Tuesday, March 26, 2013

KinderWriting: A Balancing Act

My colleague, @beckyannlea, and I worked recently to create a rubric to assess the writing progress of our kindergartners.    We wanted to be sure to give value to a child's ideas and illustrations as well as written letters/words.  We wanted to approach writing as a progression rather than focus on individual skills.  We wanted to keep our goals developmentally appropriate while keeping our expectations high - which can be quite a balancing act!  We also wanted to create a tool that allowed for formative assessment rather than just summative.

As we prepared to make this rubric, #KinderChat was the venue for many discussions about writing in kindergarten.  @bluskyz even hosted a campfire chat on it!  Ultimately, one of our main sources came to us via #KinderChat.  @Learningmurd shared a rubric created by Adrienne Gear, author of Writing Power.

We studied the work of many different authors as we researched and created our rubric. We specifically referenced Linda Dorn and her Kindergarten Scoring Guide for Writing Proficiency in Interventions that Work.  If you are familiar with either of these authors, Adrienne Gear or Linda Dorn, our rubric may seem familiar as it is based heavily on their work.  There are even portions where we used their wording because they put it so well.

I'm a little nervous to put this out for everyone to critique as I feel a bit protective of it and quite vulnerable - like I'm putting a little of my heart and soul out for you to pick over.  I know, however, it is important that I consider perspectives beyond my own.  I appreciate any feedback you would be willing to give.  Kindergarten teachers, do you think we kept our expectations developmentally appropriate and balanced?  First grade teachers, do you think our expectations are appropriate to ensure our students are ready for first grade?  Other educators, what are your thoughts?  Thank you for your time!

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