With AP’s changes to Language & Composition this last fall and to the rubrics, I've decided to GO BACK to my old faithful: my 1-9. HOLISTIC and student-friendly rubrics (that correlated to 100-, 50-, and 25-point scales already, which made the conversion to the new CER format SO easy to begin with) and have already saved my ESSAY EVALUATION SANITY each year! Those rubrics were both student-friendly and teacher-friendly and use skills-based language that allow everyone to focus on . . . wait for it: WRITING.
I also used those rubrics in conjunction with my essay evaluation comment sheets to lighten the ink that I put on student papers, to continue to give specific and effective feedback, and to shorten the response time for that feedback. And when it came time to REALLY DIG IN with students and ANALYZE writing, we got down and dirty with our ROUND-ROBIN READING EVALUATION (nearly ready for release)!! Yes. I know. It is all so powerful.
Students would come to class EARLY. Their eyes would scan the board. A quick visual check of each items on the list, and papers came flinging out of folders, binders, backpacks. Chromebooks were unplugged, rebooted, and electronic handouts were accessed. The typical excitement ensued over color bursts of sticky notes and highlighters and pens. Doodling, color, putting marks on paper, and appreciating the very texture of pen and ink on a surface in addition to the messages conveyed along with the style conveyed through writing . . . mmmmmmmmmm . . .mmmmm. We were huuuu--uuuu--uunggrrryyy.
This year, all of that changes.
Too many papers.
We'll go electronic.
This year I will not attempt to decode new rubrics with students. This year . . .
So this year, I am going to quit worrying about the darn style point.
If we actually teach writing, then students learn to write.
I have taught AP Language for 18 years now, seventeen of which I have used some form of my holistic rubrics found free this week on the ATELIER page, by the way. And for this year, at least, THIS is the language--the description--I will continue to use with my students.
I expect there will be a place for AP's new rubrics in the mix somewhere; however, there's already TOO much. And students need skills. And I want to ensure that development.
Don't forget to hop on over to the ATELIER to download your free copy! And definitely click and share some snaps of this rubric in action! Or share some comments below! I would really like to know how this works out for you and how you've chosen to use it with your students! You might even want to cruise over to COLLABORATE & CREATE in the ATELIER to start working on some new things together!
We'll talk soon!
For decades, debates in the world of grammar have revolved around whether language has concrete conventions and how those conventions should be taught. At the center of these debates is grammar and sentence diagramming. Although many confine grammar to an academic study, this debate is relevant to the everyday lives of all English speakers because it affects how we understand language. Diagramming is a visual representation of the grammatical structure of a sentence. I use it to help students understand how language fits together and understand how these pieces structure their writing style.
Do and your students diagram sentences? What are your overall focus skills? Do you assess these skills? Add your comments below! . . . oh, and be sure to click on over to the Atelier tab for some freebie diagramming downloads!