Complete Rubrics, Chapter 6

Quinlan, Audrey M. A Complete Guide to Rubrics: Assessment Made Easy for Teachers, K-College. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2006. Print.



Chapter 6: Using Rubrics in High School


Chapters 3-5 deal mostly with using rubrics in elementary and middle school. Although some of the ideaa apply to any rubric making, most of the content is specific to K-8 and not relevant to my studies. However, I did learn, through Quinlan’s explanation of developmental stages, that my five and a half year old’s obsession with being first (at everything including eating her oatmeal and getting to the bathroom) is completely on track from a developmental point of view. Evidently wanting to cheat at games and interrupting are part of this lovely social developmental stage. My favorite story in chapter 3 echoes my own experiences being the parent of a kindergartener:


“Parents of a precocious 6-year-old were concerned to see this comment on their son’s otherwise excellent report card: ‘Talks! Talks! Talks!’ The teacher should have added, ‘normal, normal, normal’”(39).


In all seriousness, though, thinking about social, physical, and cognitive development at any age is useful when planning lessons and, even more so in an environment with multiple ages present, in dealing with individual students.


In Chapter Six, Quinlan discusses the developmental stages of high school age students, noting that many vary in their placement. However, in general 14-17 year olds are moving toward adulthood and are concerned with what they will become (78). Since our college has a fair number of PSEO (Post Secondary Enrollment Option) students or High School Honors students who are still 16-17, I thought this chapter was worth reading.  It seems 16-17 year-olds still primarily use concrete thinking instead of operational thinking. Practically, this means high school students may struggle more with abstract thinking or problem solving (80). Their social lives are still more important than their academic pursuits, but they are learning to set goals, see others’ perspectives, and understand their own minds more (80-81). I can see using this chapter as a reference since I have many high school students who take my classes, especially Creative Writing.   In the rest of the chapter, Quinlan gives examples of how rubrics may be used in high school assignments, even giving an example of how the writing portion of the SAT uses a 6 point rubric to assess competency. She also gives examples of how to use a rubric to assess group projects and tailor both the assignment and the rubric to help students succeed in their strengths while holding them accountable for participating in the group.

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