Friday, February 1, 2013
Research Project - Illustrated Rubrics
As most readers know I am in a program getting my second master's degree in education from the University of South Carolina. This degree is focusing on elementary science education and I am in the last semester (insert happy dance!).
One of the big assignments I have to do is an action research project focusing on science. I decided to do my research on student self assessment and the impact of rubrics on notebook work. Mentally I have been playing around with the idea for a couple of years but since I left the classroom there was no real "push" for me. This project gave me the "push" I needed to implement.
Since I don't have a regular classroom this year I am using a friends classroom. I developed illustrated rubrics for five typical notebook assignments, each scored from a level of 1 (not great) to 4 (being the best work) - see bottom four pictures. I introduced the rubrics to her students and gave them an opportunity to grade pre-collected work samples from the class based on the rubrics (see pre-collected work samples in pictures 2 and 3). We discussed what the difference was between a piece of work scored at one and another scored at a four (children discussed the differences).
I put the rubrics in a bulletin board display (see first picture) for them to reference. For the next five weeks I will be teaching her Wednesday science class and giving them notebook assignments based on the five I have posted to see how they approach the work. I am giving them the opportunity to grade their work before turning it in on the posted scale of 1-4. I'm curious to see if discussing self assessment and giving them models will impact their effort, in turn impacting their material retention, in turn impacting their assessments.
Ideally I would like to see students take more ownership of their learning and to identify that they are responsible for their grades.
I've taught one lesson and was impressed that all the students were working hard to get a 4. One child, who graded himself on his pre-collected work (foldable) at a 1 turned around and graded himself at a 4 on the next foldable he did (and it was a solid 3.5/4 work when I graded it).
I went with illustrated rubics because this is a low income school with many struggling readers. In the future I would like to put all these rubrics in a brochure that they reference in their notebook but I am not there yet (one day!).