Monday, June 11, 2012

Smiley Writing - 4 levels rubric

 I'm sure many of you have already seen {and probably grabbed!} Valerie's Smiley Sentences poster from last week. If not, go get it NOW! You'll find many more great ideas on her blog while you're there ;)

The idea was inspired by Colleen at Coconut Cutie's Classroom, who uses a similar system to remind students what they need to complete before turning in work. I was immediately inspired after downloading the poster to create a writing rubric - and after seeing how well it was received, Valerie had the same idea! You can find her rubric HERE. She even included a poster set - isn't she wonderful?! It's a great pack, but I need a 4-level rubric so I've adapted it.

This concept is so perfect for my ESL learners: they can see visually what it takes to get a level 4 in their writing. 

For this school year, I used this sign to show my students what I expect to see in their writing:

I have updated it by adding the smiley faces to match the writing rubric and have leveled stars {1-4} to attach to show the mark that would be received for each sample. Of course, this is a system that I will have to teach explicitly. I want my students to strive for higher achievement and to understand how marks are awarded. In September I am going to start by introducing Smiley Sentences so they get a feel for it; that way moving on to the writing rubric should be an easy transition. I'm super pumped about sharing this idea with the grades one and two teams for next year!
I know this looks totally intimidating - she wants to use this in an ESL classroom?! I tried to make the poster less wordy, I really did, but it just wasn't enough information. Like I say, I'll have to model/teach, model/teach, model/teach this system so the students understand how it works. You can grab a copy for free from my TpT shop. Note that this is based on Ontario curriculum for Grade 1: Rubric for a Short Piece of Descriptive Writing, page 15. I am working on developing this to align with Ontario writing tasks for Grade Two {Rubric for a Short Narrative} and Grade Three {Rubric for a Letter (to a Favourite Author)} and a more general rubric to be used with any writing pieces.

Last but not least, please let me be very clear here: the inspiration for this idea came from Valerie at All Students Can Shine. I have only adapted it to suit my needs because I love the idea so much! I really wanted to keep it a consistent system, which is why I modeled the writing poster after the sentences poster in colour and style. After talking with Valerie about my plans she a-okayed the share, so I hope you will find this document useful. Big thanks to her for answering all my questions and being so understanding!
Hurray for summer! Take care.
- Amanda


  1. LOVE IT! I am also now following Valerie too!

    Thanks so much!

    Coffee, Kids and Compulsive Lists

  2. Amanda, this looks great! Good luck with introducing it in your classroom ;)

    All Students Can SHINE