Extensive [but easy] Assessment with Rubric; Follow Up: Assigning points & scoring!

I have gotten about a dozen emails this past school year asking me to elaborate more on the grading process I used with my Rubric.  You can find that original post here.  The rubric itself was a long work in progress – I formulated the best way to go about assessment in my Middle Level classroom after many trial and error – and of course, I was attempting to approach my assessment in a way that administrators found to be substantial and meaningful.  An assessment is only as good as you make it but when you make it good and your administrators love it, well then it’s gold.

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Anyways, so many people asked how I graded using the rubric.  I had originally left that out, because without numbers on the rubric, I wanted anyone who used it to make their own grading decisions and I still stand by that choice because a 5 to me could be like a 7 to another; we are all a little varied in how we create our scales.  But, I’m biting the bullet and sharing with you my crazy way of assessing with this rubric.

So, let’s begin. And forgive me because you’ll quickly learn that I am crazy.

If you start the farthest side of the rubric at a 5 and end with the right at 0 (using the lines instead of the columns) essentially each row can be weighed in amounts of 20 and changed in weight by increments of 5 if you want to choose weights by line.  Easiest way to grade would be to make them all the same but it’s not necessary to make this work.  I always weight certain categories a little more depending on what I am addressing in the project, unit or activity.  Going through number by number won’t be helpful, so let’s imagine ourselves in class…

Let’s imagine a student, any student in particular.

1. Students grade themselves blindly using circles, no points. That said, their score was worth only 25% of their overall grade.  I then just converted the rubric to a 25 scale when I took in account their marks. They are instructed to mark anywhere they feel they landed – left being the highest, and right being the lowest.  This goes the same for peer grading. Their marks can be overlapping the line, middle of the column, doesn’t matter.   Let’s say a student marked all on the farthest left because they are natural Van Goghs (this never happens, fyi – students rarely give themselves 100%).

For this project, I’m using the following weights:
Skill Growth: 8 (8 being left, 0 being the right, spread the points out evenly)
Creativity: 6 (6 being left, 0 being the right, spread the points out evenly)
Perseverance: 4 (4 being left, 0 being the right, spread the points out evenly)
Craftsmanship: 4 (4 being left, 0 being the right, spread the points out evenly)
Cooperation: 3 (3 being left, 0 being the right, spread the points out evenly)
Their score would add up to 25/25

2. Peers then also graded the student’s work blindly with stars, no points. The peer’s score was also only worth 25% of the overall grade and I assessed their marks in the same manner with the same scales. If they mark in areas throughout the farthest left column their score would be approximately be between 20-23 out of 25 depending on the marks.  So far this puts the student at approximately, lets say with the lowest side possible, around a score of 45/50, meaning I observed the marks to equal a 20/25 by the peer grading. (25+20…A- at my previous school).

3. My score, on the other hand, was worth 50% of their overall grade… I then just converted the rubric to a 50 pt scale when I made marks.

At a 50 pt scale, my areas had scales of:
Skill Growth: 16
Creativity: 12
Perseverance: 8
Craftsmanship: 8
Cooperation: 6
My opinion/assessment tends to fall in the middle of most students so let’s say I gather about 46/50 for points.

All together the student would have 91/100 (25+20+46).  That’s an A- and all things considered, a fair grade.

4. Their written response could increase their score by 1-5 points depending on their written comprehension.  Let’s face it, someone might not be a visual learner but their words can show their comprehension 10-fold.  I can get into more detail but basically I use a prompting question that requires an answer with comprehension and understanding. They get 1 minute to think, 3 to write, and 1 to revise.  This is called a quick write – and your schools should be familiar with this concept; if it’s not…even I, as an art teacher, can say it is the fastest and least aggressive way to include writing in your classroom. This written part can NEVER hurt their grade, only improve it – I do not consider it extra credit given that it is required of everyone.

Let’s say our student showed a generally understanding but nothing crazy…I might give them 2 points for showing what they do understand in the second medium, writing.  They are now at a 93% overall and at my school that was an A.

In my experience, students tend to agree with each other and my scoring stays more honest when I make it so thoroughly clear how the rubric works.  I rarely have students give themselves 100%, in fact they tend to be more hard on themselves and when I disagree with someone or there are discrepancies, we plan a 1:1 conference to talk it out.

Hopefully this answers some questions but I encourage you to add your own tools for grading using this rubric – yes I created it and I appreciate the effort but I’m a teacher, so it’s only natural that I want you to steal it and make it work for you even if that means changing everything! 🙂


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