Rubrics measure the quality of a student’s work; they are assessment tools that teachers use to grade a student’s performance. Writing rubric uses numbers and a set of criteria or guidelines to evaluate a student’s writing. They are a great tool that communicate the teacher’s expectations to both the student and parents as well as provide feedback on the quality of a child’s writing.
The writing rubric should be distributed at the beginning of the school year. A teacher should discuss the criteria at each level and provide writing examples to promote self-monitoring skills.
At our school’s curriculum meeting teachers review the writing rubric with parents. During school, the teachers review the rubric with our child and present examples at each level. Our school uses the following writing rubrics:
- First Grade Writing Rubric
- Second Grade Writing Rubric
- Third Grade Writing Rubric – coming soon
- Fourth Grade Writing Rubric
- Fifth Grade Writing Rubric – coming soon
Our kindergarten curriculum focuses on a risk free developmental writing process. As a result, teachers do not correct a child’s writing. At this stage, the emphasis is placed on the ability to tell a story, construct an idea and put it on paper.
Writing Rubric Template
The rubric below provides both detailed criteria and topics. This is a great resource to design your own rubric or to reference for your child’s writing. Obviously, we are striving for exemplary writing skills.
|Topic||Key word(s) near beginning||Main idea or topic in first sentence||Good main idea or topic sentence||Interesting, well stated main idea or topic sentence|
|Words||Related words or ideas mentioned||Some key words or related ideas included as details with meaning||Key related words and ideas used as details with meaning||Key related words and ideas used correctly; defined for reader; interesting choice of words|
|Order||Ideas not ordered||Some order of main idea and details or sequence||Main idea and details or sequential, as appropriate||Good flow of ideas from topic sentence and details or sequence|
|Sentences||Sentence fragments||Mostly complete sentences||Complete sentences||Complete sentences; variety|
|Punctuation||Some punctuation||Most sentences have punctuation||Correct punctuation||Correct punctuation and variety|
|Capital Letters||Upper- and lowercase not distinguished||Uses upper- and lowercase letters||Begins sentence with uppercase||Correct use of case for beginning of sentence, names etc.|
|Spelling||Many spelling errors||Some spelling errors||Few spelling errors||No spelling errors|
|Handwriting||Hard to read; not well formed||Mostly legible||Well-formed letters||Neat, easy to read, well formed|
Source: Adapted from Fry and Kress (2006), p 360.
Writing rubrics provide great feedback to both parents and children. They help identify strengths and weaknesses found in a child’s writing. If you want to get better at something, you need to focus on what needs to be improved and celebrate what you are doing well.