Rubric BeGone

I whined a bit here about my beef with rubrics. Yet I think I have found a solution.

The bottom of the rubric is easy. You didn’t do it, but how do you differentiate the top, especially in English. Let’s take my teacher subjectivity and you just try and hit the right area for “extensively creative use of unique words and phrases.” Just do it. Figure out what I am thinking will be extensively creative and unique. Hell figure out what I am determining as a word or phrase. Is it one word, a couple? How many have to be extensive or creative.

And before you get all on my back about “rubrics can be good!” and such, I don’t disagree, but sometimes the rubric just needs to be a matter of Did you get IT? 

Yes or No?

Yet, I find myself almost constantly caught up in the I need an A!!!!!!!  discussion, although their work is good, I don’t often consider much to be exemplar, unless after I grade 70 others I can remember specific bits of yours. Not having spelling errors and meeting the requirements are just that, MEETING THE REQUIREMENTS, that should be the norm not the exception.

So I think I am going to make my kiddos who think they deserve exemplar credit justify their reasoning. So I am thinking a simple:

Should any part of your work be considered for exemplar credit?     Yes           No 

Explain in detail how you went above and beyond the requirements of the rubric and assignment. 

I want my students to really go above and beyond and some of them need a little reality check in reference to what ABOVE AND BEYOND is. I am interested to see what this looks like in practice. I am hoping that it eliminates some of the rubric ambiguity without creating further ambiguity. 


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