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EssayTagger is a web-based tool to help teachers grade essays faster.
But it is not an auto-grader.

This blog will cover EssayTagger's latest feature updates as well as musings on
education, policy, innovation, and preserving teachers' sanity.

Monday, March 19, 2012

New Rubric: Common Core Explanatory / Informative Writing (9-10) rubric

The first of many rubrics distilled from the Common Core State Standards.

Update 9/21/12:
In the six months since this post was originally published, my view of how to integrate with Common Core has evolved a considerable amount. This post is now old news. I've built a free, publicly-accessible tool to help teachers create their own customized Common Core-aligned rubrics. It's going to make life SO much easier for all of us!

Read about this new approach or jump straight to the EssayTagger Common Core Rubric Creation Tool

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Original Post:
The Common Core State Standards. Oof.

You've heard all the talk. You suspect they might get in your way and make your life a living hell. Just thinking about them makes you want to curl up on the couch in the fetal position and take a nap (my default reaction to moderately stressful things).

I'm not here to sell you on its merits or argue that there is a lack thereof. I'm here to make your life a little bit easier when you find yourself held accountable to the Common Core standards when teaching writing.

I found the Writing standards to be surprisingly reasonable (though initially incomprehensible) and pretty much along the lines of what we English and Social Studies teachers do anyway.

The problem is that they're just a list of bullet points that aren't quite as precise and easy to break down as I'd like them to be.

So a colleague and I took the Explanatory / Informative Writing standards for 9-10 and did our best to transform them into a practical rubric.

Here's the result:

EssayTagger Common Core Explanatory / Informative 
Writing 9-10 (WHST.9-10.2) rubric

We tried our best to preserve the original language of the standard while separating out certain items that the standards had blurred together in one bullet point.

And note that the language in the sentence-level and paragraph-level items are more specific than they would be in a traditional rubric. This specificity is a core concept of the EssayTagger system (check out Changing how we think about rubrics for details).

As always, view this as a starting point. Use the rubric however you like, alter it as much as you need to for it to make sense for your classroom and your assignment. And if you're an EssayTagger user, you can import this rubric directly into your next assignment.

And over the next couple of days and weeks we hope to roll out more Common Core Writing rubrics.

Your thoughts?
I consider this rubric a first draft. Is it a decent translation of the CC standards? Is there anything missing? What would need to change for this to be of practical use to you in your classroom? Eager to hear what you have to say and how I can improve it.

also see:
- Changing how we think about rubrics
Rubric sharing and rubric import