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NYC Helpline: How To: Manage Your Classroom
View Instructional Videos for Teachers about Classroom Management

Classroom Management (Secondary)

A high school science teacher demonstrates how her structured and routine-based classroom environment is the key to success.

Classroom Management (Elementary)

An elementary school teacher guides us through her daily classroom routines and shows how consistency and structure are essential.

Classroom Management through Cooperative Groups

View two elementary school teachers demonstrate how they engage their students through group work to help them learn.

How to Home
NYC Helpline: Manage Your Classroom
NYC Helpline: How To Get Started

Rubrics Rule!
Bonnie Glasgold

A classroom teacher needs good rules and routines to run a well-managed classroom. The children need to know what is expected of them and what the consequences and rewards are. Just like those rules and routines, the students also need a set of rubrics--a guide to what is required to achieve the highest score possible on their work. A clear set of guidelines not only tells a student what their goal is, it can also show the student how to do the project by listing all the requirements necessary to reach that goal.

How do you go about creating a rubric for a subject area, or even a rubric for a specialized project? The first task is to decide what you are trying to have the student accomplish. What do you want the final outcome to be? In this stage, you should consult the Standards’ books to see what standard setting work for that subject is. You would list all the components required for that assignment, project, or subject, to receive a 4 (the highest score) which is interpreted to be above standard setting work. From that point you work downward--what would be a 3 (meeting the standards)? You continue in this manner until you have gone to 2 (approaching the standard) and 1 (below the standard).

Many teachers have a rubric posted in their classroom but don’t use it. For a rubric to be successful, it must be explained and shared with the students. I recommend that general subject rubrics (writing, reading, etc) be handed out to students at the beginning of the year, explained at that time, and referred to as each assignment is done. This familiarizes the student with the rubric format and lets the child know what he/she needs to do to accomplish his/her goal. More specialized rubrics, for example, a social studies project, a science fair project, or a cooperative learning assignment, need an assignment specific rubric.

As a science cluster teacher, we do experiments, both in the classroom and at home. I have included in this article an example of a rubric I made up for my students for a lab experiment. I thought of what standards I wanted my students’ experiments to include and specific areas that they had to have. I handed out the rubrics with the assignment, and we went over them and discussed what they needed to do to achieve a 4 on the project. Here is the rubric I devised:

Science Lab- Mrs. B. Glasgold

Excellent lab report
Good lab report
Fair lab report
Unsatisfactory lab report
*The report includes all steps in the scientific process (Problem, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Observation, and Conclusion), clearly and accurately.
*A variety of graphic representations (charts, graphs, pictures, and tables), are used.
*Conclusion drawn is clearly based on data collected.
*Work goes beyond what is expected.
* Presented neatly and without grammatical errors.
*The report includes good evidence of the scientific process.
*All steps are followed accurately.
*More than one graphic representation is used.
*Conclusion drawn is based on data collected.
*Work meets set expectations.
*Presented neatly and with few grammatical errors.
*Some evidence of the scientific process is shown.
*Most steps are followed accurately.
*One graphic representation is used.
*Conclusion drawn is somewhat incomplete, or not totally based on data collected.
*Work almost meets set expectations.
*Presented slightly sloppy, and with some grammatical errors.
*There is some evidence of the scientific process but missing major components.
*Components included are inaccurate or unclear.
*No graphic representation is used.
*Conclusion drawn is not based on any data collected.
*-Work does not meet set expectations.
*Work is sloppy and there are many grammatical errors.

There are many websites where you can create your own rubrics. Some of the ones that I use and like are listed here. The following websites allow you to create your own rubric or use theirs. You can customize it for your particular needs.

Following is a resource site that lists links to rubrics builder websites.

Rubrics are a necessary part of the classroom. Students need clear cut guidelines so they are informed of what they need to do to achieve standard setting work. Teachers can use rubrics for assessment in all subject areas. It is one of the tools of a well-managed classroom.


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