Social studies essay rubric middle school

Learn more about using rubrics in the classroom. A free source of strategies to foster creativity, and integrate technology into the classroom. A curated, copyright-friendly image library that is safe and free for education. An online platform where students share what they know through their writing, their voice, and their art.

Privacy Policy. Make customized assessments for student work. You can create customized rubrics for primary, elementary, middle, and high school. The introduction clearly states the main topic and previews the structure of the paper, but is not particularly inviting to the reader. The introduction states the main topic, but does not adequately preview the structure of the paper nor is it particularly inviting to the reader. There is no clear introduction of the main topic or structure of the paper. Details are placed in a logical order and the way they are presented effectively keeps the interest of the reader.

Some details are not in a logical or expected order, and this distracts the reader. Many details are not in a logical or expected order. There is little sense that the writing is organized. The conclusion is strong and leaves the reader with a feeling that they understand what the writer is "getting at. The conclusion is recognizable and ties up almost all the loose ends. The conclusion is recognizable, but does not tie up several loose ends.

Writer makes no errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. Writer makes errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content.

Homework for me

Writer makes more than 4 errors in grammar or spelling that distract the reader from the content. Writer makes no errors in capitalization or punctuation, so the paper is exceptionally easy to read. Writer makes 1 or 2 errors in capitalization or punctuation, but the paper is still easy to read. From taking the time to dissect this rubric, you'll know what to do and also know why the teacher cares about it.

Your points should be clear, and the reader shouldn't get distracted. The SAT writing section has a "comprehensive rubric" that they call a " scoring guide. Let's look at the 6 highest score and compare that to a 5. The two categories are almost exactly the same. A score of 6 demands "clear and consistent mastery" versus the "reasonably consistent mastery" of a 5.

A 6 "effectively and insightfully develops a point of view" where a 5 "effectively develops a point of view. How do I develop insight? Have I learned anything from reading this scoring guide? The description of a 6 includes the word "clear ly " three times. What you should take away is the importance of practice and mastery of clarity to receive a 6.

General rubrics use criteria and descriptions of performance that generalize across hence the name general rubrics , or can be used with, different tasks. The tasks all have to be instances of the same learning outcome—for example, writing or mathematics problem solving. The criteria point to aspects of the learning outcome and not to features of any one specific task for example, criteria list characteristics of good problem solving and not features of the solution to a specific problem.

The descriptions of performance are general, so students learn general qualities and not isolated, task-specific features for example, the description might say all relevant information was used to solve the problem, not that the numbers of knives, forks, spoons, and guests were used to solve the problem. Task-specific rubrics are pretty well described by their name: They are rubrics that are specific to the performance task with which they are used.

Task-specific rubrics contain the answers to a problem, or explain the reasoning students are supposed to use, or list facts and concepts students are supposed to mention. The bottom panel of Figure 1. Why use general rubrics?

Social Sciences Standards

General rubrics have several advantages over task-specific rubrics. General rubrics. Can be shared with students at the beginning of an assignment, to help them plan and monitor their own work. Can be used with many different tasks, focusing the students on the knowledge and skills they are developing over time. Describe student performance in terms that allow for many different paths to success. Focus the teacher on developing students' learning of skills instead of task completion. Do not need to be rewritten for every assignment. Can be shared with students at the beginning of an assignment.

General rubrics do not "give away answers" to questions. They do not contain any information that the students are supposed to be developing themselves.

English & Language Arts / ELA Writing Rubric

Instead, they contain descriptions like "Explanation of reasoning is clear and supported with appropriate details. They clarify for students how to approach the assignment for example, in solving the problem posed, I should make sure to explicitly focus on why I made the choices I did and be able to explain that. Therefore, over time general rubrics help students build up a concept of what it means to perform a skill well for example, effective problem solving requires clear reasoning that I can explain and support.

Can be used with many different tasks. Because general rubrics focus students on the knowledge and skills they are learning rather than the particular task they are completing, they offer the best method I know for preventing the problem of "empty rubrics" that will be described in Chapter 2. Good general rubrics will, by definition, not be task directions in disguise, or counts of surface features, or evaluative rating scales. Because general rubrics focus students on the knowledge and skills they are supposed to be acquiring, they can and should be used with any task that belongs to the whole domain of learning for those learning outcomes.

Of course, you never have an opportunity to give students all of the potential tasks in a domain—you can't ask them to write every possible essay about characterization, solve every possible problem involving slope, design experiments involving every possible chemical solvent, or describe every political takeover that was the result of a power vacuum.

Writing Rubrics for 2018-19

These sets of tasks all indicate important knowledge and skills, however, and they develop over time and with practice. Essay writing, problem solving, experimental design, and the analysis of political systems are each important skills in their respective disciplines. If the rubrics are the same each time a student does the same kind of work, the student will learn general qualities of good essay writing, problem solving, and so on. If the rubrics are different each time the student does the same kind of work, the student will not have an opportunity to see past the specific essay or problem.

The general approach encourages students to think about building up general knowledge and skills rather than thinking about school learning in terms of getting individual assignments done. Why use task-specific rubrics?


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Task-specific rubrics function as "scoring directions" for the person who is grading the work. Because they detail the elements to look for in a student's answer to a particular task, scoring students' responses with task-specific rubrics is lower-inference work than scoring students' responses with general rubrics. For this reason, it is faster to train raters to reach acceptable levels of scoring reliability using task-specific rubrics for large-scale assessment.

Similarly, it is easier for teachers to apply task-specific rubrics consistently with a minimum of practice.

General rubrics take longer to learn to apply well. However, the reliability advantage is temporary one can learn to apply general rubrics well , and it comes with a big downside. Obviously, task-specific rubrics are useful only for scoring. If students can't see the rubrics ahead of time, you can't share them with students, and therefore task-specific rubrics are not useful for formative assessment.


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  • Creating and Using Rubrics for Assessment?
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  • That in itself is one good reason not to use them except for special purposes. Task-specific rubrics do not take advantage of the most powerful aspects of rubrics—their usefulness in helping students to conceptualize their learning targets and to monitor their own progress. Rubrics are important because they clarify for students the qualities their work should have. This point is often expressed in terms of students understanding the learning target and criteria for success.

    For this reason, rubrics help teachers teach, they help coordinate instruction and assessment, and they help students learn.

    What is a rubric?

    To write or select rubrics, teachers need to focus on the criteria by which learning will be assessed. This focus on what you intend students to learn rather than what you intend to teach actually helps improve instruction. The common approach of "teaching things," as in "I taught the American Revolution" or "I taught factoring quadratic equations," is clear on content but not so clear on outcomes.

    Without clarity on outcomes, it's hard to know how much of various aspects of the content to teach. Rubrics help with clarity of both content and outcomes.

    6th Grade Social Studies: Identifying Proficiency in Writing (South Middle School)

    Really good rubrics help teachers avoid confusing the task or activity with the learning goal, and therefore confusing completion of the task with learning. Rubrics help keep teachers focused on criteria, not tasks. I have already discussed this point in the section about selecting criteria. Focusing rubrics on learning and not on tasks is the most important concept in this book.

    I will return to it over and over. It seems to be a difficult concept—or probably a more accurate statement is that focusing on tasks is so easy and so seductive that it becomes the path many busy teachers take.