Margin Notes

Student Self-Assessment, Mentor Texts, and Single Point Rubrics


After meeting with Michelle Wuest and Shelley Hanson yesterday to continue our conversation regarding making learning visible, we have an idea that comes from Michelle’s classroom that we want to share with you.

Writing teachers are always looking for ways to foster students’ motivation and capacity to self-assess. As Sandra Herbst explains, “Self-assessment teaches students how to self-monitor, especially when it is informed by clear criteria and samples or models. Students who self-monitor are developing and practicing the skills needed to be life-long, independent learners.”

Here is what Michelle did: students were asked to select music lyrics and look at them through a feminist lens. Before writing their own, they looked at mentor texts to notice and name the writer’s moves, and a single point rubric based on the provincial writing samples was shared to further set students up for success with their writing.  After their initial draft, students were asked to look at their writing against the rubric and using different colours, highlight and annotate where in their writing they either met the criteria or where they needed further work. Take a look at these student samples:

These samples show the students’ ability to give themselves feedback on their writing, and as well the sense of ownership they have of their writing, which are two things we want for all our writers.

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