If you assign a daily journal but dread grading them, you'll appreciate this rubric! This rubric allows you to grade daily journals for completion AND for quality, while also providing relevant feedback!
How I use this document:
As their bell ringer, my middle school students complete a daily journal in their composition notebook. (I require 15 lines, 5+ words per line.) They are responsible for making up journals that they were absent for.
After 2 weeks, I distribute this rubric and collect their journals. They fill in the dates at the top, along with their name and class period. They also write in the numbers of the journals to be graded in the far left column. Next, they fill in the 2 "Focus Journals." I decide on one that I want to grade (usually a prompt where I look for something specific, such as use of sensory details) but they also get to choose one, too.
The far left columns are graded for completion. They must have at least 10 lines, or it's incomplete. If it's missing, I write m. For every line past 10, they get 1 point. (11 lines = 1 point, 12 = 2 points, 13 = 3 points, 14 = 4 points, 15+ = 5 points).
Then, I take more time to read, comment on, and rate the Focus Journals. Each area is rated out of 4 points, for a max number of 16 per journal. Those allow me to look for specific things I want that writer to improve on, and leave personal notes-- without the obligation to do that for every single one.
You'll notice that at the bottom, there's a place to put the total for completed journals, focus journals, and an adjustment for spelling/grammar/usage errors. This is just to keep the kids accountable. Finally, I total the PERCENTAGE for the grade -- this gives me the flexibility I need to adjust how many points it's out of for those weeks we have days off, etc.
Hopefully this is helpful for other teachers-- I was finally able to give the kind of feedback I needed to give on my students' journals, and not telling them what the Focus Journals would be keeps them accountable to quality writing every day!
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