Letter Grades

If you are required to assign letter grades, you might want to have your rubric show whether a student has demonstrated the behaviors important to each grading area consistently (+) or inconsistently (-) over time. Once you have completed the rubric for a particular area, you can assign a letter grade based on its totals.

The next several pages take you through the process of determining one student's grade for writing. Your rubric for writing might look like this one.

Criterion + - Notes
Uses prewriting technique y n
Organizes drafts in a
logical order
y n consistently uses
graphic organizers to
plan writing
Elaborates with relevant details y n
Shares drafts with others y n works well with peers
in conferences
Revises effectively y n
Uses conventions of grammar,
usage, and mechanics correctly
n y needs work esp. on
avoiding run-ons, using
commas, using quotation marks
Proofreads and makes
necessary corrections
n y needs to work on
proofreading techniques
Shares finished writing
with others
y n
Experiments with new writing
ideas and skills
y n tried science fiction
story, news article,
poem tried unusual
points of view
Shows ability to write in
different modes
y n
Completes writing assignments
on time
n y
Keeps writing folder/portfolio
in order
y n
Total 9 3

For each criterion on the rubric, reviewing relevant checklists, notes, and papers will help you determine where the student is for that item. For example, for "Uses conventions of grammar, usage, and mechanics correctly," you might have before you three Writing Attitudes and Habits checklists; two Informal Assessment Checklists; conference notes from four teacher -- student conferences; several Literacy Activity Book pages from various grammar, usage, and mechanics lessons; and your comments on three Reading/Writing Workshop papers. Your review of these materials might show that the student has not consistently used these conventions correctly. You check the minus column and write a summarizing comment on the rubric. (You might also write a reminder in your evaluation notebook to suggest that the student make improvement in this area a goal for the next marking period.)

In this example, you have evaluated the student as consistently demonstrating nine of the twelve important behaviors for writing. The writing grade she would receive depends on the grading scale you establish. For example, since this rubric has twelve items, you might assign an A for consistency in eleven or twelve criteria, a B for consistency in nine or ten criteria, and so on. The "sample student" would receive a B for writing.

Return to Evaluating: Grading and Scoring

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