I spent the last week teaching my students how to score AP essays, and they did a fantastic job!
We looked at the AP writing rubric and a retired prompt on Monday, and then scored a single paper based on that prompt each day this week. As we moved through the week, the kids’ scoring got more accurate each day.
The kids would read an essay and then put the score on a sticky note. I would then have a student grab the stickies in the vicinity, and the students would then put them up on the chart I made on the white board. This created a bar graph on the board for us to look at.
Then, I would ask the students to share their scores and explain why the score is appropriate using the rubric and evidence from the essay in the explanation. The kids actually started to debate the scores a bit, and I simply acted as a moderator.
Next, I asked the students if they wished to change their scores on the board. About 5-10 kids would have me move their stickies based on the conversations about the essay.
Once the stickies were finalized on the graph, I gave the students the actual score and explained the reasons. I allowed the students one more time to react, and then we looked at our accuracy.
On Thursday I gave the students a prompt I wrote based on the novel we’re reading, and I’m going to use the AP scoring guide to assess them.
This coming Monday I will hand out the students’ papers, have the kids look over what they wrote, write down with a colored pen what they would have done differently, and then try to score their essay using the AP rubric.
Lastly, I will give them their scores, and they will explain why our scores match or do not match.
All in all, it was a great week of talking about writing and assessing writing. From a geeky English teacher perspective: what a great sequence of days!