My secrets for creating and using rubrics

Evaluating in a pandemic. A nightmare. Having kids do virtual projects, and having to grade all of those projects. For me, that means using rubrics to save as much time as possible grading. So I’m going to give you my secrets to creating and using rubrics:

  • Don’t use the shovel when you need the mallet
  • Use your ingredients
  • Get to freezing point

You may think I have lost my marbles, but I assure you I haven’t. I’ll prove it!

Creating and using rubrics

Don’t use the hammer when you need a mallet

It’s common knowledge that teachers have little time, and what time they have, they want to spend mostly with their family, not having to grade at all hours of the day.

That is why we need the correct tools. You wouldn’t use a shovel for a mallet job. So, for rubrics, using the correct tools can save you loaaaaads of time.

My number one tool is the Google Classroom rubric tool for grading. I use rubrics for as many assignments as I can. It takes some time investment to create them, but when you are ready to grade, you just click some boxes and you are done. Your rubric grade is calculated for you.

Rubrics aren’t a lot of work if you have the right tools.

Another tool I highly HIGLY recommend is CoRubrics. It’s a Google Sheets extension: easy to install, very intuitive to use, and it allows teachers to do coevaluation as well as autoevaluation of the students. And its integration with Google Classroom is great!

I started using it by getting on Youtube, and doing a couple of searches, and getting right on it.

Use your ingredients

Well… Not really. This tip translates to… create a rubric from experience. And this is what takes the most amount of time. You need to learn from your experience and you will modify your rubrics with time.

An example, my students, they will use any means possible not to use their time in class, so they are close to the wire. All. The. Time.

So… I decided to evaluate the use of the time in class. I decided that this was what I will call… The…USE YOUR INGREDIENTS. You would not ask for more time or different ingredients in a cooking show. So, use your time wisely.

I also learned the hard way that the rubrics need to cover every single thing your students need to do. All of them. Otherwise, they might find a loophole and not do a good job.

Get to freezing point

Now, I don’t know about you, but when I look for rubrics, it usually looks like they are made for elementary school. There’s not enough detail, and there is no option to give a zero on a part of an assignment.

Some rubrics have the minimum mark of a 4 for most items. And that may be okay for some students, but mine… They basically exploit the fact that the rubric has no zero.  So I added it. And that is my freezing point.

I also refer to my freezing point as my no-no. I mean, sometimes you need to give a zero on one part of the assignment, if they didnt complete an item, they should get a zero.

Bonus tip for using rubrics: create and use them all the time!

If you use Google Classroom, I don’t know how you are not using rubrics to grade all the things. Here’s some things I grade with rubrics:

  • Notebooks
  • Projects
  • Use of english in class (my students are english language learners, so using english in class is important)
  • Lab attitude
  • Scientific diagrams and drawings
  • Group work, especially the attitude towards group work
  • I even use it for my bell ringers! (to get a sample of my bell ringers for computer science, join the mailing list above and you will get access to the downloads center).

Is there any other tip that you would like to share? Get them down in the comments!

If you decide you want to try any part of the post, please leave a comment with feedback or share the results on instagram, mentioning me.

And make sure you go to the blog to check out the rest of the most recent ideas, you have some posts to check out below!

Continue to make STEM proud!