Developing Mastery Rubrics


Developing mastery rubrics provides teachers an opportunity to get really clear about what it means and looks like for students to meet, not yet meet, or exceed expectations on a learning outcome. In Social Studies, what specifically does it mean to analyze a text? In ELA, what does it mean? Often, teachers develop rubrics together, paying special attention to where transferable skills fall in departments, and where differences lie. Clear rubrics increase transparency to students, which increases equity, and gives all students a path to success.


A best practice for a mastery-based learning environment is to create rubrics with students, in order to build genuine shared understanding. Another useful practice is to invite students to use a highlighter to mark language they understand completely—it can be surprising to see how much of a carefully detailed rubric is not comprehensible to students.

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