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

In-Depth Rubric Resources

So there ya go! If you haven’t read about the checklist method of assessing your child, feel free to do that now. Or go on to learn about using letter grades.