Rubrics are one of three common ways you can assess your elementary or middle school child’s progress (as long as your state doesn’t require grading before high school).
In addition to helping you assess your student, a rubric can guide your instruction and provide a way for your child to reflect on their work.
What is a rubric? It’s a scoring tool that lists criteria for projects, assignments, or other pieces of work. For each criteria, the rubric describes levels of quality. These levels may have numerical scores (example: 4, 3, 2, 1) or different ratings
(example: excellent, good, fair, poor).
Because the rubric defines in writing what is expected of your student to achieve a particular score, your child can check their work against the rubric before turning it in and make any needed improvements.
You can use a rubric to assess your student’s performance in writing essays and reports, making a speech, doing map work, reading aloud, creating a model of an atom, painting a watercolor piece, or conducting a science experiment. About the only
kind of schoolwork that doesn’t function well with rubrics is questions with right or wrong answers.
A simple Google search can turn up sample rubrics. Here are a few to get you started!
Free Sample Rubrics
- Sample Rubric for Story Retelling
- Woodworking project
- Writing, listening, and speaking
- Lab report
- Oral presentation
In-Depth Rubric Resources
- How to Create and Use Rubrics for Formative Assessment and Grading, Susan M. Brookhart
- 40 Rubrics and Checklists to Assess Reading and Writing: Time-Saving Reproducible Forms and Great Strategies for Meaningful Assessment (grades 3–6), Adele Fiderer
- Evaluating for Excellence: A Handbook for Evaluating Student Progress, Teresa M. Moon (Although this resource is unfortunately out of print, it is among the best and most parent-friendly options we’ve found, so we still recommend it.)
- Build your own rubrics using this free online rubric maker.
- Learn how to use rubrics in grading a high schooler.