Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Write Like a Champion

Today we all (all the teachers) had to grade the baseline writing samples using a six trait rubric. The prompt for third grade was: "Write a letter to your teacher about a field trip you would like to go on." This prompted some of the most terrible third grade writing I've had to read. Here is a list of some on the gems I scored.

*I would like to go to the zoo to see the monkeys, lions, zebras, cheetahs, elephants, parrots... (this list went on long enough to fill the whole page).
*A magical story about a spaceship (what does this have to do with the prompt, you tell me).
*D Mt. _____, I go dragon ball Z. Dragon Ball Z. Dragon Ball Z.

I could go on, but why should I put my readers through the same pain I was subjected to? I was given a ridiculously long rubric with scores of 1-6 for six traits, but I made my own simple rubric that applies to all six traits as we went. See below.

6 - Never going to happen. Forget the possibility of scoring this writing as a six and spend your time reading about the other scores.
5- The writing was still a boring third grade paper, but it was long and grammatically correct without causing physical pain or suicidal thoughts in the reader. You wish the paper was shorter, so you wouldn't have to keep reading, but at least you can decipher the words.
4- This is the score to use when the brain of the evaluator has shut down. It is a cop out score to be used for writing that is not that good, but not as bad as some other third grade writing.
3- A 3 should be used for a paper that makes you want to quit teaching or maybe reading, but you would rather continue scoring than be fired.
2- A 2 is a good score for "compositions" that are three lines long, but take quite a while to read because they are sloppy and do not make sense. A good rule of thumb is to give a paper a 2 if the paper seems like it is written in another language when you first start scoring it. After a while, you agree that it is English, but you still don't know what it says.
1- This is my favorite score because it can be used for papers that are three words long except none of the words are actually words. 1 papers are easy to spot.

Please feel free to score my post using the rubric above. I would probably give myself a 4, but my brain shut off a long time ago.

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