Writers Workshop Model Lesson Plan Grades K-2 Lesson 26: Using a Rubric Introduction: Signal for students to gather at the meeting area for Writers Workshop. After students come to the meeting area say the Writing Workshop chant. This will be the first time your students have created a writing rubric in Writers Workshop this year (possibly the first time ever). It’s important to explain the purpose of a writing rubric. Students need to be involved in creating the rubric in some way. Start the lesson by having students raise their hands if they’ve ever had a chocolate chip cookie. Ask them if any one has ever had a really good chocolate chip cookie. Ask, “What made it so good? Was it soft, large, gooey?” Then ask if anyone has ever had a bad chocolate chip cookie before. Ask, “What made it a bad cookie? Was it burned, hard, uncooked?” As a class come up with a rubric to grade chocolate chip cookies. Tell them you want them to think about the attributes of a chocolate chip cookie (color, taste, number of chocolate chips, and texture of a chocolate chip cookie). (You can let them pick the categories or following is an example of a rubric with categories chosen for you. For younger students you may want to stick to 2-3 categories) Chocolate Chip Cookie Rubric Example Sample Chart (some teachers choose not to attach numbers to the categories on the rubric) Needs Delicious Good Poor Improvement 4 3 1 2 Number Chocolate chip Chocolate chips in Barely any Chips in most bites of Chips in every bite some bites chocolate chips Chewy in middle, Texture resembles Texture Chewy Crispy/Crunchy crisp on edges a dog biscuit Either light from Either dark brown overcooking or light from overcooking or Color Golden brown Burned from being a little light from raw undercooking Home-baked Quality store-bought Taste Tasteless Stale, hard, chalky taste taste *For this lesson you will *Once you’ve made a rubric, give each student a baggie with several different need different types of chocolate chip cookies- CHECK FOR FOOD ALLERGIES before this lesson. chocolate chip cookies. Be (have cookies range from a small hard cookie to a much larger, soft, full of sure to check for food chocolate chips cookie). Have students focus on one cookie at a time. Go through allergies before using the rubric and have students rank the cookies in each category. Start with cookies with this lesson. number of chips. Have students grade (give a 1,2,3, or 4) the cookie based on the number of chocolate chips it contains. Have them look at the rubric, read each section beside # of chips and have students hold up the number of fingers for the grade they’d like to give that cookie. (1 being the poorest score, 4 being the best). Say, “On the count of three hold up the number of fingers to show what grade you’d give this one cookie just grading its chocolate chips.” Draw attention to the fact that some students held up different scores. Ask, “Is that okay? Do we all have to agree and have the exact same opinion of the cookie?” Next, grade the texture, color, and lastly the taste of each cookie. At the end of this activity, have students give each cookie an overall score of 1,2,3, or 4. Through this activity emphasize that everyone has their own opinion of what makes a great cookie. Some people like them crunchy and thin, while others like them soft, thick, and gooey. Say, “Today we were grading cookies based on your opinion. As a class we came up with what we thought made a good cookie, but each person has their own idea of what makes a cookie the best. It was hard to grade each cookie because we all have different opinions.” Let students know that today as a class you will create a rubric that will help everyone understand better what makes writing good. The rubric will not be based on our opinions; it will be based on our grade level’s expectations. Guided Tell students that they have learned a lot about drawing and telling stories. Ask them to think about what they have learned that makes a piece of writing good. Practice: (This list should reflect the lessons you have taught and story elements you have discussed. Include more than writing conventions.) An example list: -My story includes an illustration. -My story/drawing includes details. -My drawing shows the setting. Pass out four pieces of leveled writing: (Do not use writing examples from students of the current year. Use examples from previous years, mark out names, or use examples from the shared drive) -One piece should represent “needs substantial instruction” -One should represent “needs revisions” -One should represent “meets standard” -One should represent “going above and beyond meeting standard” Directions: *Put students in groups (3-4 students per group). *Have them read each piece of writing and then order them from what they think is the poorest piece of writing to the best piece of writing. (Remind them that the longest piece does not always mean it is the best piece of writing.) *Give each group several sticky notes and have them write what they notice about each piece of writing on a sticky note and then place the sticky note below each paper. (For example, if the best piece of writing contains many examples of sensory details write “sensory details” on the sticky note and place it below that paper. If the poorest piece of writing does not have spaces between the words and lacks sequence, have them write those two thoughts on two separate sticky notes and place them below that piece of writing.) Come back together as a group and combine these thoughts on a class chart. Let students know that you are going to assign a number 1-4 for the pieces of writing. “1” stands for the lowest/poorest piece of writing and “2” stands for needs improvement. The “3” represents strong, on grade level writing, and “4” represents going above and beyond “good”. (You may want to associate the pieces of writing with letters or symbols if your students are not ready for the connection of numbers to the rubric. Explain to the class what a rubric is, how it is used, and how your class will use one on their completed work. On chart paper, as a class create a rubric of what each number represents in the sample writing. Again, move beyond conventions (punctuation, spelling, capitalization. These are important and should be included, but the rubric should represent all facets of writing.) The 3 should represent what students are held accountable for at grade level. Rubric for Stories 4 3 1 2 -Includes sensory -Good details -Some details -No details details -Strong beginning -Beginning and -No beginning -Strong -Included middle, but no -Out of sequence beginning, middle beginning, end. -Poor spacing and end middle, and end -Repeats the -No punctuation -Contains sound -Capitalized the same ideas over words start of and over. sentences. -Lists events in -In order story Say, “We created this rubric today so that each person knows what they are held accountable for in their writing. If it’s been taught then I expect to see it in your writing.” (Keep a chart posted of all mini lessons taught. Add to this mini lesson chart as new lessons, skills, and concepts are taught throughout the year.) Call students to retrieve writing notebooks before returning to their seats to begin writing. Independent Have students carefully look at their piece of writing they are currently working to publish. Ask them to compare their writing with the rubric created today. Practice: Allow students to add to their work at this time. Direct them to use the rubric to measure their work and help them make decisions about improvement. After the students have had time to write, use a signal to call the students back to the carpet for closure. Close with a discussion of the process of writing that they have learned so far. Reinforce the concept of writers looking at their work, reflecting on what has been written well, and making decisions on how to make their writing better. At the end of Writers Workshop have students return the notebooks to the special location where they will be kept in the classroom. Writers Workshop Lessons: The First 30 Days. Washington, DC: America’s Choice, Inc., 2005.