Q&A #233

Rubrics in Elementary Math

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From: Suzanne (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Apr 15, 1998 at 18:35:42
Subject: Re: Rubrics in Elementary Math

The following problem is one that should evoke thinking skills. This could be 
at the middle grades. I have used this type of problem with grades 5-8.

Diagram 1     Diagram 2     Diagram 3     Diagram 4    Diagram 5
    .             .             .             .            .
                 . .           . .           . .          . .
                              . . .         . . .        . . .
                                           . . . .      . . . .
                                                       . . . . .

If this pattern continues for a total of twelve diagrams, which of the 
diagrams will have a total number of dots divisible by 3?  Explain how you 
found the solution and describe any patterns that you observed.

Many different rubrics could be used. I would give points for math knowledge, 
strategic knowledge, and for communication skills. Math knowledge would 
indicate that they understood what the pattern is doing and what divisible by 
three means.  
Strategic knowledge would be illustrated in the way the student went about 
his/her work. Did they continue drawing more patterns? Did they find a number 
pattern and just show numbers? This can be shown in a variety of ways.  

Finally, were they able to communicate to the reader what their thought 
process was in solving this problem?

I hope this has been some help. There are many resources available on this 
issue of using rubrics for assessment. Sometimes you can get materials on 
this from your state board of education.

Good luck.


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