Grading With Writers Workshop

When I  first began using Writers' Workshop in the classroom I was overwhelmed with the idea of GRADING work.  I wasn't sure where to get grades from and how and oh!  It was crazy.  Now I have developed a method.  I take a few different kinds of grades during the nine week grading period. By the end of the nine weeks I have at least 4 or 5 writing grades plus grammar grades to average together.

Final Drafts

Prompt Writing

Writer's Notebook


Rubrics for Specifics Kinds of Writing





Final Drafts

Before students are able to move to their final drafts they must peer edit with two friends.  I ask them to complete this checklist to help.

I usually try to have students finish 2 pieces of writing that they take all the way through the writing process.  I grade the writings using these rubrics created by a fellow teacher. There are two rubrics, one for the first and second nine weeks and another for the third and fourth nine weeks.  The rubrics get more difficult as the year goes on.  I also make a big point to talk to students and let them know that I give them many strategies to use in their writings.  To make a higher grade, they must use these strategies in their writing because it WILL make them better writers.  Students also know that I expect more as the year goes on.

Please click here to see a copy of first and second nine weeks rubric

First and Second Nine Weeks Rubric in Word

First Nine Weeks Rubric in PDF format

Please click here for a copy of third and fourth nine weeks rubric

Third and Fourth Nine Weeks Rubric in Word

Third and fourth Nine Weeks Rubric in PDF format


Prompt Writing

About once every nine weeks I give students a prompt to write about.  I am not a huge fan of prompt writing, but here in Georgia students are given a Writing Test in fifth grade where students are expected to be able to write to a prompt.  This is how I prepare them.  I usually give the students two days to complete the prompt. I grade the prompt using the rubrics above, BUT I am a little more lenient with grammar and spelling because it has not been edited or revised.


Writer's Notebooks

I do glance through the students Writer's Notebooks every so I often.  This grade is more of a participation grade.  I simply look through the notebook and use the rubric to give a letter grade for the quality of work and the effort put forth into the writing.  I take one writer's notebook grade per nine weeks. I use a sticky note to mark the last entry I have read and students know not to remove it.  This way I know where to start reading the next time I grade the notebooks.

Click here to see the rubric.


Grammar Grades

I average in grammar grade into the writing grade.  I do not weigh anything, I find it easier to make all activities equal.

Rubrics for Specifics Kinds of Writing

     In fourth grade students are expected to be able to write a friendly letter.  We practice several times.  We writer letters to a friend, then we write the teacher or principal and for a final activity we write our favorite sports team.  This year we wrote the Falcons and they sent a HUGE packet of stuff for my kids.  We will definitely do this activity again!

Rubric for Friendly Letter

We also create how to charts (how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, etc).  I read somewhere on the internet where a teacher read aloud the book El piņatero/ The Piņata Maker which describes how a man makes a piņata.  I thought it would be a great book to read with this activity- and maybe even have the students create their OWN piņatas or make one according to the books "directions."  I haven't decided yet!

Rubric for How to Chart



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