Grading rubrics can be of great benefit to both you and your students. For you, a rubric saves time and decreases subjectivity. Specific criteria are explicitly stated, facilitating the grading process and increasing your objectivity. For students, the use of grading rubrics helps them to meet or exceed expectations, to view the grading process as being fair, and to set goals for future learning.
In order to help your students meet or exceed expectations of the assignment, be sure to discuss the rubric with your students when you assign an essay. It is helpful to show them examples of written pieces that meet and do not meet the expectations. As an added benefit, because the criteria are explicitly stated, the use of the rubric decreases the likelihood that students will argue about the grade they receive. The explicitness of the expectations helps students know exactly why they lost points on the assignment and aids them in setting goals for future improvement.
- Routinely have students score peers essays using the rubric as the assessment tool. This increases their level of awareness of the traits that distinguish successful essays from those that fail to meet the criteria. Have peer editors use the Reviewers Comments section to add any praise, constructive criticism, or questions.
- Alter some expectations or add additional traits on the rubric as needed. Students needs may necessitate making more rigorous criteria for advanced learners or less stringent guidelines for younger or special needs students. Furthermore, the content area for which the essay is written may require some alterations to the rubric. In social studies, for example, an essay about geographical landforms and their effect on the culture of a region might necessitate additional criteria about the use of specific terminology.
- After you and your students have used the rubric, have them work in groups to make suggested alterations to the rubric to more precisely match their needs or the parameters of a particular writing assignment.
Second Grade - ELA
Third Grade - ELA
Fourth and Fifth Grades - ELA
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Grades - ELA
High School -ELA
Notes on ELA rubrics:
- The grade 2 rubric has not changed.
- Grade 3 has a new writing rubrics aligned to writing standard W.RBPK.8.
- The content of the rubrics has largely remained the same in grades 4 through high school with some language revised for clarity. Perhaps the largest revision is found in the sequencing of the four traits. While the traits remain the same, Focus and Organization has been reordered to come before Development. This placement reflects the logical order of the writing process as well as best instructional practice—writers focus their ideas and then supply relevant evidence to support those ideas.
The Tennessee writing rubrics for U.S. History are designed to score the student responses from the writing portion of the TNReady assessment. It was crafted in 2014 and has two strands: content and literacy. The content strand is focused on a student’s knowledge of prompt specific U. S. History, while the literacy strand focuses on ensuring that ELA skills are also present in a student response. Though the rubrics are not explicitly designed to be used as instructional resources, the department provides the writing rubric in advance so that educators can prepare students for the writing portion of the TNReady assessment.
The TNReady writing rubrics are designed to be applied holistically rather than through a checklist. Each student response is unique, and each rubric score point is broad. Annotated student anchor papers serve as examples of how the rubrics are applied to individual papers and represent a range of performance levels.
Among their many uses, anchor papers can be used to:
- Deepen understanding of the writing rubrics
- Serve as model essays during instruction
- Guide discussions about feedback and revisions
- Build confidence and consistency in scoring
Educators can find writing prompts and annotated student responses in EdTools under "2017 Writing Resources."