Here are some more thoughts about the new assessment rubric that we have been discussing lately:
When I went to the ACTFL pages in my earliest efforts (2005) to break the useless and crushing-to-students ancient 100-point scale and develop a rubric that actually aligns with ACTFL and the Three Modes of Communication, knowing that my goal was to produce a solid assessment tool and not just a “participation” grade, which means nothing, I knew I was in for the long haul.
I can say with confidence that if you were to find your way to fully incorporate the newest version of jGR – the “In-Class Communication Rubric” – into your classroom, you would see the overall quality of your teaching experience change. Even if things are great, they can get even better if you properly implement this rubric as the shining star of your assessment routine.
If you properly put into place the Interpersonal Skill grade at the full 65% rate (it’s been tested for years and years and that is definitely the “sweet spot”), your students will be forced to do what they have been taught to avoid doing in schools: pay attention.
The other 35% of the grade, coming from quiz grades and other minor grades, rounds out an efficient assessment program that is not only highly accurate but also saves you lots of time in your day while eliminating all grading at home. It’s time for the assessment part of our work to stop ruining our jobs as teachers.
The new CI (NTCI) advertises no planning and simple enjoyment of our work because it actually delivers on those two promises, and the newest rubric is a big part of my NTCI approach.
But you have to become familiar with it and implement it, so take a good look at it and use the coming months of this academic year to help you get it into place so that you have it ready, your bright silver grading hammer, for the fall.
(I know that this is a brutal song and largely inappropriate, esp. in our current world, but it also reminds us that we have given kids, figuratively, little silver hammers to use on us on a metaphorical level in our schools every day, and so students are figuratively killing teachers emotionally every day, so I make no apologies for using this song to support my point about how we are either going to change the way we grade our language students with our own BIG silver hammer, the In-Class Communication Rubric, or we will continue to let the kids call the shots in our classroom. We need to fricking wake up about this rubric.)
Don’t go schooling yourself up on the Invisibles if you don’t also have (what I consider to be) the best CI assessment tool out there in place in your classroom in the fall.