Social studies essay rubric middle school

Response offers little or no support from source materials or is coppied verbatim. Development and writing supporting ideas Supporting ideas are very well developed. Information is precisely accurate and relevant. Supporting ideas are generally well developed. Information is generally accurate and relevant. Ideas may be emotional, inaccurate, irrelevant, or show misunderstanding.

Organization of writen response Response is unified, focused, well organized and contains one o more clear controlling ideas. Organization and control are sustained throughout the response. Response is adequately organized with at least one controlling idea.

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Digressions, if present, are not disruptive. Response lacks focus and a controlling idea or position. Digressions and or abrupt shifts in response interferes with meaning. Response has little or no organization. Response has frequent digressions and abrupt shifts that interfere with meaning.

Writing is fluent and polished with effective transitions. Most ideas are clear and understandable. Writing is generally fluent with some use of transitions. Some ideas may not be clearly expressed. Fluency and transitions are lacking. Many ideas are difficult to understand.

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Fluency and transitions are non-existent. All rights reserved. Facebook Page Twitter Feed. Oral Presentation Rubric. Persuasive Essay Rubric. Reading for Comprehension Rubric. Research Rubric. I have found that it is helpful when handing the papers back to students to have the rubric stabled to the paper with written comments. For many teachers, project work has always been a hands-on mainstay of the social studies.

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As I altered the methods I used for assessment, the project work that I assigned my students changed as well. The first change was to move toward projects in which students exercise some degree of choice over what they work on, incorporating both their knowledge and higher order thinking about it. This meant the creation of more open-ended projects in which there were many possible choices. It also entailed the development of multiple rubrics. Experience has taught me that it is important to have both individual and group projects. When I do use a group project, I let students know up front that they will not be getting a group grade.

The majority of students are very happy to learn this. There is a fundamental issue of fairness whenever two students do equally well on an assessment task but receive different grades because of the work of other group members. Group grading also works against the important cooperative learning principle of individual accountability. Students learn and progress in different ways. This notion, well accepted in education as it is, has profound implications for curriculum, instruction, and assessment.

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In differentiation, the teacher begins with where the student is and works the curriculum and instruction in such a way as to help that student. I have found differentiated individual projects, with accompanying rubrics and checklists, an essential component of working with gifted students. Do I still use traditional tests and quizzes? Absolutely, but through experience I have also altered these somewhat. Although I still use multiple choice questions, I try to create some that go beyond recall by asking students to do such things as compare, sort, and classify.

With essay questions, I use more processing questions compare, explain why and offer choices as to what students may write on. In addition, I have recently begun asking students to select any topic they wish from the unit for one of the test essays. With regard to the grading of essay questions, I make my own small rubrics for each essay.

When test sheets are passed back to the students, we do not go over them question by question.

What Are Rubrics and Why Are They Important?

Rather, I let the students know how many they got correct, and then give them the option of using their notebooks and other resources in order to go over their tests, find the mistakes, and correct them for an upgrade. Regarding quizzes, I have more small quizzes offering some student choice and utilizing processing questions. The journey toward using multiple types of assessments is compatible with the move toward constructivist and engaging teaching. In my own journey, I became dissatisfied with my methods of assessment.

I realized that I was not teaching just for recall, and that assessing just for recall was defeating. As my journey continues, I want to expand my repertoire to include more student self-assessment, portfolios, and student created rubrics. Based on my personal experiences in expanding assessment, here are some recommendations:.

Begin where you are. Look at your current assessment and go from there. Take your current tests, for example, and write a few questions that ask students to interpret or process information. Add a student choice component into your essays. If you assign students a number of formal papers, consider purchasing some plastic crates and hanging folders, and have student begin building portfolios. Consider assigning open-ended projects several times a year. Start with what you are already doing and build. Develop and then expand your use of rubrics.

They are important for the students in that they have the criteria to work toward. Furthermore, as you begin using rubrics, you will find more and more uses for them. Search out professional readings on assessment as well as staff development opportunities.


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I have attended a few workshop sessions dealing with assessment, but basically I have been searching out articles and readings on assessment. Much good work has been done on assessment that you can benefit from. What is important is to take what you learn, work with it, adapt it, make it your own. Intellectual work cannot be totally measured by traditional forms of testing, which often test little more than recall.

We seek as social studies educators to help our students become critical thinkers, problem solvers, and decision makers. This is all to the good, as it is not likely that the thinking and advances of the future will be made by those who simply memorize well. Few of our students will be doing worksheets or bubbling answer sheets in their future. The journey toward constructivist teaching and authentic assessment is one that many social studies teachers have begun and will continue.

It is a powerful journey.