Grading writing no longer needs to be a struggle with this Writing Portfolio Rubric. I have found it to be very effective to focus on growth in my students' writing rather than just a grade. I developed this rubric to give real feedback to my students and still generate a portfolio writing grade.
Students attach the Writing Skills Progress Checklist to each item they write and must tell me what they did well and what didn't go so well. I then read the paper and focus on my goals for the assignment, whether it is a strong introduction or supportive details. I give them feedback on 2-3 areas that they really need to improve on for their next assignment. Students use their portfolios to refer to when working on future assignments, so they don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again. In reality, some students do make the same mistakes over and over again! However, most students do work toward change. I sit down with them and we look over the feedback and discuss how to make improvements. At the end of the grading period I am able to look for growth and use the rubric to assign a grade.
Remember, there is nothing more defeating to a student than to receive a paper back from a teacher covered in red marks. Using this method, I no longer mark up a student's paper. It is all about teaching for growth, not a grade. Every student shows growth. It is a great tool to share at parent-teacher conference time also. I do not send any papers home until the end of the year when the entire portfolio goes home. This allows the student to use the portfolio for every assignment. Portfolios become a dynamic learning tool and just not a file that you only pull out at conference time