Rubrics are useful tools for setting expectations and learning goals for students. The first column of the rubric is Meeting the Speaking and Listening Standards. There are four rows and each is an aspect of the overall speaking and listening standards, representing a key area in the standards. A four-point scale showing a gradient of growth helps teachers and students set learning goals.
Presentation of Self reflects building self-confidence in sharing and presenting information as a learner through performance.
Energy and Enthusiasm are ways students show interest in a topic and understand the methods for responding in a group; Reader’s Theater is a great vehicle for practicing these areas.
Voice and Pacing are part of daily classroom interactions and can be taught and strengthen through performance activities.
Eye Contact and Body Language begin in the earliest grades as students learn the process of communicating their understandings and holding effective conversations.
A rubric differs from a checklist in that it has broad areas for measuring progress over time. It is part of an effective formative assessment process. The checklists are an integral part of the use of a rubric for meeting standards. Teachers need both to support implementation of Reader’s Theater in the classroom for all students to achieve.
Here is a simple rubric for you to try with your students. Enjoy.
Checklists are useful tools for progress monitoring to help reach learning goals for students. They also help teachers remember the process and possible steps for using Reader’s Theater in the classroom. The columns on the checklist for the actor (student) serve a very different purpose from the ones for the director (usually the teacher).
The students are part of a collaborative group process when they read and present a play. While there are many things for the students to consider, the areas on the checklist provided a tie to the speaking and listening standards. Students can independently think about their learning and participation, or fill out a checklist as a cast (team). The first column asks ” Am I Doing?” and the students rate themselves on a simple three-point scale. Instead of numbers, the checklist uses plus, check or minus. However, that rating isn’t enough to prompt growth and change. The next column lists several areas to consider in the rating of their contributions. Most important is the last column where the individual students or the group adds comments in each area. This helps the students set goals for the next performance and supports active learning and a higher level of engagement through using Reader’s Theater in the classroom.
Similarly, the teacher checklist uses a three-point scale for the “How Am I Doing?” column. But the major differences in the teacher checklist come in the other two columns. First, the teacher should reflect on “What they did”. Then, the essential question is “Why did I do this?” How, What, and Why are the three key questions in all instructional planning for teachers.
A checklist differs from a rubric in that it helps teachers and students check up on themselves and reflect on their process in both teaching and learning; checklists really help students understand how to learn and grow. Teachers need both to support implementation of Reader’s Theater in the classroom for all students to achieve.
Link to and download a great example of checklists for students and teachers here.