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Better Together: How to Co-Construct Rubrics With Your Students

One of my biggest pet peeves used to be writing rubrics and reviewing them with students. After spending hours agonizing over just the right language, we would read through the document together, line after excruciating line. Once the bell rang for dismissal, my frustration and disappointment would quickly set in. Many of my students would leave the rubrics on their desks or the floor as they shuffled out of class. And there I would stand, alone in my room, my text-bloated masterpiece scattered like confetti. I felt pretty exhausted by this cycle, and it made me wonder:

  • How would my students create great work if they didn’t care about the rubric?

  • How can students get involved with the creation of the rubric? I’m tired of writing these by myself!

After having enough of this repeating scenario, I discovered a strategy that shares more ownership: the co-constructed rubric. This approach not only helped me with my rubric irritations, but it also helped shift the culture of my classroom. If you’d like to reshape your rubric approach, the key steps below will serve as a guide to gain clarity around quality while amplifying student voice.