Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Writing Rubric - An "Oh I Get It!" Guide to Good Wriing

We have just finished completing our Narrative Writing Rubric. It has taken a little over a week of mini lessons to get it together, but it was well worth the time. Each day, several examples in literature were used to explain certain aspects of their writing narrative. For instance, when teaching "great beginnings," several examples (Mem Fox)and non examples (Level A, B readers) were used to explain the meaning of a "great beginning." Actual student writing was also used to teach specific rubric elements. Students learned that a "great beginning" should have a time and place to help the reader with his/her mental image of the story. When this was understood, the process of getting the information on a chart was the next step. First students discussed what pictures should represent the writing at varying levels. They decided on the stages of a kangaroo. The approaching standard "great beginning" is represented by the kangaroo with a joey in the pouch #1; the standard writing is a picture of young kangaroo hopping out for the first time #2; and the above standard piece is a picture of a kangaroo off on his own #3. The beginning can range from a #1 - "I went"; #2 - "I went to a party"; or #3 - "It was a hot, sunny day and I was invited to a pool party."
After many examples, through numerous read alouds and writers sharing their writing, these concepts are finally understood. Like what happened one Writer's Workshop a few days ago, a student shouted out, "Oh, I get it...now I understand what the rubric does..." with a big smile on his face. (Then covered his mouth for calling out without raising his hand...but who could get upset at that!!)


The Witucki's said...

We enjoyed reading about the writing rubic. We agreed we would want to read the story about a hot and sunny day at a pool party. Details are important!

The Mem Fox celebration looked fun. Megan enjoyed it and loved showing off all her crafts.

Megan and Julie

Melanie Holtsman said...

Isn't it amazing what a difference that rubric can make? Such a powerful for your writers to use to improve their own writing. I can't wait to see how much their writing grows as they continue to learn how to make their work better and better.

Meli Launey said...

I love the pictures that go along with the rubric. It gives the "visual learners" an association to each step on the rubric.