I start the year with a bit of writing workshop. As part of that we have several discussions about what characterizes ‘good’ writing.
So when we have a list of characteristics, I ask my students to try to synthesize their notions of good writing in the form of a rubric. We look at some sample rubrics and we talk about which ones work and which ones don’t and why.
We also talk about different purposes. Some rubrics are meant to help the writer improve, some are for assessment. Some do a bit of both. Then they have to come up with rubrics and decide what the purpose of their rubric is.
They hung them on the wall today. We had some ‘gallery time’ and then I asked them which were the most helpful, and which were the best for grading. Generally they pick the more open-ended rubrics as helpful, and the most prescriptive rubrics as best for grading. And then we talk about the difference between writing well, and writing for a grade.
Plus, you have to love a rubric that includes a ‘metaphorasaurus’.