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Using a Rubric to Get Students Invested in Their Work

Found in: Motivating Students, Evaluations and Appraisals, Setting and Achieving Goals

I came up with an effort and achievement rubric as a way to get my eighth-graders—who say that eighth grade doesn’t matter because their grades start over in high school—to buy into what is going on in class and to take responsibility for their learning.

Using Robert Marzano’s book The Reflective Teacher as a model, I tweak his ideas to create an effort and achievement scale for students to complete daily to show how they are meeting their school responsibilities. Students grade their daily commitment to schoolwork on a 1-4 scale. At the end of the month, they tally their scores on a graph and explain what the graph says about their approach to learning. Students also create a list of up to 10 learning targets. Each month, they give themselves a grade indicating how well they met their objectives.

At first, the students’ responses were very generic. Now, the majority of students are really getting that effort does have a significant effect on their learning.


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