Rubric for Beginning Writers

Name: _______________________________
 
Fluent / Experienced
Developing
Emerging
Exploring
Ideas Creates pictures and/or stand-alone text that makes a point or tells a simple story. Elaborates on message or story. Incorporates the kinds of significant, less-than-obvious details that give both text and pictures interest, depth, and meaning. Presents ideas that catch a reader's attention. Shows knowledge of topic. Text carries most or all of the meaning (though pictures may be used to enhance meaning). Creates easily recognizable pictures and text. Creates stand-alone text that expresses a clear message. Attends to detail in pictures and/or text (more than a quick scribble or sketch). Text carries as much meaning as pictures--or slightly more. Creates pictures and text reader can interpret with inferences and good guesses. Combines pictures with imitative text, letters, or "just readable" words. Uses labels to expand meaning. Pictures carry more meaning than text. Uses pictures and scribbles to express ideas. Creates shapes that imitate print or cursive text. Dictates story, message, or label for picture. Writes random "letters." Reader needs help to interpret pictures or "text."
Organization Uses definite beginning and concluding statements (other than simply "The End") in text. Uses transitional words and phrases (next, then, so, but, while, after that, because, etc.) to connect ideas. Shows skill in sequencing a simple story chronologically. Skillfully uses conventions such as title, indentation, or statement of purpose to structure text. Creates a "complete" text. Doesn't just stop at the end of the page. Presents work in a visually appealing way on the page. Shows a beginning sense of sequencing or patterning (e.g., chronological order, main point and support) in written text. Shows skill with story boarding (creating pictures in sequence to make a point or tell a story). Writes multiple sentences in an order that supports a main point or story. Shows a sense of beginning. Uses conventions such as title, indentation, numbers, and "The End" to help structure written text. Presents work in a visually balanced way on the page. Shows a growing sense of balance in placement of scribbles, text, or pictures. Shows clear sense of coordination between text and pictures: e.g., a reader can readily see that they go together. Begins to "center" work on the page. Places letters, shapes, scribbles, or pictures randomly on the page. May fill one corner of the page or the whole page.
Voice Chooses words that make meaning clear and also create a particular mood or build a picture in the reader's mind. Uses individual phrasing that enhances personal voice. Experiments with language in a variety of ways: imitating, inventing new words, rhyming, and/or looking for a particular "just right" word. Relies only minimally on general words (nice, great, fun, wonderful, special). Uses a variety of words, with little redundancy. Enjoys combining pictures with more extended text. Uses expressive or descriptive phrases and short sentences, not just one- or two-word labels. "Stretches" to use new words, even if she/he cannot spell them yet. Creates text that conveys a clear general meaning: e.g., My dog runs fast. Writes recognizable words. Uses labeling to enhance or "dress up" pictures. Chooses words or labels or short phrases that clearly go with picture text. Uses various parts of speech: e.g., naming words (nouns), describing words (adjectives), and action words (verbs). Copies words or letter shapes from environmental print. Creates shapes or scribbles that represent words, even though a reader cannot yet translate them without help. Writes in letter strings (all "letters" may not be recognizable).
Sentence Fluency Written text begins to imitate oral fluency. Shows variety in sentence lengths and beginnings. Writes as many sentences as he/she needs to complete the text. Creates text that is easy for another to read aloud with expression. Creates text with a natural, "easy flow" kind of sound. Writes in sentences; often includes more than one sentence in given text. May imitate sentence patterns he/she has heard. Begins sentences in different ways. Creates text that another person can readily read aloud: e.g., I have a toy. The toy I have is my favrit toy and this toy is my bear. Writes in word strings or simple sentence patterns (some sentences may not be complete). Writes one sentence or an "almost" sentence: e.g., May use repetitive sentence patterns: e.g., I am a ball. I like be a ball. I lik Jim. May use scribbles or imitative letter strings: LIEKPTLSSINKT. Does not yet write in sentences or word strings.
Conventions Consistently incorporates conventions of spacing and directional placement of letters into own text. Regularly uses both upper and lower case letters, and usually places them correctly. Usually places periods and question marks correctly. Continues to experiment with other punctuation. Uses readable spelling for most words. Writes more than one paragraph and uses title and margins if needed. Incorporates more conventions from environmental print into own text: spacing between words line, appropriate directional placement of letters, consistent left-right and up-down orientation, use of a title, margins Uses both upper and lower case letters, often capitalizes "I," own name, names of others, and words of significance. Experiments with other forms of punctuation. Expands to basic phonetic spelling with more consonant sounds and more vowels: e.g., I lik tu dru nits (I like to draw knights). Writes own name and other significant words. Imitates many features of environmental print: shapes that resemble letters, letters or letter shapes that face the right direction, left-to-right orientation on the page, up-to-down orientation on the page, blending of text with illustrations. Distinguishes between upper and lower case letters. Experiments with punctuation, especially periods, which may be randomly placed. Writes own name on personal work. Experiments with print by creating scribbles to represent text and individual letters. May write with letter strings, usually pre-phonetic: e.g., SAMSAAUATT. Can put own name (or a version thereof) on paper. May create some recognizable letters or numbers: e.g., NAT02.

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