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Curriculum Unit:
Learning Via the Virtual Field Trip

Learning Via the Virtual Field Trip 
by Julie Vitulano, New York City Public Schools 

Lesson Five: Assessment Rubric

How do we assess our essays using a rubric?

Instructional Objectives: Students will be familiar with the design of a rubric that is used to assess writing; students will use this knowledge to prepare the final copy of their essay.

Materials: Notes, handouts, assessment rubric handout, computer with word processing program.

Do Now: Students are asked to look up the word rubric in the on-line dictionary and write the definition.

Motivation: Teacher asks the students to write a response to this question: 
Why is it important that there are instructions on how to grade an essay?

Teacher elicits from the students that the grade should be as impartial as possible, not based on the taste or prejudice of the grader.

Homework Review: The teacher asks for samples of the responses students received from family members or friends who read their essays. Specifically, did the reader think their essay was effective?

Development: Students are given a copy of the assessment rubric. 

The sections are read. As they are read, the students are directed to underline the changes in the assessment values from excellent to failing. 

Teacher presents examples of each of the four rubrics. The examples only need to be paragraphs. The examples should be on another subject.

Then the students are asked to rewrite their drafts into final form. They are to keep the rubrics in mind when they are editing their writing.

When they are finished, the students are asked to underline the changes they made on their drafts and final copies to demonstrate the differences between the two.

Assessment Rubric

Criteria Excellent Good Fair Failing
Meaning: the extent to which the essay exhibits  sound understanding of the task and text -makes on target connections between information in the  text and the assigned task.  -makes general connections between information in the text and the assigned task.  -makes limited connections between information in the text and the assigned task. -conveys a confused or inaccurate understanding of the text
-alludes to the text but makes unclear connections to the task.
Development: the extent to which ideas are elaborated using specific and relevant evidence from the texts without plagiarizing. -develops ideas clearly and fully making effective use of a wide range of relevant and specific details from the texts.  -develops ideas clearly and consistently, using relevant, specific details from the texts.  -develops some ideas more fully than others, using undeveloped, specific and relevant details from the texts. -ideas are incomplete or largely undeveloped,
-references to the text are vague or unjustified.
Organization: the extent to which the essay exhibits coherence.  -maintains a clear and appropriate focus, exhibits a logical and coherent structure through skillful use of appropriate devices and transitions. -maintains a clear and appropriate focus 
-exhibits a logical sequence of ideas but may lack internal consistency.
-establishes, but fails to maintain an appropriate focus
-exhibits structure but may include some inconsistencies or irrelevancies.
-shows minimal focus or organization.
Language Use: the extent to which the essay reveals awareness of purpose through effective use of words, sentence structure, and sentence variety.  -is stylistically sophisticated, using language that is precise and engaging 
-varies sentence structure and length of sentences
-uses language that is fluent, with awareness of purpose 
-occasionally makes effective use of sentence structure and, or length. 
-relies on basic vocabulary 
-exhibits some attempt to vary sentence structure or length for effect, but with uneven success.
-uses language that is imprecise or unsuitable
-demonstrates minimal ability to construct appropriate sentences.
Conventions: the extent to which the response exhibits conventional spelling, punctuation, paragraphing, capitalization, grammar, and usage. -demonstrates control of conventions with essentially no errors, even with sophisticated language. -demonstrates control of conventions exhibiting occasional errors. -demonstrates  partial control, exhibiting occasional errors that do not hinder comprehension.  -demonstrates a lack of control, exhibiting frequent errors that make comprehension difficult.
Technology: the extent to which students exhibit facility navigating the Internet for information; deploying the tools in the word processing program, and e-mailing files.  -fluidly navigates the Internet and finds the information in a timely manner 
-creates a document in perfect academic format. 
-navigates the Internet efficiently and finds the information 
-creates a document in correct academic format. 
-navigates the Internet and finds the information 
-creates a document in academic format with some errors.
-is not able to find the information from the Internet on time 
-creates a document in partial academic format with errors.


Lesson One: The Art of Persuasion
Lesson Two: Preparing Arguments
Lesson Three: Services For The Disabled At Wild Safari
Lesson Four: Drafting an Essay
Lesson Five: Assessment Rubric



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