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Showing posts with the label best practice

Tutorial: Cleaning up out of date Rubrics

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Because SmartRubric makes it easy to share, duplicate and modify rubrics, sometimes you end up with old, out of date ones clogging up your library.

You won't be able to delete them (unless they've never been used to asses work, in which case go wild. The delete option is under the 'Action' menu in the rubric). SmartRubric won't let you do anything to a rubric that will louse up the marks of students who have already been assessed by it.

So, here's what you do. Go into the detail view rubric you want to get rid of (Rubrics > Your Library > {Rubric}). Everything is going to be under the 'Actions' dropdown button, here:



1. If the rubric has been shared with your school, click 'Unshare with school'. Now it has been removed from the School template library, and no one else can accidentally add it to their library.

2. If the rubric has been favourited (the red heart is filled in), click on the heart to unfavourite it. Favourite rubrics float to…

How to: Customising a rubric for your specific class

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The whole point of SmartRubric is to make feedback more targeted and helpful for students, and to make your marking workload smaller and more manageable. If you aren't customising rubrics you might be making your life and the lives of your darling students much more difficult and confusing.

Don't worry, it's easy. I'll walk you through it. Here's a scenario for you:

You are a KS3 teacher. Your department has a big 'master rubric', which contains all of the strands that are assessed in your subject, and all of the possible levels a student could be at for years 7, 8 and 9. That means, maybe, 12 or thirteen levels and ten strands or so per core skill on multiple tabs. It's colossal, but really useful because it contextualises and maps out pretty much the entire curriculum. If you are sharing rubrics across a department, I highly recommend having one of these. Email me if you want help building one.

So, the beauty of having one of these is that you, as, sa…

Managing rubrics for a wide range of abilities

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Or, 'Help my rubric is enormous and my AFL sheets look terrible!'

With the addition of the ability to create multiple assessments across different classes, a new and exciting issue has cropped up. Since your 'multiple assessments' all need to use the same rubric, you'll probably end up needing one that covers a much broader range of abilities (this advice applies to single assessments for mixed-ability groups, too).

Sometimes, this means you end up with a rubric that has upwards of eight or nine bands! This causes some issues with formatting your AFL sheets, because SmartRubric tries to cram all of your bands onto a single sheet of paper for your student.

I'm working on a smarter, more comprehensive fix, but until that's ready, I've made you a special 'giant rubric' AFL template. From now on, if you try to download your whole class AFL sheets on one of these giant rubrics, you'll get a little alert showing up, like this:

You can throw cautio…

Difficult Student Relationships: The Paper Crane

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Building solid relationships with your students is, hands down, the most important part of teaching. Every single other aspect of teaching is much much easier if you have put some time into this.
But. Every now and then, you will end up with a student that doesn't respond to your respectful but firm boundaries. Sometimes the problem is them, sometimes it's you, and sometimes it's down to forces beyond either of your control. 
I had a student like this. Bilal (name changed, obviously) had a very difficult home life, and acted out in school. I tried the usual, followed the behaviour policy to the letter, and quickly learned that all that was happening is he was getting more and more frustrated with me, the school, the work and life in general. Our teacher/student relationship was extremely poor, and getting worse. The lessons I had with him were frequently disrupted. 
Then I stopped, and thought. The system wasn't working for this kid. Detentions were pointless, and the…

Get organised now!

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Hello teacher friends! I hope your summer holidays have been both restful and restorative.

Since it's the beginning of the year, now would be a great time to take advantage of the many organisational tools that SmartRubric offers to help you conquer your marking before it turns into a giant snowball/hamster wheel of doom. But first, some housekeeping:

For those of you who are setting up SmartRubric for the first time, please check out our series of helpful tutorials and videos to help you make the most of your new SmartRubric account:

How to set up your account and start marking in less than 10 minutes (<-- start with this one)How to set up your account - more detail and resourcesHow to set up a classHow to create a smart rubricHow to feed back to students Once you have your account set up, you might be interested in some of the more advanced features of SmartRubric. You can find a list of relevant tutorials here
If you are an old hat at SmartRubric and have set up classes befo…

How to increase the impact of your marking this exam prep season

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If you teach KS4 and KS5, you are probably in the midst of some pretty serious exam preparation. For many of you, that means practice papers. Lots of them. And if you happen to teach a subject like English, that means a lot of extended essay questions to mark. So, you know, prepare to spend your evenings and weekends marking. After all, you want your students to do well, don't you?

Well, yes, of course. But there's a tool that can help speed up the marking process and improve the consistency and usefulness of your feedback to students. I give you... the humble rubric. You can either print these out and use them as a pro-forma (good), or you can sign up for a free trial of SmartRubric and use an interactive rubric to mark to pesky mocks (better).

First, I'll explain what a rubric is, how to make them, and how to use them effectively. Then, I'll give you three really good reasons why you should be using them for all of your open-ended assessments (but especially practic…

Free download - Metacognition and Student Engagement Rubric

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A good rubric isn't an assessment tool, it's a learning tool.

Download this rubric for free to help students develop the vocabulary and skills they need to become reflective, strategic learners.

If you're already a SmartRubric user, you can add this rubric to your library by getting it from the Template Library. Just click here and 'add this rubric to my library'.

This rubric would be a great starting place for a conversation with a student about their learning during a tutorial, mentoring session or one-on-one meeting.

Here's a list of questions you can use right now to elicit meaningful student response to your feedback:

General:
What is your biggest priority to work on for next time? Why?
Explain one specific thing that you are going to do before next time to improve. Why do you think it is going to help?
Make a list of small, specific actions you can take next time to improve on a target.
What are your goals for next time? What are you going to try to do to …