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The Madera Method: Grading Rubric

While teachers have undoubtedly heard of the benefits of Project-Based Learning strategies, such as the Madera Method, many may hesitate to incorporate such a large-scale project in the classroom because it can be difficult to grade. We know learning is taking place, but

  • What are the priority standards being covered?
  • Do they align with what needs to be covered in the unit we are teaching?
  • What does checking for understanding look like throughout the process?
  • What are the formative assessments along the way?
  • And, finally, how will I grade the final product as a summative assessment?

These are all questions current Madera Method instructor Valerie Shelton, the historical literacy teacher at Madera South High School, hopes to answer in a forthcoming Madera Method teacher’s guide she is collaborating on with founder Bill Coate. For starters, however, Shelton has developed the following rubric for grading her students’ projects. It is based on writing standards for both English and History. This rubric is based on Common Core standards at the 11-12 grade level but can be adjusted for lower secondary grades, 7-10.

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