It is important the we develop common rubrics to assess student writing at each grade level. This will allow us to identify anchor pieces at for each level of the rubric. Then in our PLC meetings we can evaluate and reflect on student work.

Please look at the rubric and let us know what you think should be added, deleted, or revised. You can do that in two ways: 1) Post a comment that describes the changes you think should be made or 2) Open the file, save it on your computer, make changes, create a comment and post your revised rubric.

We will use your feedback to create a common rubric that all grade level teachers will use. The files are attached. Thanks in advance for you input.

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A writing rubric might be ok, if introduced mid-point or 3rd quarter of the kindergarten year, but for experience not mastery or even an expectation for all, maybe only those who are "ready". The K Star writer reminder might be a good start for Kindergarten, as the introduction, to more formalized writing that the students will be using in 1st grade. Kindergarten is such a developmental year - that it may be great for those students who are "ready", but a hinderance or a frustration for those who are not. If the writing time is structured with strong teacher support, then a child's self-esteem may not be knocked down. Kindergartners are strengthening their formation of uppercase and are learning their lowercase letters, let alone try to write a word wall word. Most children in kindergarten only use pictures with kidspell, for a long time, saying that their work is only a 2 star, when they tried their hardest can be frustrating. The expectations make much more sense in 1st or 2nd grade, when sentence writing is more prevelant in their day, on a daily basis, and sentence formation and punctuation is taught and focused in on.
I have to say, when I first heard "RUBRIC" in Kindergarten I was a bit taken back. But, after using it I love it! Of course, all Kindergarteners are not quite able to reach that 5 star level yet, but all students can be encouraged during conferencing," Wow, that's great, you received 3 stars...what do you need to do to reach 4 stars?" They'll look at the picture rubric and say, "finger-space ...punctuation mark at the end..." Those that are having more difficulty are also encouraged when receiving a star or 2...and we'll practice finger-spacing together...or we'll even concentrate on adding more detail to their picture. I have found that it has supported all learners to reach that next level--- whatever that level may be. I have also RECENTLY added a Publishing Place. This is a wonderful resource where the children can go to find more help and/or ideas for their writing. Some resources include a movable word wall, alphabet word/picture prompts, monthly star words, story maps, graphic organizers, story paper, ready-to-publish books, journal prompts, a picture rubric, and more!
Wow Dawn that is great to hear. I love your Publishing Place - I have to come see it. It seems like that would make every student want to write. I think that no matter what the age, kids like to know what they are reaching for. Having the star system lets them know where they are and what they need to do to grow. When you present it in the positive, "formative", nurturing way that you do it is still developmentally appropriate. Plus I have to give Dawn the credit for creating a rubric that does not look like something that would intimidate a child. Instead, clearly defines goals in a fun way.
I agree! Even when my students get 1 or 2 stars....they're excited!! It's a STAR!! :)
Also, with the K Star Writers document.... I keep a "Writer's Strategy of the Day" where the children can see it. I simply took the document and cut each strategy into strips. Each day we focus on one of the four and because of the picture prompt...they can easily look and remember what the stategy of the day is. Today is, "Use the word wall to spell words."
The Publishing Place is working out well. Right now, we are concentrating on Personal Narrative and/or Realistic Fiction. The children can choose which type of story they want to write and MOSTcan differentiate between the two. They come up to the Publishing Place, get their title page and story paper and look for any additional resources they may want to use. One of my students today used the additional resource- Baseball Word List. He wrote a Realistic Fiction about "..not getting a foul ball...." Then when I went to staple his book he told me he wanted to "add plot!" (That's the way we ENCOURAGE more details to the story, you get to staple an additional page...EXCITING!!!)
I created a "mini-office" and added it to my web page. I pull a lot of my PUBLISHING PLACE resources from that! Feel free to check it out!
I too have been using the rubric for writers workshop assignments. The students do respond to the idea of working for more stars, I think it encourages those who might otherwise rush through, to take their time and do their best work. I've noticed that my students are really enticed by little extras, so I use the smelly markers or the shiny gold star stickers to award the stars on their writing sample. when i conference with the children we talk about ways to turn the one star into a two and i allow them a chance to revise.
I would like to see your publishing place, as well. And I think the star system would work for 1st graders, too.
It is important to add new dimensions to the writing center to keep it fresh and interesting to young writers. When I added this rubric, it became an instant "hook." When they go to the wring center, I remind them to "reach for the stars." I see just about all my students adding more to their writing now. Wherever they are in the writing process, they truly are taking it a step further. In terms of introducing the children to the rubric, I would probably introduce each 'star' during the mini lesson that coincides with the rubric goal and would wait to add the entire rubric mid-year, unless skill assessment warranted it earlier. I also found that it gives the instructional aides in my room something concrete to focus on when guiding the children. Common goals are definately important.
I think that it is important in all grades to be clear in what is expected of students and to allow the students to set personal goals. I believe that having a rubric in Kindergarten helps the students understand what they can eventually achieve with practice. I am happy to see that many of you are currently using one.
During a writing conference I like to be very supportive, focus on the positive and am very careful not to overwhelm my Kindergarten writers with to many corrections. I want them to be confident, willing to take a risk with writing the sounds and stories.. Depending on the class & the child, many children get very hung up on writing ..."the right way!" that how you really spell it??? I always tell them to write it "their way"..using Kid writing. I like the KStarWriters document and think it is helpful in focusing on the skills Kindergarten writers need to work on. I always make one suggestion for them to focus on for the following session.
The K5 Star writing rubric is good.. and certainly helpful for us and for many of the writers. I would be careful not to have the lower ..younger ..writers feel badly that they are not earning a lot of stars. Some are not developmentally ready...and cant compete with the older...more secure writers. Private conferencing would help with this.
Writing should be fun... a celebration for all..even those in the early stages.
I like the Rubric! I think it's a good assessment tool to use for Kindergarten Writers. It's a good way for the students to know what goals they are working towards as writers.
I think the star writers document is great! It shows the students what we will be looking for in their writing.
I also think the conferences should be private, like Jane said, if we are giving our "stars". I think the lower students will soon realize that they did not earn 4 or 5 stars and feel really bad about their writing. This might stop them from taking risks in their writing in fear that they will only earn `1 or 2 stars.
Dawn-Where is your web page? I am interested in your Publishing Place. What a fantastic Idea!



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