Homework Update/Settlement Essays Question

Hi, sorry, it was brought to my attention that after Document 6 for the Social Studies homework, it asks students to write an essay.  If you have done so already, wonderful, if not, that’s okay too…we can do that in class next time during our double period.  Sorry about the late notice.


Secondly is a post below regarding the Settlement essays…this is copied and pasted from what I wrote on the 5L page…


Settlement Essays

As I mentioned in class and to those parents who are in contact w/ me, students that handed in their model/illustration received automatic A’s on that portion of their project.  I still have a small handful of the actual essays to grade as you can see (should be done by Friday), but overall I was very impressed by the content I’ve been reading and hearing during our presentations.

Someone mentioned to me a lack of a rubric for this particular assignment and the reason I didn’t include one is two-fold…

  • 1) in my opinion, a rubric gives students an absolute bare minimum, a low bar to reach in order to receive a high grade…”if I include this, that, and whatever else, I should automatically receive an A,” for example, when the reality is that grading is and should be more subjective than that.
  • 2)  The 2nd reason is that I included step by step what should have been included in the essay, a complete breakdown in detail w/ specific questions as well as what each paragraph should contain, etc.  Based on what I’ve read, a rubric would have had zero impact when it comes to these essays because the instructions were crystal clear but also provided for some flexibility and the inclusion of student personality.

In truth, rubrics are often completely overrated, and so while I included one before on a prior assignment at the request of a parent (and do so for graded essays in my reading and writing class depending on the concept), this particular assignment simply did not warrant one based on the quality and thoroughness of directions.  In the future if that’s what people want than I’ll provide one as such, but I would not expect one for every assignment.

Lastly, I’ll likely change the numerical scores to letter grades instead.  So long as students put the proper amount of time and effort into their written essay and touched on all the requirements asked of them in the directions, they should do just fine.  If you see a low grade, that’s simply because they didn’t follow the directions as they were supposed to (which you’ll see in the comments I wrote on everyone’s paper).  A rubric would not have changed their omission of certain key elements that should have been in the essay, for example.

Anyway, hope this clears up any confusion for the few that asked.  Thanks!

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