1st grade writing rubricIn a previous post you saw my writing conference sheets I use with my 2nd and 3rd graders to help them focus on some goals they need to pick for their writing.  This wasn’t appropriate for my 1st graders, but I felt I needed to establish something that would have them making reflections on their writing as well.  I found a Kindergarten writing rubric online (which you can download here for free) and thought it fit well with where my 1st graders are developmentally as well. (Photo of the rubric to the right.)

Currently I am not having my 1st graders fill out the entire form.  I have them focus on the top 3, which are my biggest priorities right now–handwriting, appropriate capitals, and spacing.  Typically I let my 1st graders draw a picture to go with their writing for the last 2 minutes of group and they like to fill out the drawing portion of the rubric as well.

IMG_5604It was a big overwhelming to try and take on everything on that sheet.  Plus, there just isn’t enough time.  I would eventually like to be able to focus on the bottom half, which talks about mastering sight words and moving away from invented spelling.  Right now we need a starting place and then seemed like a small enough chunk for my 1st graders to bite off.

But honesty is a really hard thing to deal with when you are still so small.  I let my kids circle what they think first, while I’m working with other kids.  Then I conference with them and we talk about what they IMG_5603circled.  We had to have a group conversation that this does not mean you are a bad writer, but that this gives us a goal on how to be better.

After that conversation I started to see some more honest reflections on their writing.  Students we recognizing when they had capitals in the wrong places and whether their handwriting could be better.  I was proud of them for looking at their writing and evaluating things that could be improved upon and celebrating things that are going well–such as our spacing!  Woo hoo!  We are finally getting to a place where MOST of the time we have spaces between words.  We’ve been working on Spaghetti and Meatball spacing–I’ll tell you more about that in another post!