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DAY 3 - KYAE Skills U Lesson Bank Three-Day Discussion!

Day 3 Objective: Continue to dialogue over guest and participant comments in Days 1, 2, and 3. Optional: Review sample rubric criteria for activities. Optional: Develop sample rubric categories and criteria for sample or proposed activities. Concluding comments.

In the past two days, we have explored the rich resources available to you in the KY Skills U Lesson Bank. We selected lessons that promised to be useful among adult learners and suggested an alternate measurable, performance activity to complement the formative assessment of learning in the lesson plan. Optionally, we matched that activity to one or more CCR Standards. Thank you everyone!

A. Invitation for Day 3 Participation

Dear participants, beyond quizzes and tests, which test knowledge and information retention, Lesson-Bank templates state, “Assessing Mastery of the Objectives:  By the end of this lesson, the students will be able to _________________________________ (Learning Target) as evidenced (Performance of Understanding).” Rubrics provide a very reliable, student-centered criteria for assessing performance.

 OPTIONAL ACTIVITY- This is by invitation only, not a requirement for participation!

  1. Take an activity that you or others shared and which you want to assess.
  2. Create and share one aspect of that activity that you want to evaluate, and state the criteria for at least three levels of performance, stated in student, not instructor, terms. (You are not asked to develop a whole rubric; instead, just create statements for how you would evaluate the student’s performance at four levels. Some students are happy with 70% or 80% if they know what that looks like in their work. Others always insist on an “A” and want to know what that looks like, too!) If you want to get into rubric development, there are many sites that provide templates and examples, such as
  3. Comment on criteria that others are posting if you wish.

Example from Week 2 Activity: Given a list of ingredients, describe the steps for making a tasty, nutritious sandwich. (From the sample activity posted in Day 2)
Rubric criteria: Sentence order and transitions (One aspect of the activity)

  • Excellent: All of your sentences were in order.  You used four transitions correctly.
  • OK: Most of your sentences were in order.  You only used three transitions correctly.
  • Needs Work: Few of your sentences were in order or you used only two transitions correctly.
  • Redo: Your sentences did not relate to a process or you used only one or no transition.

Now it’s your turn! Let’s talk rubrics! Also, continue to ask questions of our guests!

B. Questions to Guests

  1. Do you use rubrics in your lesson plans? If not, what other assessment measures do you include to assess student performance? How do you ensure that students leave your classroom understanding not only what they learned, but more importantly how they learned so that they can apply similar strategies and approaches in the future?
  2. What parting comments would you like to leave with participants in this forum?

Let the dialogue continue and thrive. Readers here, don't hesitate. Join this dialogue by sharing your views! Leecy


susiebeth's picture

1. I LOVE rubrics, particularly when students are self-assessing their performance.  It's helpful for everyone--students and teachers--when expectations are clearly defined.  Drawing student attention to their work really helps them to not only take ownership of their performance but to also see it in a new light and make adjustments.  Rubrics and checklists are my favorite self- and peer-assessment tools. has some pretty neat ready-made and from-scratch rubric tools that make the process quick and simple.

2. Lesson planning is one of my favorite activities in which to engage, but I understand not everyone shares that view. :)  My advice is to use a good tool like the KY Skills U templates to make a couple of lessons because there is much value in going through that process to really think about how different elements of planning fit together.  Then, even when you're not using such a detailed format, the practices you've learned will carry over into your classroom whether you write it down on a lesson plan or not.

Definitely be sure that you check out the KY Skills U Lesson Bank in depth.  With more and more lessons added all the time, there will be something new every time you visit, so check back often!

Bethany Rudd's picture

I do use rubrics in most of my lesson plans. Our lesson plan template requires that the student demonstrate mastery of a skill through some specific, measurable assessment. A rubric is one great way to see what the students have learned AND to show students what you expect and what you are trying to help them learn. When I am teaching, I always give students the rubric on the day that I introduce a paper or a project. This way, the students are informed of key components and expectations. Also, by “weighting” elements differently, you show students what is MOST IMPORTANT in an assignment. For example, for a paper, students might be graded on the thesis and introduction, topic sentences, paragraph development and commentary, and a conclusion. Style may also be a component on the rubric, but it won’t carry as much weight as paragraph development, which demonstrates the students’ critical thinking ability.

Thank you for having me as a “guest speaker.” I would like to encourage the participants to take a list of instructional strategies and their definitions and try to match them to CCR standards or key concepts that they are trying to teach.

I have provided links to two of these strategies lists:

Once you have a standard and a matching instructional strategy, create an assessment. This is the majority of a great lesson plan. Use a rubric if appropriate, and you are ready to write up your own lesson plan.

I know KY Skills U has organized weekend blitzes, events in which educators collaborate to go through the lesson plan writing process. I love this idea, and I've read many of the lesson created at these events. Thank you for reading our posts. We hope we have been helpful!

Leecy's picture

Bethany and Susan, many thanks for sharing your comments regarding rubric development, along with the added links to more resources! These three days provide a treasure chest of ideas and practices that members here can continue to explore, and to which I hope all will be inspired to contribute in weeks to come. This forum will remain open, so I hope everyone keeps coming back here and to the KYAE Skills U Lesson Bank for more!

Hopefully, we'll have additional comments shared during the rest of this last day of our "official" event! Leecy

Maryam Ayazi's picture

Thank you Leecy. I am grateful for the opportunity to improve my lesson plan skills.

I have used ruberics to score assessment tests for adult ELLs and English Language Arts in the New York 'City public schools. However, I have never thought about using a ruberic to determine the success of a lesson plan or a lesson activity for student performance. I find the KYAE Lesson Bank Unit Review Ruberic for RLA/Science/Social Studies Lessons very interesting. What I like about your optional assignment is that I can expose my students to new knowledge but score them on a portion of an activity that they have been taught but may have not mastered. To develop my ruberic for the optional assignment, I edited a ruberic provided at (suggested by your guest, Susan Roberts). 

A. Assignment

Week 2 Activity: Students will upload to Padlet an answer to a question (produced using keyboard skills) and one on-line link to a relevant source for classmates to review. (From KYAE Career Cluster: Information Technology. Lesson: The Legos of Language (Text Structure) 

Rubric criteria: Presentation

           4   Student presents a reliable on-line source used to answer an open-ended question and the answer is supported by that source.   

           3   Student presents a reliable on-line source to an open-ended question but no part of the answer is supported by the source.

           2   Student presents an unreliable on-line source to an open-ended question but the answer is supported in some way by the source.

           1   Student presents an unreliable on-line source to an open-ended question and no part of the answer is supported by the source.

B. Question to Our Guests

I would love some commentary. It seems that, based on the ruberic, the student is rewarded for finding a reliable on-line source and fails only if the unreliable source is not congruent with the answer. There seems to be a problem here. How would you change the ruberic and/or the activity?

Leecy's picture

Maryam, thanks so much for giving us a rubric to evaluate the performance of your students! You are on the right track! In order to differentiate the criteria a bit more among the four levels, I edited a bit, as follows:

4. Student cites a reliable online source to thoughtfully and completely answer the  question. The answer is clearly supported by that source.   
3 Student cites a reliable online source to answer the question. The answer is only partially supported by the source or by the source or lacks other support.
2 Student cites an unreliable online source to answer the question, OR the answer is not supported by the site listed, OR the question is only minimally addressed.
1 No source is cited or the question is not addressed.
Depending on the level of students completing this activity, the language of the criteria might need to be discussed prior to having students work on the activity. Many times, I must mention here, even the most popular rubric sites use very, very convoluted (definition?) language that is written for other teachers or reviewers instead of their students. In my view, rubrics are FOR students, and criteria should be written in their language. In fact, many good instructors develop the rubric criteria with their students, which is a wonderful practice! That makes rubric for and by students!
In the rubric you shared, you might need to go over vocabulary that is either subjective (Stay away for subjective as much as possible!) or complicated, such as the following:
Reliable: What does reliable mean to the instructor? Students need to know what the instructor wants. What kind of evidence do they need to provide to meet that criteria? I would have to work on a good definition for that. Maybe you and others can define it better.
Thoughtfully: What does that mean? Since I added that term, I would define it as answering the question showing that the student considered the answer from different points of view, and provided support (details, examples) for the views expressed.
Completely: the student addressed all parts of the question with reference to the source  selected.
Minimally: Nearly absent or just about not at all!
Sometimes, teachers prefer to get the student even more connected to rubric by using the personal pronoun in the criteria, as follows:
4. I cited a reliable online source to thoughtfully and completely answered the  question. My answer is clearly supported by that source.   
3 I cited a reliable online source to answer the question. My answer is only partially supported by the source or lacks some other support.
2 I cited an unreliable online source to answer the question. OR My answer is not supported by the site I listed. OR I minimally address the question.
1 No source is cited or the answer is not addressed.
Note: I've read criteria written for ELLs on some of these sites that only bonafide college graduates could understand! 
Example of Top criteria for Pronunciation: Student performed consistent pronunciation patterns throughout the dialogue, matching standard American English expectations for phonemic interpretation of sounds. (Yuck!)
How about...
Top criteria for Pronunciation: I said the words and sentences correctly. Others could understand what I said all of the time. :))) You know what I mean.

I hope that others will jump in here to add their thoughts! Let the dialogue continue! Leecy


Maryam Ayazi's picture

Thank you Leecy. I think you nailed the problem on the head. Ruberics are made for teachers, administrators, etc. Your changes make sense and so do your suggestions for making the assessment understandable to the students. Teaching the word "reliable," in the context of researching on-line, sounds extremely challenging. As our guest Sharon Johnston pointed out below, there are many components to deciding whether a source is reliable.

I especially like the way Sharon Johnston broke down the components of the ruberic criteria into 4 smaller, more easily measured criteria.  I like this method because it focuses on what is required to fulfill the expectations of the assignment using 4 different criteria. A student might do well on some part of the assignment but need help to achieve another part. Thank you. I like this. 

Sharon Johnston's picture

Hi Maryam!

I see your point, and think I may have a possible revision to guide students to higher levels of DOK. What do you think about breaking down the components of the rubric criteria into 3 smaller, more easily measured criteria:

  1. Researching, and identifying a reliable online source. For that criteria scores on the rubric would align with the definition of "reliable source" such as is it research -based, how current is the source, is it applicable to adults, does it offer links to related sources for further learning..... or others that you have selected due to their relevance to the assignment.
  2. Presenting the source. The scores would be based on the method you select for the presentation and rated according to style, grammar, user friendliness, is the scope of information in the presentation sufficient for another person to understand the source?
  3. Can this source be reliably used to answer the posed open-ended question? Perhaps here, score according to the degree to which the source can be used to answer the question accurately. So for example, is there additional information needed to answer the question: after accessing the source no questions remain, or  1-2 questions remain, or 3-5 question remain, or 5 or more questions remain.....
Ginette Chandler's picture

Hello everyone,


I must admit that developing rubrics has not been a priority for me.  I typically use them in the classroom for peer evaluations, but not regularly for individual student use.  However, for transparency purposes, it makes sense to provide learners with rubrics to better understand what is expected of them, and what it means to be College and Career Ready. 

Based on Leecy’s feedback and ideas about developing a rubric, I started the following: (It is not complete, as I think it should either be re-worded, or I need to figure out what would constitute (above standard)……which doesn’t make sense if learners are using the rubric as a guide to prepare for College and Career Readiness level activities.


Oral Report Rubric: Students will give an oral report to update the next shift personnel with pertinent details, before being dismissed for the day.   The rubric would provide the quality criteria for that activity. (clear, concise, and well-chosen details...)



Below Standard

Approaching Standard

At Standard

Above Standard

Explanation of Ideas and Information

  • Does not present well-chosen details, information, or findings clearly, concisely, and logically
  • Selects information, develops ideas and uses  a style inappropriate to the task, purpose, and audience (may be too much or too little information)


  • Presents well-chosen details, information, and supporting evidence  in a way that is not always clear, concise, and logical; line of reasoning is sometimes hard to follow
  • Attempts to select information, develops ideas and use a style appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience but does not fully succeed.
  • Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (SL.4)
  • Selects information, develops ideas and uses a style appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience. (SL.4)




  • Mumbles or speaks too quickly or slowly
  • Speaks too softly to be understood
  • Frequently uses “filler” words (“uh, um, so, and, like, etc.”)
  • Does not adapt speech for the context and task
  • Speaks clearly most of the time
  • Speaks loudly enough for the audience to hear most of the time, but may speak in a monotone
  • Occasionally uses “filler” words
  • Attempts to adapt speech for the context and task but is unsuccessful or inconsistent
  • Speaks clearly; not too quickly or slowly
  • Speaks loudly enough for everyone to hear; changes tone and pace to maintain interest
  • Rarely uses “filler” words
  • Adapts speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (SL.6)



Thank you for your contribution to this topic,

Ginette Chandler

Leecy's picture

Ginette, thanks for sharing your rubric for assessing two categories in your assignment. Quoting from your rubric's top score:

  • Explanation of Ideas and Information: Presents information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (SL.4) Selects information, develops ideas and uses a style appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience. (SL.4)
  • Voice: Speaks clearly; not too quickly or slowly. Speaks loudly enough for everyone to hear; changes tone and pace to maintain interest. Rarely uses “filler” words. Adapts speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. (SL.6)

I appreciate that your rubric takes the highest standard performance (“At Standard”) and uses the same criteria to express performance at different levels. You didn't add points awarded to different levels, so I am assuming that you are not expecting “Above Standard” performance for the highest score. Thanks! I so often see rubrics that award 100% to students who “Exceed Expectations” for meeting criteria. I don’t think that is fair. If a student meets the criteria agreed to by students and the instructor, that student should receive 100%. I have teachers disagree with me on that, but I’ll stand my ground! :))))

I don’t know the performance level expected of your students. The language seems to address students working at about an 7th-8th-grade reading level, which is higher than SL4. If students are reading at lower levels, I suggest editing the language of the criteria so that students can instantly relate to it unless you spend time discussing the terms.

You clearly grasp the usefulness of rubrics, which, to me, is one of the great gifts we can give students who are performing activities in our classroom. No more sage on the stage! Rubrics encourage us to remain guides on the side! Thanks so much for contributing to this wonderful discussion! Leecy

Leecy's picture
Sharon, Bethany, and Susan, I know I speak for all of the members in our Reading and Writing, and the Teaching and Learning Communities when I thank you for the great contributions you have made to our discussions in the past three days! I have learned a great deal from interacting with you and with community members as we explored the KYAE Skills U Lesson Bank and dialogued on related issues regarding planning and instruction for our adult learners! 
I hope that everyone here will continue to contribute to this dialogue in weeks to come. The comments posted during all three days of this discussion will remain open, so please drop in at your convenience and contribute to the many ideas and resources we have shared.
Sharon, Bethany, and Susan, many, many thanks for all of the resources, ideas, and practices that you have shared in responding to questions and to comments made by members! You rock! 
Members who contributed to the discussions, many thanks. You provided wonderful ground for learning in this event!
Members and others who viewed the dialogues and benefited from the ideas and resources shared, thanks for joining us as well. I hope you'll take the time to drop in and comment in days and weeks to come!
This is an invitation to one and all to continue exchanging ideas and resources relating to lesson planning and to the wonderful contributions made to adult educators and students through the growing KYAE Skills U Lesson Bank. THANKS ALL!!! Leecy