Last week, I shared a quick way to create a holiday math menu to keep your students engaged over the next few weeks. (Missed the post? Read it here!) Over the years, I’ve used lots of different menus with my students; however, one of the biggest challenges I have found is with the grading. Today, I’m sharing two ways to assess your students’ work, through a math menu rubric and checklist.
The question I receive most often from teachers about using menus in the classroom is how to grade student work. Admittedly, I haven’t always used menus as part of my curriculum. Sometimes, I use menus as fast-finisher tasks. In these cases, I challenge my students to complete the menus, but I provided homework coupons for completed work, i.e. no homework for a day or for the entire week. (I know some people may be gasping right now, but I always felt that completion of the menu required way more time and effort than the homework, so they earned it!) Nonetheless, I do understand there are times when the time spent on a math menu has to be documented with a grade of some sort.
I’d like to offer two suggestions for grading via a math menu rubric or a checklist.
Math Menu Checklist
One easy way to assess menu products is through the use of a checklist. Typically, when I assign menus, I create a document with the project guidelines. See the image to the right for an example. To make the checklist, I take the guidelines and assign a point value for each item on the list. This process can be modified to meet your specific project needs. For example, if there are five products, each product may be worth up to 20 points. This way, you can just add the points for each product to get a grade out of 100 and staple the checklists together to attach to the student’s work.
This is a super simple method that is objective and based on the students’ ability to follow directions; however, it can be time-consuming to grade each product.
Math Menu Rubric
Another option is to use a rubric to assess your menus. While the rubric is more subjective, it allows you to use one tool to evaluate the overall menu rather than using several checklists. The rubric evaluates the menu products in five categories: content, correctness, completeness, creativity, and presentation. You will then have the opportunity to rate the products as a whole and assign a rating of either Above Expectations, Meets Expectations, or Below Expectations. See the example below.
Points should be assigned to each rating based on your school or school district’s grading policy. Based on my experience, some parents might expect that “meets expectations” yield a grade of 100, so be careful about giving full points to “above expectations” and partial points to “meets expectations.” Alternately, you may also decide to assign a point value to each box on the rubric. See my example below.
You can grab both of the rubrics above using the form below. If you would like to create your own rubrics, you may want to consider using RubiStar. It’s a free online resource where you can create your own rubrics or customize a ready-made one.
Whether you decide to use a math menu rubric or a checklist to evaluate your students’ menu products, be sure to introduce the grading tool when you introduce the menu. This way, students know what is expected of them and can work toward meeting the “Above Expectations” rating if they choose to do so.
Looking for ready-made, content-focused menus? Check out my Whole Number Operations Menu freebie here! You can also check out my entire menu series featuring whole number, decimal, and fraction operations for grade 5 here.
Sound Off! What tips do you have for grading math menus? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.