Language Demands

Language is incredibly important when grading students and is something that often gets overlooked. Admittedly, I don’t think too much about the wording I use for lesson plans, rubrics, or anything of that sort just because I automatically think the students will just get it. While I think it is a good idea to have a rubric that is as detailed as possible, simplifying it might help yourself as the teacher as well as helping the students understand what you want from them. Rubrics are mostly, in my opinion, meant for the students. Yes, it is also for the teacher to help with grading, but rubrics give students a first look at what is going to be expected of them, so it is important to be clear in your language as well as be clear in how they are going to be graded. Having a complex rubric runs the risk of confusing your students even more and just generally being an unnecessary complaint. 

Something that can help students get off the ground and running, especially in writing assignments is graphic organizers. In classes such as social studies and history, there is going to be writing, it is unavoidable. Graphic organizers are a great way for students to organize their thoughts in one space. This would also be a good way for students to practice their writing. For students who struggle to write, this is a good tool for them to use to practice and improve their writing skills. I do think writing should be kept to a minimum at times, as there are other, more creative ways for students to convey a historical theme or assessing things that happened in the past, but when the writing does inevitably come, graphic organizers will help the students get their thoughts on paper. Based on the rubric that is used, graphic organizers can also be used to make sure that everything on said rubric is being fulfilled!