Data Management Part 2...Behold the Rubric

I am back. Two days back to back, I am pretty sure there must be some sort of apocalypse. Actually it was just a day of professional development, so I feel less exhausted beat down, worn out which leaves time to blog and gym.
I am not sure about other teachers out there but I despise grading! I can plan lessons all day, make worksheets, create powerpoints, design projects and even look at data, but give me grades and I cringe.
This could be because grades in an elective class tend to be a bit of a ongoing joke. At the middle school level students do not have to pass an elective to go to the next grade. And while this was something I just learned last year, this seems to be something that every middle schooler knows. Especially the disruptive students. It's like someone pulled the kid aside and told him, "hey don't worry about anything but your core those electives do not matter!" So the kid passes this little nugget of info onto his friends, throws in my face a few times and then sits back puts his feet up and watches the dishevel.  Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic but that is certainly how it seems.
I learned my lesson though, the hard way, last year. Just because a student doesn't have to pass your class doesn't mean that you can fail them. I have about a 10% window of students that can fail and past that I have to make the rest of the students pass or I am stuck doing a intervention report on each student. And those suck! Really, why should I work harder than the students to get said students to pass!
So last year I spent soooo much time trying to plan project rubrics that would ensure student success. I should add that I am a project based class and we don't do testing. I would try and say like 10 points for your name, 5 points for turning it in correctly, 25 points for 5 pictures, etc. with a hope that a student could somehow make it to a passing grade with minimal effort. 
But this year I said no more!

A way to ensure that each student will pass my class without me making up grades.
How will I grade your  ___Project?

Game of Life Template
X 50
Budget has less than 75% of the parts complete
Budget has most (75-84%) of the parts complete
Budget has almost all (85-89%) of the parts complete
Budget has (90-100%) of the parts complete
Budget Calculations
X 15
- Budget has less than 75% of the calculations correct.
Budget has most (75-84%) of the calculations correct
Budget has almost all (85-89%) of the calculations correct
Budget has (90-100%) of the calculations correct
X 10
- many words misspelled
- many grammar errors
- formatting makes budget difficult to follow or read
- several spelling errors
- several grammar errors
- formatting makes it difficult to follow or read
- few spelling errors
- few grammar errors
- some formatting to help make the budget easier to read
- all words spelled correctly
- no grammar errors
- formatting makes the budget more informative and easier to read
X 25
- no multimedia or links
- one piece of multimedia
- several pieces of multimedia
- several pieces of multimedia
- multimedia adds to the understanding of the budget

 I started using this rubric this semester and it has been an amazing tool. I like that it doesn't box any of my creative students in by limits on pictures or information but ensures that the lowest grade will be a 70. Unless they turn nothing in, which does happen. Shakes head and large groan.
For each elective class and project I make a few small edits to the rubric and stick with the same grading type scale and language. And within minutes I have a project grading scale without a ton of effort on my part. This also makes grading a breeze, either they did or didn't meet the expectation of each category and I circle where they stand and then just average all four categories together.
I also HEART the language of the rubric: novice, practitioner, apprentice and expert tie in so perfectly with career based classes. I will also periodically use this language to ask students to rate themselves.  I borrowed this from a pinterest find and have made a large poster for my room for consistency.
Great way to get the kids to assess themselves and their learning.
Don't get me wrong I HEART teaching CTE classes, it was pretty much the vision for my teaching career, but the whole grading thing was really making me despise the design of electives in middle school. But with the rubric I ensure that I can get nearly all of my students a passing grade each six weeks.
Also on the super positive side, my students understand the effort they need for a good grade according to their standards early on, and are always amazed at themselves when they get that grade or higher in my class. With so much focus on testing data and core classes I like that my class gives students a chance to shine and really do well. Everyone needs that moment of happiness!

The Babbling Box!

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