dGR – Diane’s Great Rubric

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben's Patreon at $10 or more
Already a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content.



38 thoughts on “dGR – Diane’s Great Rubric”

  1. Diane reminds us that this works with seventh graders. There is clarity for them here. Having taught seventh graders myself, I know what that means. They need a whole new level of clarity at that age.

    Another important aspect of the above is how it is built around the idea that, in Diane’s school, and millions like it I am sure, a C is an F. It’s a key point addressed in this version of jGR.

    Diane said that she would shorten this rubric and tighten it up for next year. I am thinking that, even in this form, this dGR could become a very good option to jGR esp. with younger kids.

    How do two boxes on the right work, Diane?

    I will be curious to see how the group reacts to this. Is it jGR in a more evolved (i.e. simple) form? Or is it merely an option for younger kids? How can we best use it? Might a hybrid between this and jGR occur?

    Like jGR did, it will need some testing to answer those questions. Maybe some of us who don’t feel like jGR is working for us can test it and report back.

    Thank you Diane!

  2. I love how everything is really spelled out. All the specifics are in there. I have some students who think they are at “A” level simply because they can respond with a phrase or sentence, BUT they never ask for clarification, volunteer for jobs and they certainly don’t respond to all the questions. This version addresses that situation more clearly.

  3. Ok – now to talk about grading this — for those of us who are on a number scale: what number grades would you assign this?
    For those of us on a Standards-based grading scale, how would you break this down for “exceeds, meets, approaching, does not do” — I ask this because of the 3 variables in the B and C range. (I just have such a hard time wrapping my head around this!!)

  4. I have one concern, and it’s a pretty big one for me. Kids who want A+’s, and I’ve always had a few, look at “I often respond to questions & offer ideas during discussions in complete sentences and long phrases” with exactly the kind of thing I DON’T want them to do: Force themselves to speak the TL–which invariably ends up being language they run through the little English-TL translator in their heads to create “horrible, unnatural TL” in the hopes of looking smart and or getting good grades. How do you avoid this? I really think this is one of those things that is for “my observation only”.

    I am reacting strongly to this based on years and years of experience with kids trying to force their own output with terrible results. I believe it greatly affects their acquisition rates, also. It really keeps them in the analysis side of language, a place I’d rather keep them aways from during class. It, also, tortures my in class. 🙂

    I’m wondering how you keep them away from this trap. I’m wondering how I might reword that–maybe “I often respond to questions with thoughtful, on-point answers–going beyond what is expected” (thereby intimating that “the teacher” will assess the “goes beyond expectation” aspect) or maybe just leaving off that phrase. Respectfully asking (though the tone of my post seems a little cranky)–wishing I were asking in person instead of in a blog response.

  5. Jody,

    I have the exact same concern as you regarding students trying to force analytical output that they aren’t ready for. Even using JGR where it doesn’t specifically ask for full sentences I have students, particularly in my Latin class, who quite frequently attempt to put together full sentences, end up translating from English to Latin in their head and usually messing it up royally (and leaving the slower students waaaaay behind with no idea what is being discussed). Not only does this have no no positive impact on acquisition, it also distracts the class from the real input.

    I suppose that the basic CI response is that we should encourage unforced output and simply restate the sentence correctly, perhaps to check that you understood it. This would allow for some positive input, right? But it still doesn’t feel like something I should be encouraging in class. Does the students´ thinking in the analytical realm (how do I conjugate this verb correctly, am I putting the right declension ending on a noun?) have a negative impact on acquisition?

    What we want is “spontaneous” output, but how can we encourage that without also allowing these forced tortured sentences?

  6. I believe there is a negative impact because “time-pressured” oral responses in a classroom setting, where a student starts thinking thoughts like the ones you mention above, creates a tension, a level of anxiety–which negatively affects acquisition–on both ends: the processing end and the output end.

    The myriad of storyasking/CI teachers’ skills that we are, hopefully, acquiring and practicing on a daily basis, are specifically fashioned to keep this tension/anxiety at bay so that the student can best acquire the language. Anything we do during an oral session of language acquisition which heightens anxiety or tension for the students is counterproductive in my opinion.

    1. Read that over. Hmmm. Not too clear.

      Kids have to attend mightily to language input in an oral/aural session of language input in the classroom. If they are thinking, “How can I give an “A+” response to the teacher’s question?”, I believe tension/anxiety get set up which occludes language acquisition. Instead of concentrating on extracting meaning from the teacher’s words, they are thinking about performing–tension created–less acquisition right off the bat. If the next thought is, “How can I form a long, intelligent-sounding sentence?” instead of saying something that just “falls out of my mouth” because it has been acquired or responding with the “structures of the day which are written on the board”, more tension is created. The amount of energy dedicated to “inventing poor language” would be better spent noticing whether I’ve really understood what the teacher said, letting her know if I did or didn’t with my eyes of the class signal, and not trying so hard to “be smart”. Those are my two cents.

      1. Yeah, I see your point. I am experimenting with wording here and borrowed from some other versions of jGR. Anyone wanting to borrow this could easily drop the A+ category and just have a box for A+/A/A- instead.

        However, for me there has not been the type of analytical and awkward response from kids. There is, sometimes, a real sentence coming from some of them. Also – these are kids in their 3 year of class with me. We move much slower than high school classes, but I think it’s like an early 2nd year class or a really advanced first year, second semester, with them.

        The columns at right: first column for the student’s check, second column for mine.

      2. YES! TOTALLY AGREE with everything in the above posts regarding this. It is a huge issue that I have not had success in clarifying to the students who insist on doing this. IT makes me crazy.

        Two days ago I addressed this with both of my level 2 classes, but probably my “addressing” just went in one ear and out the other. I honestly don’t know how to explain or demonstrate this, especially in the context of a rubric, where kids are bypassing everything, focused on “how to get an A.”

        I get really cranky about this, and I know I need to let it go. But it is hard. I realized recently that my quick quizzes are too easy, so I am going to ramp up the frequency and complexity of them. Not in a “gotcha” way, but in order to reinforce the practice of attending and responding in class, and especially the practice of asking for clarification. If they gloss over something important, I can tell. I then focus on that part of the story in a class discussion, or use RT to highlight it. So if after all that students do poorly on a quiz, ??? I think it will take a series of sub-par quiz grades for some of these kids to snap out of it. Upon reflection of the past semester, I think the grades were inflated due to the easy quizzes rather than the jGR grades. So we’ll see what happens with the ramped up quizzes. Sorry, got kinda off topic on this.

        “The amount of energy dedicated to “inventing poor language” would be better spent noticing whether I’ve really understood what the teacher said, letting her know if I did or didn’t with my eyes of the class signal, and not trying so hard to “be smart”. ”

        This statement sums up perfectly a situation with a student. Just yesterday I caught her in an outright lie. Either that OR she did not understand a question I asked her a couple days ago, to which she responded “Yes.” So either she lied to me or she faked that she understood because she outright refuses to ask for clarification. Either way, she is being dishonest. (Claimed to have done the reading when I asked her a couple days ago, yet as I handed out a pop quiz yseterday claimed that she “missed the reading” bc she wasn’t at school the day we did it. Hmmm…which one is true? And she was in the subsequent 2 classes, where we read aloud and did RT.

        Said student perceives herself as “much more advanced” than her classmates, because she “tries so hard to speak French” (i.e., puts French words into English sentences). Ugh.

    1. About 3 times in the first few weeks of a semester, and then whenever. I’ve brought it out again when I saw changes in student engagement in class (good especially). At least 8 times per semester? I’m experimenting with that. I might have a mutiny if they got this grade daily (in that class at least).

      1. I feel like if I don’t give the interpersonal grade daily there will be utter chaos in my unruly class. I have them self-evaluate every day as well – just to keep reminding them of how important it is. Unfortunately nothing much seems to work!

  7. Diane,

    Thank you so much for sharing your modified version of jGR and for all the efforts you have put into this. It’s so great to hear that perhaps this will help you in your daily interaction with your kids! Please let us know in a couple of months if it alleviated/eradicated the issues you had with the original version.

    We have been very busy talking about this rubric for so long now. Yet we still find ways to tweak it/ revise its verbiage / change the percentages in hopes we will find a miraculous way to make our teaching easier.

    I have to admit that for me jGR works most of the times but there are still areas where it doesn’t, and that is OK . I don’t believe in a one size fits all. I don’t like rubrics, I feel alienated by them. And whatever grade they yield I end up changing anyways so I really think why bother. That is just me though, I won’t lead by example here! I too am a hippy in that respect.

    I’m just wondering (thinking out loud here and thank you for letting me do that) if that daunting task (finding the miracle rubric) is even possible. Is there one single rubric that will satisfy all of us? Are we perhaps trying to fit a square peg into a round hole?

    I think we all work in different schools with different population of kids with different socio economic statuses and no one rubric will solve all of our problems.

    That is why I think that what you did Diane did is wonderful : you created your own rubric based on a preexisting template (jGR) . Hopefully this one will help you deal with the very real cultural and idiosyncratic differences that exist where you are teaching, which may be very different than for most of us.

    On the question of output though, I’m in complete agreement with Jody here.
    I think that telling kids that they can get an A+ by producing long sentences goes against what Krashen keeps on reminding us. We CAN’T forced output or even suggest it. Output will occur naturally when the kid is ripe (can’t think of a better image now). Furthermore, we know that the rate of language acquisition varies from person to person . So by suggesting that making long sentences will yield an A+, are we not rewarding the fast processors b/c they are faster and punishing the slower ones in doing so?

    I unsderstand that the pressure is on us to make kids produce, we live after all in a data-driven education bubble, and the race to the top is on.

    However, I trust people like Ben and Jody, who have been doing this for much longer than I have. If they tell me that by providing my kids with constant auditory comprehensible input for a couple of years, a beautiful process of auditory comprehensible output will naturally emerge, then I am willing to take a risk.

    BTW, I did take that risk, and I can see/feel/start to hear beautiful correct language naturally emerging in a non forced way out of my 8th graders whom I’ve had for two years now doing CI entirely.

    Diane, like you I m so grateful for this PLC where I get to express my thoughts with no fear of retaliation, and to know people like you willing to discuss and share ways to make our teaching lives more tolerable!

  8. In hopes of cutting off any nonsensical attempts at analyzed, English-translation-based sentences (for the A+) I changed my rubric. All I did was delete the “A+” category & typed A+ down in the “A” category. A+ will mean the same thing to me, but as someone above suggested, the students don’t need to know that part directly.

    It’s a way to simplify the rubric too! Yippee.

    Also… my administrators and a drama teacher colleague love this so much that it was mentioned at our faculty meeting just now. Really, really nice. I’ve been asked to share about it at a future meeting. The drama teacher is already going to adapt it for her class and use it. It makes her grading of “behavior” (behaviors!) that much more clear and objective, too.

    1. Diane, I teach middle school and I love your revised rubric (without the A+ category) for my students. I think they will understand the process better. I also think the check boxes are great for the self-reflection process. I am going to try student-led conferences for the first time in about a week and I think the addition of this reflective rubric will be great for the students and parents to see. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I am going to try this version. I love the idea of the two check boxes, but I have yet to succeed with using this type of self-reflection. Any suggestions? Whenever I have used a check box system, most kids don’t really “reflect,” they just check one of the top 2 boxes because that is the grade they want.

    I have found narrative self-reflections more useful in terms of understanding where each students truly sees him/herself, but that is time-consuming so I tend not to do it frequently. I want to do more of these reflections, so I think I will try this again and just do it more often.

    Diane, how exactly do you use this? Do you print it out or do you project it? If you do a hard copy, are they saved in a portfolio / notebook? I am curious about the record keeping part of this.

    Thanks so much for this!

    1. Hi jen,

      If the kids just check the first two boxes, then it’s a place to begin talking with them. (And my grade is the one that goes in the book!) It was so disproportionate in my notorious 7th grade class that I told them their grades from themselves, and then my assessment of the same day in class. Then the new rubric and clear discussion of the A/B/C differences.

      I need to work on record-keeping, too. I think maybe ideally – because of parents – I should keep them all. But I also want to give students quick feedback on their scores. So far I’ve kept some, given back others. Lately I’ve used paper – I might switch to electronic (they all have a laptop).

      1. And jen honestly I see the checkboxes as gold. When my check is lower than theirs, we have to talk. It can be a class discussion, and should be done individually as time allows.

        This is certainly most true with those kids who need to be deconfused about their REAL effort in class, and not what they have been made to think by lazy teachers over previous years.

        This is about us growing up to be real teachers. When our students stop arguing with us and accept our assessment as true and accurate, we can then say that we will have moved the teaching profession forward (or back) to where it should be (once was) – a place where adults are respected because their work is honest and fair and children are removed from the manipulation tools they have become masters of over the past decades by weak, spineless and lazy teachers.

      2. I use similar tickets in my class. But I keep all the grades on an excel document. I have one sheet per class, all the names on the left going down, and then 2 or 3 weeks worth of dates going across. I try to fill in at least 3 days a week. I do that first, then simply copy onto their tickets (which I try to give back the next class). That way I have the grades written somewhere for backup, while the kids also get to see how they are doing.

    1. Yes – see my comments 4 above this one. I wasn’t sold on the separate A+, but took it in from some other jGR ideas somewhere in here. I’ve dropped that line from my rubric now. (And I celebrated simplifying it at the same time!)

  10. Nice. Diane when you get what we could call a kind of final version, let us know. I want to use it in my classroom, post it, etc. and see which one I want to use next year, jGR or dGR or a combination. Just love the checkboxes. Thanks.

  11. Diane and Jen, thanks so much for all the work on your rubrics.

    I’m taking Diane’s basic rubric but rewording some sections for my particular class (using the phrases that they are already accustomed to hearing in my class).

    Just wanted to share in case it is helpful for anyone.

    Enforcing jGR is something I need to work on this semester. This is my first step, getting the rubric well worded for my particular class.

    Some phrases on my rubric are in bold, but I can’t figure out how to format that here, so the bold stuff doesn’t show up.

    Thanks again!

    My version:

    Interpersonal Communication Skills Rubric for Latin


    I am ALWAYS attentive:
    – I listen and make eye contact.
    – I don’t talk over others.
    – My desk and lap are clear.
    – I don’t disrupt the flow of class.

    I ALWAYS respond appropriately to questions:
    – orally (English or Latin) or with a hand signal with the class to all questions,
    – or I give the “I don’t understand” hand signal.

    I suggest appropriate and clever answers for stories
    and volunteer for classroom jobs (like acting, rep. counting, drawing, etc.).


    I am attentive MOST of the time (in bold above).

    I respond appropriately MOST of the time (in bold above).


    I am attentive SOMETIMES (in bold above).

    I respond appropriately SOMETIMES (in bold above).

    I have one or more of these issues:
    I do not always listen or make eye contact.
    I talk over others.
    I must be told to clear my desk or lap, or raise my head.
    I disrupt the flow of class in other ways, for example:
    out of seat, unexcused absences and tardies, excessive bathroom requests.


    I am RARELY attentive (in bold above).

    I RARELY respond appropriately (in bold above).

    I have one or more of the issues in the C category above.

    1. This sounds good to me.

      A difference in yours, David: In the B category, I had listens attentively but just less inclined to contribute than the A. I was thinking of my own students who listen well but don’t so often add to the fun. Is that considered output, too? I have not been used to thinking of suggesting ideas for stories, offering something fun in PQA, etc. to be output.

  12. And I should have mentioned that I am deciding for now to not make the output in TL a part of this rubric. I’m thinking that if it truly is unforced output then I’m not going to add it into the grade in any way. If I can just get kids to respond honestly to questions or use the “I don’t understand” signal, I’m pretty happy. They will respond in TL when ready. Most do respond in Latin (without thinking about it I believe) to yes / no questions, probably because these responses are truly becoming automatic.

  13. …they will respond in TL when ready….

    This is so spot on. We forget Krashen so easily.

    Question for the group. Isn’t David right on this? Should we even be connecting output to a grade?

    We need to think about David’s (now third) rubric and somebody with a strong analytical faculty might think about making a hybrid of the three rubrics we have now and make a super rubric.

    IF anyone does that, I want it to be simple. Cut off all the fat. Lean and mean. Easy for even 7th graders to understand.

    Any takers on that idea? Probably not – too overwhelming. Should we all try to make our own rubrics or work together to make a super rubric? I vote for the latter.

  14. Part of the answer to this depends on how we view things, what we consider output (per David’s questions), and how our school culture views various grades.

    For me, when I think of the assessment in terms of
    Below Basic
    Far Below Basic
    rather than in terms of traditional grades, then output belongs in the Advanced category. Since ACTFL’s position paper on Target Language includes using the target language outside of class as well as in the class, I make a mental note of students who speak to me in German out on campus – even if it is just “Guten Morgen!” for the level 1 students. That moves them up the scale. Even this far into the year, after hearing me say either “Guten Morgen” or “Guten Tag” every day at the door, some students respond with “Hi”. (At least they respond, which is probably more than most teachers ever get!) Does their grade go down for this? No, because they are for whatever reason not yet ready to give me that output; but students who are replying in German and using the language outside of class have their grade go up. A student can be proficient (at least in level 1) without actually speaking German, but not advanced because “advanced” means going above and beyond expectations.

    I believe we often get caught up in the general grade inflation that takes place in schools. Some of us work in an environment where a “C” is the new “F”. As a result, there is a lot of pressure on both students and teachers not to have any grade lower than a “C”. Last year my school had a big push to lower the D/F rate, so this year there are far fewer Ds and Fs, but I doubt that the quality of work has improved. Lots of As ought to truly be the exception rather than the rule; on the other hand, I also believe that lots of Bs should be the rule. In our school system, however, this rarely happens. On the one hand, we have teachers who pride themselves on having “rigorous” classes that force students to work for hours outside of school just in order to pass; on the other hand, we have teachers who misunderstand and misapply Susan Gross’s mantra that “nothing succeeds like success” and confuse a letter grade with success. By giving “easy As” they think they are encouraging their students to continue in the language. Instead they ultimately undermine student confidence in their own judgment, because they know they don’t know the language but they’re getting an A so it must be okay, only now they don’t have any idea how the grade is determined – the teacher just “gives” it to them. In addition, the “praise” rings false because the students know that they don’t really deserve it. This is why I think the following components are important:
    -Grading on the Three Modes of Communication: this helps students see where their communication skills shine or are lacking
    -Emphasis on Interpersonal Communication, including a rigorous application of jGR: this makes students show up for class, which leads to true language (or any other kind of) success. Students can take pride in their ability to use the language and know that the praise is genuine.
    End Excursus

    So, I have a different take on this from David. The challenge is to be able to apply it in a way that the overachievers don’t impede their own progress. BTW, I recently had an IEP meeting for a student and explained my grading rubric to her mother. The student is Proficient (= 4 = B) in Interpersonal Communication, and I explained that the only reason she isn’t Advanced (= 5 = A) is because she is not yet ready to output – but that will come with time, and then she will be showing Advanced skills. Her Interpretive score is a solid Advanced, so her overall grade in the class is Advanced (= A). The student was happy because she can still get an A in the class without having to produce something she isn’t ready for, and mom was happy because she was hearing good things about how her daughter participates in class and shows that she understands. Perhaps part of the answer is helping the overachievers understand that they can still have an A in the class even if they have a B in Interpersonal Communication – but they have to participate rather than get a D or F.

    Just some random thoughts here. Now it’s time to head off for a good night’s rest.

  15. This is one of those Harrell comments that you can only respond to by saying “Dude!”

    Anyway, are we going to drop output in the final rubric? jen and Diane and Dave have all put ideas out there. How do we, or do we want to, blend jGR and dGR and what Dave added in one final version? Or do we keep them separate and everybody makes their own, tweaking it from those three? I prefer one rubric for clarity that we can all use. Can someone do the combining? Is it possible? I know that jen is testing Diane’s right now. I need a simpler version with all the best ideas for this rubric in one document. Who will do that? This is kind of a big deal. We need one the kids can get without a lot of reading. That’s what Diane’s brings to the table. Yet we need the genius of jen’s. I’m getting nervous about this. I know I know. Getting nervous over a rubric. But, in fact, this document is a lifeline to sanity for many of us, a way to keep our classrooms disciplined and our kids focused. I think that even considering the three steps and circling and all that good stuff we have, this rubric is the single most valuable thing to come along the pike certainly in my twelve years in working, trying to mold, this method. So somebody clean it up, simplify it, blend it and let’s get the fGR out there.

    1. f is for final? ferocious? fierce? f’n? hahaa just kidding. sort of. i’m liking Robert’s reasoning, with the levels corresponding more readily with proficiency standards. This makes the eventual (just envisioning a dream) leap a bit less daunting. You know, the dream of transitioning from letter grades to something more along the lines of proficiency standards?

      While I have not literally placed each version side by side, in spirit I don’t see a huge difference between any of them. I think the language/ descriptors are modified to fit each person’s classroom, so maybe there is no one version that will suit everyone’s needs. The rubric needs to feel “official” yet also familiar in tone to the group that is working with it. I love the fact that there are so many updates, because on each one I go “Ooh yeah, that sounds clearer” or “Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought about the jobs.”

      I never intended to include output in my assessment but I do remember putting in something about emerging output. Maybe for A+ (which we don’t even have) to include the kids who are starting to output naturally. But then thinking that the overachiever types will force their own mangled anglicized output to get this grade, while missing the fact that they never ask for clarification so they are not demonstrating a solid response skill. I have a couple of kids in the exact situation Robert describes above. They are solid “proficient” (B) or even a bit below (B- / C+) for this assessment, but they can still earn B+ A- or even A for the class depending on their quiz scores. BUT if they don’t (wo)man up on this piece they will not be happy because even with solid quiz scores they could still be “in trouble” (for them…getting a B).

      I am in one of those “C is the new F” schools. Drives me batty. Everyone (faculty) gets all twitchy when a student is getting Cs. Really? Some kids are happy with or don’t worry about Cs because they are national champions in sheep shows and they are running a farm. Or some of them are doing lots of child care because their parents work all the time. Or some of them have jobs outside of school to help their families. I don’t see a problem with this. Grades are such BS. Oops… did I say that out loud?

      Bottom line for me is that we have this tool and that it is linked to concrete observable skills rather than the vague idea of “participation.” All that said, I would love it to be less wordy. Maybe that is the uGR challenge (u=ultimate)?

  16. I’m new around here and I can’t read fast enough to soak up all the information. It’s fascinating! But please, could someone clarify what jGR and dGR mean? I’ve tried to find them in original posts or something, but I’m not having any luck. Even if you could point me in the right direction of which posts to read, I would be grateful!

    1. Hi Lynne,

      Yeah, it’s dizzying. You might check out the “Categories” list at right – there are categories called “jGR” and “dGR” with posts related to them. They are both rubrics for assessing students’ interpersonal communication skills. They are also a nice way to help with classroom management. Both came from this school year through people in here, and a number of us have been trying things out.

  17. Hey Lynne just click on jGR in the categories on the right side of the PLC page and scroll down to the first entry there and start reading. We have a genius in the PLC by the name of Robert Harrell whom we call the Chevalier de l’Ouest bc he is from L.A. and rides horses who started wondering out loud here about a year ago why we never consciously tried to align with the Three Modes and so we started a thread and then one day in the fall jen a yogi in New Hampshire meditated on it and came up with jGR. We kept tweaking it into its present form and then Diane in Chicagoland just a few weeks ago came up with a startlingly good version of her own so now we are trying to figure out how to work with both since we only can use one in our classrooms. Many of us have made strong breakthroughs in all aspects of our work because of this brilliant tool. We use jGR for assessment and classroom discipline and in my view it is the best thing to come along in comprehension based instruction since the sliced bread we call circling, which happened in the older (TPRS) comprehension based model back in 2004. So just read some of those articles about it and we will be here to answer any other questions.

    If you are reading this jen and Robert and anyone else, do you think I should copyright this term? Or do you want to jen? I say that in light of the recent discussion about Troyen and Helena Curtain and all. Don’t you think it’s a good idea? Here’s what it would look like – jGR©. I can just imagine what dudes like Troyen would do with something like this.

  18. Andrea Westphal

    I have a couple of questions regarding the implementation of such rubrics. Do you assign grades every day, once a week, etc.? And do you have a large poster at the front of class reminding the kiddos about their interpersonal communication skills? And finally, where is a good place to order large customizable posters without breaking the bank? Thanks in advance.

  19. Hi Andrea,

    I enter a “Classroom Interpersonal Communication” grade (i.e. jGR) once per grading period, i.e. before every grading report, including progress reports. That’s one grade about every four weeks, but I talk about it all the time and let students know where they stand any time they want to know. I also have them do a self evaluation from time to time. The first three grades of each semester (1st progress report, quarter grade, 2nd progress report) are formative grades; the last grade each semester is summative. Per district policy the three formative grades are 40% and the summative grade is 60%, but I also reserve the right to change all of the formative grades to whatever the summative grade happens to be, particularly if a student has shown improvement. Last year I had a student come to me after the quarter grades and ask why his Interpersonal Communication grade was so low. We discussed his level of participation in class and what that represented. He really understood what this was all about and became a superstar in the class – always positive, nearly always on task (no one is ever on task 100% of the time, including the teacher), offering truly thoughtful and creative suggestions, indicating clearly when he did and did not understand something. At the end of the semester I changed the Ds (2s) from the progress report and quarter grade to As (5s) because he was consistently showing advanced mastery of the standard by that point and did not deserve to have those initial low scores hurt his grade.

    Yes, I have some large posters with the rubrics up on my wall and point to them regularly. For me at least, there is an Office Max near my house that enlarges to poster size very cheaply. I can laminate at my school, so getting those posters doesn’t break the bank. I just take in a clean 8.5 x 11 white sheet of paper with what I want on it. Minimum font size is about 48, I think. The type has to be large enought for students to read it from across the room. I have to print on white paper or the cost goes up quite a bit.

      1. Hi Andrea,

        Robert has explained things really well and I do similar things (periodic, unannounced). I also use this rubric to prompt discussiong with students: I have the kids check what they think first, and then I add mine. This allows me, at times, to write a note (or see a student in person) and talk about why we differ on how we each think that student is doing. I teach middle school kids, and they have had to be told that interrupting class to blurt stuff in English makes their grade a C at best. I have also had to tell a quiet student that she isn’t doing C interpersonal skills… she’s almost always attentive, in the B range, just not yet contributing as much as an A most days.

        I have 6 expectations on the wall and we go over them as needed. They are in very simple form and I printed them on regular paper in 90pt font. We talk about what they mean in greater detail, so on the wall they’re just reminders. 5 of those 6 relate highly to the rubric.

        I’m changing the order and phrasing a bit for this coming school year:
        1 Listen (with the intent to understand) 2 Look (wherever the action is) 3 Respond (this means answering questions and giving ideas in the appropriate language) 4 Signal (hand signal or other way to show need for clarification) 5 Respect (others who are speaking; don’t blurt or talk over them) 6 Positive attitude (towards self, class, teacher, language, activities). I tell the kids that if they do these things, they will progress much faster in Chinese and likely get at least in the B-range in the class.

        Point 6 is the only one not graded in the Interpersonal Communication Rubric.

Leave a Comment

  • Search

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe to Our Mailing List

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Related Posts

The Problem with CI

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

CI and the Research (cont.)

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

Research Question

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to

We Have the Research

To view this content, you must be a member of Ben’s Patreon at $10 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to



Subscribe to be a patron and get additional posts by Ben, along with live-streams, and monthly patron meetings!

Also each month, you will get a special coupon code to save 20% on any product once a month.

  • 20% coupon to anything in the store once a month
  • Access to monthly meetings with Ben
  • Access to exclusive Patreon posts by Ben
  • Access to livestreams by Ben