Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
October 26, 2009

Micro Rubrics: Improving Writing With Specific Feedback

By Justin Lim
Grades 6–8, 9–12

     

    If you sometimes find yourself up late at night reading through a stack of essays or lab reports then you're not alone. The trend in schools today is that "every teacher is a literacy teacher." With this in mind, today it's not only English teachers who have to edit stacks of papers, but also history, economics, government, art, and even science teachers.

     

    If you sometimes find yourself up late at night reading through a stack of essays or lab reports then you're not alone. The trend in schools today is that "every teacher is a literacy teacher." With this in mind, today it's not only English teachers who have to edit stacks of papers, but also history, economics, government, art, and even science teachers.

    I hate editing papers, but I also assign a lot of them. As a result, I began creating micro rubrics that focus on the quality of specific parts of an essay, making it easier for students to make revisions.

     

    Here is an example:

    Literary Analysis Essay (Lamb to The Slaughter)_Page_2 Literary Analysis Essay (Lamb to The Slaughter)_Page_3
    The benefit is that when students get their essays back, instead of getting general details about the the whole essay's content, they are able to see how many points they were awarded for specific pieces. This is much more meaningful for when it comes time for revision and there is never a question as to why an essay received a particular grade.

    To be sure, I'm not saying that a micro rubric replaces the meaningful comments from an edited paper, but what I am saying is that it gives me an extra grading option. Of course, a mere score is not as instructive as a detailed comment, but often I simply do not have time to address every single content issue. Sometimes I'll combine a micro rubric with detailed editing for a first draft, but will simply use the micro rubric on a final draft. It really depends on balancing the time I have to edit and the number of writing assignments. Also, I still use a general rubric for writing conventions, because the nature of providing feedback for mechanics requires actual editing.

    I know that I say this all the time, but if anybody has any good ideas of how to efficiently provide meaningful feedback when grading essays please comment. Teachers around the world will be eternally grateful!

    Warm Regards,

    Justin Lim

    Rosemead High School

    El Monte Union High School District

     

    If you sometimes find yourself up late at night reading through a stack of essays or lab reports then you're not alone. The trend in schools today is that "every teacher is a literacy teacher." With this in mind, today it's not only English teachers who have to edit stacks of papers, but also history, economics, government, art, and even science teachers.

     

    If you sometimes find yourself up late at night reading through a stack of essays or lab reports then you're not alone. The trend in schools today is that "every teacher is a literacy teacher." With this in mind, today it's not only English teachers who have to edit stacks of papers, but also history, economics, government, art, and even science teachers.

    I hate editing papers, but I also assign a lot of them. As a result, I began creating micro rubrics that focus on the quality of specific parts of an essay, making it easier for students to make revisions.

     

    Here is an example:

    Literary Analysis Essay (Lamb to The Slaughter)_Page_2 Literary Analysis Essay (Lamb to The Slaughter)_Page_3
    The benefit is that when students get their essays back, instead of getting general details about the the whole essay's content, they are able to see how many points they were awarded for specific pieces. This is much more meaningful for when it comes time for revision and there is never a question as to why an essay received a particular grade.

    To be sure, I'm not saying that a micro rubric replaces the meaningful comments from an edited paper, but what I am saying is that it gives me an extra grading option. Of course, a mere score is not as instructive as a detailed comment, but often I simply do not have time to address every single content issue. Sometimes I'll combine a micro rubric with detailed editing for a first draft, but will simply use the micro rubric on a final draft. It really depends on balancing the time I have to edit and the number of writing assignments. Also, I still use a general rubric for writing conventions, because the nature of providing feedback for mechanics requires actual editing.

    I know that I say this all the time, but if anybody has any good ideas of how to efficiently provide meaningful feedback when grading essays please comment. Teachers around the world will be eternally grateful!

    Warm Regards,

    Justin Lim

    Rosemead High School

    El Monte Union High School District

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Justin's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
Raising Expectations: Finishing Off Strong

As June approaches, I can always sense the restlessness and anticipation that often creeps up on my students around this time of the year. I always demand the very best effort from my kids and I frequently stress that sometimes the best time to step on the gas is when everybody else is relaxing. In the past, I've been wary of the end of the year drop-off in concentration, so this year, I decided to try something a little different.

By Justin Lim
May 23, 2010
Blog Post
School Culture: Impact on Teacher Motivation
  Have you ever attended a professional development seminar or workshop and found yourself nodding your head as you listened to the speaker point out truth after truth of things that you have seen throughout the educational field? A few weeks ago, I experienced just that as Dr. Anthony Muhammad helped me to better understand why school culture can often be so frustrating for motivated teachers. To sum up one of his key points, technical changes such as scheduling, after school programs, and intervention classes cannot truly impact a school if it has a self-defeating culture. When I say school culture, I'm not talking so much about what goes on with students. I'm talking more about us, the staff.
By Justin Lim
May 10, 2010
Blog Post
End of Year Assessments

When it comes to assessments, there are generally two schools of thought. Some feel that tests are primarily for the purpose of assigning a comprehensive grade, while others see them more as ways to guide instruction.

By Justin Lim
May 2, 2010

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us