Effort vs Achievement Rubric

You know how in some places people talk around the water cooler? Well, in schools like mine, teachers talk around the copy machine. Which is how this post developed.

Let me give you some background first before I jump into the meat of this post. Our urban school district, Lima City Schools, does Teacher Based Teams or TBTs. This is where teachers get together in teams and collect data to help improve instruction, classroom concerns, or acquisition of skills and knowledge. We have seen a lot of success with this model for the past three years. The goal is to have 100% of all teachers in a building on a TBT. TBTs can be by subject, grade, leadership, and district. Some of these TBTs are short-term, and some are long-term depending on the data that is required to collect.

Now to the meat of the post…

As I was talking to a colleague this morning he was sharing with me that his 7th grade team is working on collecting data about how much effort students are giving to their homework, and classwork, and comparing that with how they actually achieved on the homework or classwork. Below is the rubric they are using. I am not sure who created it, but I like it. It is simple and to the point. It’s a four-point scale, which is something our students are used to from the State exams.


On the back of this sheet the students will record the date, assignment, effort score (from the rubric), achievement score (from the rubric) and their actual grade which they recieve from the teacher. Students will have one of these for each teacher they have in their core subjects. The goal is for students to see the more effort they put into their assignments the better grade they should receive.


I found this idea to be great. Many times students don’t see the correlation between effort and the grades they receive. At this time, the teachers on this 7th grade team are trying to come up with a way to document all of this data, and see create a chart where students can see the results. I am curious how they will do this. I am also curious how they will show an assignment accelerated learners already know, which means they will have little effort, but may get a high-grade. I am sure they will figure this out.

What do you think? Is this something you would do in your team? How would you differentiate between gifted learners, special education students, and regular education students?

After posting this and reading some awesome comments, I fetl I needed to add just a bit to this. I am not saying this is the best tool to use. I don’t completely agree with this tool, but I do understand why they are using it. There are many flaws to this rubric, such as challenges with work, to honesty of the students using it, and to some who may have disabilities this chart may not be a fair indicator of how much effort to achievement they really did. Here is a great post about what one remarkable parent is doing for her children.


2 thoughts on “Effort vs Achievement Rubric

  1. The Mom Advocate


    Hmmmm. I like it with concerns, thinking about my own kids. I have a child who is getting B+’s in social studies because she’s asked to fill out something like this for a major portion of her grade. She never puts in effort above a ‘1’ on that rubric, and she will never see her performance as anything above a 2 or 3.

    She showed mastery of the course content on the first day of school.

    Because perfectionism and low self esteem are big factors in my house, we’ve hit on the following effort -> achievement scale:

    Second, the effort scale seems to assume that there will always be struggle involved. Is it expected that every assignment will challenge every student?

    Finally – will this teaching team do anything for those children continuously report low effort/high achievement? This *would* be data that would seem to be an indication that this student needs more.

    1. Jeffrey Shoemaker Post author

      Thank you for your feedback. I completely understand your concerns. I don’t use this kind of tool just for those reasons in my classroom. As far as I know students don’t get graded on this form. They use it as an exit ticket I believe. I believe their desire is to see students succeed, and they will meet with the students who are low on the chart and create some strategies to help them. Your second point, I completely agree with. Which is, in my opinion, one of the flaws of this rubric.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s