Thursday, September 13, 2012

Evaluating Writing for the Home Educator - Free Rubric

Every writer has their own style, their own way of saying things, their own flavour.  When I'm writing for a blog, I use a somewhat conversational tone.  This helps the reader feel personally involved in my writing.  Right?
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Stay objective while marking your child's writing.
Use a rubric
Writing a press release, an obituary, or a report require different stylistic elements.  But the bottom line is that no matter what we are writing there are certain areas that are un-bending.  
  • Writing must be organized. 
  • Ideas must be clear. 
  • Word choice must enhance the readers experience. 
  • The writing must be fluid, and well-presented.  
  • The mechanics of the language must work.

As a home schooling parent/teacher, we are called upon to grade our child's writing.  And we must do this objectively. Grading Math, Science, or Geography can be cut and dried, since it's usually got a clear right or wrong answer. Grading Writing has more leeway, and more room for subjectivity. So we must purposely take a step back from our feelings about the piece or the author,

Enter the Writing Rubric.  If you've not heard the word before, a rubric is set of criteria with a scale of observations you can use to assign partial marks for each category in an assignment. It gives you a more objective way to assign points, and gives students specific feedback on areas they have done well, or could work to improve.

A good writing rubric will give you general areas of consideration for evaluation, and a gauge to measure them by.  Everyday Education offers a free writing rubric for use by home educators, taken from Evaluating Writing the Easy Way. by Janice Campbell author of Excellence in Writing and Transcripts Made Easy

The free rubric focuses on essay format, but if you're crafty you could adapt it to any style.  

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