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Showing posts from September, 2017

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…

EXTENDED: Try SmartRubric Administrator for free

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We've recently added so many exciting features that work best with an administrator account, that we thought it was only right to offer you the opportunity to give them a try for free.

Administrator subscriptions are just like teacher subscriptions except you can:
1. Invite other teachers from your school to SmartRubric, and then collaborate on rubrics and assessments, as well as share classes and student data.

2. Take advantage of higher level reporting so you can manage student progress across departments and even subjects.

3. Use the moderation tool to standardise grades and produce detailed moderation and grade justification reports for coursework. SO! Until midnight Sunday, 17th of September if you upgrade to an Administrator Subscription using the offer code BACKTOSCHOOL, you get your first two accounts completely free for six months. That means you can share SmartRubric with a colleague at your school and make use of some cool collaboration tools for free. Normally, this wo…

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…