I teach art to 4 year olds through 5th grade in two different schools.
3rd, 4th and 5th are graded. For the past 3 years I have graded by my
the seat of my pants so to speak. This one fulfilled all the criteria
for the project so it is a 100. This only didn't meet all the
expectations so it is a 92 etc. As time went on, I realized that the
students didn't actually understand how I was grading their work because
I didn't have a clear grading rubric. Now the state dept (KY) is
requiring every subject, every class to have a rubric.
I created this rubric loosely (sp). I presented it to the kids on an
overhead and we discussed each square and the information it contained.
I also show them projects that we scored together so they would
understand the difference between a 3 and a 4 in creativity for
example. Any problems or input that the children had, I changed on my
rubric that was on the overhead, so, each student in each class had a
hand in the creation. Since I have 34 classes per week, I really can't
have 14 different rubrics so I elaborate on the one we created all
For example: On our Eric Carle project, the elements and principles they
were to use were warm and cool colors, shape, emphasis, and balance. If
they used all of these they earned the full 5 points. As they work I
say things like: according to your rubric you will want to "this or
that" so I really don't use more time with a rubric.
I made the grade sheets so the students know their grade for each
project. If they are struggling in one particular aspect, it is easy to
find. They may not be completing projects on time or getting sloppy
toward the end and that drops their grade.
Lastly, when a parent wants to talk about their childs grade, I can hand
them the rubric, their childs grade sheet and the child's portfolio. As
we look at each project, the parent can more easily understand why their
child earned that grade.
So, really, a rubric is not an option. I wanted one that was fair for
the students and easy to use for all of us. I have used it now for 14
weeks and I hear the students complain about their grade, and another
one at their table will say "you should have looked at the rubric and
you would have known what to do for an A" the students seem to really
like it. I have some students who are content with a C and only work