Donna's Participation Rubric

I will definitely continue to study how best to use Donna’s participation rubric. I learned in that discussion about a month ago here that when I use it to judge the kids’ levels of engagement as per those ten questions (reproduced below for ease of reference), that is not what I want.
It is in the self-reflective piece, the use of this instrument by the child, and its connection to the student’s grade, that lies its power as an assessment tool. I’d like to stay in touch with others who will be experimenting with this. I know Michele will be, and some others.
The thing is, it’s a planning period eater. So I won’t use it often. Most of my quiz grades will come from the easy, superstar-generated, ten point quizzes described at the end of the workshop handouts found under the resource link of this site.
When, then, to use this tool? The time to use it is when the kids in general seem to be floating off and not engaged, or now, at the beginning of grading terms, to crack the whip clearly from the start of the term. (Unless they are not engaged because I am not going slowly enough, which is another issue – but if I am doing all I am supposed to be doing, and some of the kids are still not with the program, that is when I use it).
After running it through the scantron (the kid wants to be able to say yes to all ten questions), I plan to stack up their “quizzes” – this instrument counts as a quiz grade in my assessment system – in my office and look at the kids’ names.
If a kid is right on task and following the rules in class, and the name of the the kid jives with what I just saw that class period from that kid, then the kid has been accurate in their spot self-evaluation, the grade seems about right, and I very quickly move on through the names until I come to a grade of eight or above, but it is connected to the name of a kid who in fact hasn’t been on task as per the rules and I stop there. This is a child who has not been honest in their self-evaluation.
At that point, I re-evaluate the kid, giving them the score of three or four (or less) that they really earned in that class period, overiding the scantron grade with the new grade. Then I set those aside (there will only a few in each class) and make a point to talk to the kid during SSR at the beginning of class the next day.
If the student feels that I am wrong, I want to go right into conference with the parent, because that dialogue or hopefully trialogue (made it up), is a great chance to make sure that the student and parent know how I assess my students and exactly what I expect from the kid this term in class, how their sitting up and squaring shoulders is so important with me in the way I have chosen to instruct my students in French this year, etc. – I want to make it clear to the student and the parent that the behavior indicated on this rubric is the key to the student’s success in my class and is a requirement.
This will involve few students, but at the beginning of any grading period, and especially at the beginning of the year in that first month, which this month really is, I must be clear, so that the student doesn’t drag down the atmosphere of my classroom with their failure to play the game.
By doing this, by encouraging these few kids to adapt the behaviors I demand in my TPRS class, I am sending a strong message. The fact that the grade is not coming from academic content doesn’t bother me. TPRS requires civility. It requires that the kid show up.



2 thoughts on “Donna's Participation Rubric”

  1. Here’s the rubric – I forgot to put it up there:
    Participation in French Class
    How well did you do your job today as a student in my class? Answer the following questions and give yourself an accurate grade based upon your answers.
    1. Did I make eye contact with the teacher at least 80% of the class when we were actually speaking French? Yes____ No____
    2. Did I respond with enthusiasm when appropriate? Yes____ No____
    3. Did I suggest cute answers to the questions? Yes____ No____
    4. Did I listen with the intent to understand? Yes____ No____
    5. Did I show up for class on time unless I had a note? Yes____ No____
    6. Did I sit in a way that conveyed respect to the learning process? Yes____ No____
    7. Did I speak English only to suggest cute answers (two words)? Yes____ No____
    8. Did I use hand motions to make it clear to the teacher each time that I did not fully understand something spoken in French? Yes____ No____
    9. Did I bring my notebook and is it up-to-date with the new vocabulary words? Yes____ No____
    10. Did I bring an “I want to learn” attitude to class? Yes____ No____

  2. I took this, formatted it so four fit on a page and ran a grip of them on the duplo. Had my aide cut them out so I have a huge stack of them. I passed them out face down so they do the T/F quiz on the back and they flip it over and answer the questions and they hand it to me on the way out with a firm handshake. One goes into the quiz grade, one goes into the participation grade. Some days I figure I won’t give them the quiz, but it saves a tree.
    Some kids were angry they had to be honest and call themselves out. I can’t wait to see how my next story-asking class goes.
    You’re right, that this holds kids responsible for acting. I told them that if I caught them lying, I wouldn’t give them any points at all.
    Thank you, Donna and Ben.

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