Rubrics

Exemplars performance material includes standards-based rubrics that define what work meets today's standards, allowing teachers and students to distinguish between different levels of performance. 

Our rubrics have four levels of performance: Novice, Apprentice, Practitioner (meets the standard), and Expert. Exemplars uses two types of rubrics:

  • Standards-Based Assessment Rubrics are used by teachers to assess student work in Math, Science, and Writing. 
  • Student Rubrics are used during peer- and self-assessments and feature kid-friendly language and symbols.

Students may also use our Assessment Rubrics (and anchor papers) to compare their work to during peer- and self-assessments.

Math Rubrics

Assessment Rubrics

Standards-Based Math Rubric

This rubric was updated in 2014 to reflect more current standards. It supports NCTM Process Standards and the Common Core Standards for Mathematical Practice.

Classic 5-Criteria Math Rubric

This rubric was developed to reflect the revised NCTM standards.

Classic 3-Criteria Math Rubric

This rubric was used from 1993 to 2001 to assess student performance. It is based on the original NCTM standards. Many schools and districts using Exemplars earlier material continue to use this rubric to assess student performance.

Pre K–K Rubric

This rubric was developed to assess younger students' performance. It is based on recommendations from NCTM and the preschool standards developed at the Conference on Standards for Prekindergarten and Kindergarten Mathematics Education.

Student Rubrics

Jigsaw Rubric

This rubric uses pieces of a jigsaw puzzle as symbols. It is appropriate to use with younger students who may not be able to follow the words in another rubric.

Thermometer Rubric

This rubric is appropriate to use with older children. They can self-assess by drawing a line on the thermometer. The teacher can also assess by making a mark on the same rubric.

Science Rubrics

Assessment Rubrics

Standards-Based Science Rubric

This rubric is based on science standards from the National Research Council and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

K–2 Science Continuum

This continuum was developed by an Exemplars workshop leader and task writer, Tracy Lavallee. It provides a framework for assessing the scientific thinking of young students.

Student Rubrics

Seed Rubric

This rubric is appropriate for use with younger children. It shows how a seed develops, from being planted to becoming a flowering plant. Each growth level represents a different level of performance.

What I Need to Do

While not exactly a rubric, this guide assists students in demonstrating what they have done to meet each criterion in the rubric. The student is asked in each criterion to describe what they need to do and the evidence of what they did.

English Language Arts Rubrics

Assessment Rubrics

Reading, Writing, and Research (RWR) Rubric

This rubric was designed for grades 5–8 using the best state, national, and international standards. It is comprised of three distinct sections: reading, communication, and research. These can be used separately or in combination to assess student work.

Responding to Text Rubric

This rubric is designed to be used with students in grades K–4 and focuses on analytic writing about texts. The Rhetorical Effectiveness Criteria include: purpose, organization, voice and tone as well as detail/elaboration. There are three levels of performance. The use of conventions is also assessed.

Narrative Rubric

This rubric was designed to be used with students in grades K–4 and incorporates the qualities of writing a narrative. The Rhetorical Effectiveness Criteria include: purpose, organization, voice and tone as well as detail/elaboration. There are three levels of performance. The use of conventions is also assessed.

Introducing Rubrics to Students

A rubric is an assessment guide that reflects content standards and performance standards. Rubrics describe the features expected for student work to receive each of the levels/scores on the chosen scale. An assessment rubric tells us what is important, defines what work meets a standard, and allows us to distinguish between different levels of performance.

Students need to understand the assessment guide that is being used to assess their performance. Teachers often begin this process by developing rubrics with students that do not address a specific content area. Together, they develop rubrics around classroom management, playground behavior, homework, lunchroom behavior, following classroom expectations with a substitute teacher, etc. Developing rubrics with students around the best chocolate chip cookie, sneaker, crayon, etc. is also an informative activity to help students understand performance levels. After building a number of rubrics with students, a teacher can introduce the Exemplars rubric. Since the students will have an understanding of what an assessment guide is, they will be ready to focus on the criteria and performance levels of the rubric.

Sample Introductory Rubrics

Below are rubrics that have been developed by teachers in Vermont. They are meant to stir your imagination as you decide what assessment guide would be best to begin with your students.

It is very important to have your students develop their own first rubric. Sharing, adjusting, or using the rubrics below can be done after your students have experienced the process for themselves.