You probably already know that giving your students your feedback on their work is maybe the most effective tools to grow their understanding of any subject.
But when students are taught to examine their own work, when they develop their own feedback and decide what needs to be modified for improvement, their growth and performance can skyrocket!
I use a rubric (that mirrors Common Core) to help my students gauge their own work. When they have the rubric to help guide their self-assessment, they can identify specifically what to work on, whether it’s the use of text evidence, thoughtful paragraph structure, or proper grammar. Plus, the pressure lessens on teachers to provide constant feedback and evaluation.
Follow the steps below to implement this tool in your classroom and you’ll not only see growth in student writing but you’ll feel less pressure with grading as you trust your students to assess themselves.
Step 1. Find a rubric you want to use to assess your students’ writing based upon your state or Common Core standards. I use a self-grading rubric as a center rotation, which focuses on single paragraphs at first. You can download it here.
Step 2. Start with one of your own small paragraphs in small group, and model using the rubric with the writing sample. Provide students with a copy of the paragraph as well.
Step 3. Work through a different writing sample with your students together in small group to correct any misconceptions with any part of the rubric. Then have students grade one of their own paragraphs. I use student work they’ve completed in a center the previous day or week.
Step 4. After students assess their own work, review their grading with them individually to make sure they’re accurate in their grading.
Step 5. Students need practice on any new skill. Using a rubric requires practice as well. They’ll master it after a few practice runs.
Step 6. Release them to write, assess, and revise based upon the rubric’s reminders and feedback. You can use it as a center rotation after writing to a text. In the center, they can grade themselves, modify their work, and re-grade or just have them assess themselves and reflect.
Implementing self-assessment in writing provides a powerful tool to improve student writing and increase student responsibility for their learning. You’ll see your students take ownership over their own growth, fostering independence and confidence. What more could a teacher want?