sharing those expectations with students, they know exactly what they should know. That’s communication, baby.
Then, when students hand in their work, we use the rubric to let them know where they are in their understanding of our learning expectations, and give them a chance to tell us how they plan to improve. So the cycle of communication between teachers and students, with the rubric as common ground, continues to clarify and specify exactly what we want students to achieve.
And we all live happily ever after.
English Department Meeting
February 1, 2012:
Revision of Reflection Rubric
Process for piloting the reflection rubric:
At the January department meeting, members of the English department were charged with piloting the reflection rubric developed in a NEASC group. Teachers paired with another member of the department in order to debrief their findings before we met in February. We had approximately one month to design, implement and gather student feedback about the clarity and purpose of the reflection task and rubric. Approximately 600 students from thirty sections of classes ranging from freshmen to seniors participated in the pilot.
Reporting from teachers:
Hannah and Jim:
Hannah’s classes did a mid-year reflection on writing goals. She asked if the goal was achievable, did you reflect successfully on your own learning.
Insights from data:
Student reflections were not specific, and therefore students need to learn to reflect.
Students were confused on the meaning of the last two boxes on the rubric in which they were asked to reflect on the reflection.
Jim’s students were asked to reflect on the midyear exam as well. They were asked to reflect on the mid-year exam and articulate their strengths and weaknesses. He asked how they progressed from their last reflection.
Insights from data:
Students echoed the first reflection.
Kat and Aaron:
Kat’s junior classes reflected on the research process having completed the research paper.
Insights from data:
Do reflections sooner, frequently during the research process so students can modify their goals along the way.
The paradigm of ‘with minimal guidance” or “independently…” was hard to grade.
Seniors used the course reflection journals to evaluate their progress in the class.
Insights from data:
Students could evaluate progress because it was a regular part of the class.
At this point in the meeting, the discussion opened up to all members. Teachers began to focus on themes regarding student reflection. Here are some of the insights from that discussion.
· We need to teach students how to reflect. Reflections over time will increase student investment
· How do we teach them to reflect? Set goals at the beginning of the year or quarter. Knowing you will need to reflect, knowing that you will look at skills closely on a regular basis to understand how you have grown will help students increase capacity to reflect
· Reflection helps students be accountable for their learning. Students whether they are upper classmen or in honors does not guarantee that they know how to reflect
· Students need to take into account teacher and peer feedback when reflecting
· Important to reflect after formative assessment
· Concern about the current scale used on the NEASC rubrics because so many boxes fall below goal; need to understand the reasoning behind this
Proposals for the revision of the reflection rubric, based on student feedback and teacher observation:1. Provide a brief context for the rubric by distinguishing between the two types of reflection it will assess.
The reflection rubric plays the role of supporting skill-specific expectations in subject areas; in and of itself, the rubric is a cross-disciplinary measure for the reflective habits of mind that serve as a schoolwide 21st century learning expectation.
Within a discipline, "Advanced" performance on reflection will tell the students and the teacher when it is time to develop more challenging expectations. Students may then seem to go backward in their reflection practice, when in reality they may be making the adjustment to a new set of expectations. The rubric should be designed with the a sense of increasingly challenging expectations in mind.