Tinker Teacher – Personal Record Rubrics

Tinker Teacher – Personal Record Rubrics

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Hey folks. John here! The adrenaline-fueled world of peak performance and OCR inspired me to create what I call a Personal Record scoring rubric. Just like a post-race obstacle debrief, the rubric offers an easy-to-read visual display of a student’s sustained effort, improvement, and growth over time to provide a detailed look at which obstacles are causing each competitor the biggest problems. Pinpoint your weaknesses, and you can know where you’ll need to train the hardest for your next big event.

So what if we took this same concept and applied it to our everyday scoring rubrics? Like so:


Take your traditional rubric and break it down into however many areas of focus you’ll be scoring for that particular assignment (in the case of the image above, I’ve pinpointed eight target areas for essay writing — but you can do as few or as many as you’d like). For each target indicator, make a list of 1-5, and circle the corresponding score that the student has achieved for that particular “obstacle.”

It’s that simple.

When I hand back a scored assignment, I ask students to take a few moments to chart their performance on the spider graph immediately to the right of their scores. The end result creates a clear visual representation of each student’s greatest areas of strength and weakness, and provides an excellent starting point for self reflection and their next round of training.

To push students to the next stages of their growth, ask everyone to flip their Personal Record rubrics over and answer three questions to kickstart the next stages of their workout plan:

1. Which obstacle did you dominate? Why?

2. Which obstacle caused you the greatest challenge? Why?

3. What work do we still need to do to improve your performance on the toughest obstacle?

After students had time to self-score and reflect, I’ll collect the Personal Record rubrics and file them away until the next big “event” a few weeks on down the line. And this time, I’ll use a different colored pen for the scoring and pass the same score sheets back so they can track their growth over time by repeating the self-reflection process.

Boom. Instant visual storytelling with a clear pattern of how you arrived at the grade that you received. What a powerful way to provide clear, actionable feedback for further self- and shared reflection. As a teacher, you can even project a master graph with the overall class averages for each category to help identify broader patterns for feedback and mini lessons to follow. Likewise, you can encourage students to turn and talk or share their own findings with peer revision pals, examining particular strengths or weaknesses (and finding new peer resources for improvement!) as they compare with the results of their classmates.

The beauty of a Personal Record Rubric is how clearly and succinctly it can convey a TON of information. But that’s not to say that the exact same rubric will always be the perfect fit for every occasion. The default template features 8 different look-for areas of focus, and each look-for area is scored on a scale from 1-5. If you’d like to put your own spin on the core resource by looking for a different number of look for items (say, 5 or 6) or rating quality of submissions on an even numbered scale (say, on a scale from 1-4 or a scale from 1-6, since many school districts avoid odd numbered scoring rubrics), we’ve included an easy to use collection of alternative rubric styles with the default template. Simply click the size and scale that works best for you and paste it right into your tailor made Personal Record Rubric! You’re likewise welcome to swap out any of the default category labels to suit the unique needs of your course or content area.

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