A Writing Guide for Learners of German
Tips for Grading Writing with the MPG Approach
Remind me what the MPG Approach is (link to 1-page PDF from the book)
Describe clearly to your students the extent to which they should work through the pages within a section ofSchreiben lernen. If you expect students to work through activities as pre-writing activities and vocabulary building, then it can be most effective to bring some of these activities into the class time. The completion of some of the pre-writing activities can be built into your personalized grading rubric.
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Working towards a final product
The writing tasks that are the final product of each section of Schreiben lernen are designed to be the result of working through that section’s activities and then following the multi-step outline to write a final text. However, students and teachers might choose to include more or less work with the pre-writing activities. Sometimes selecting only some of the activities can still be effective in building skills necessary to produce a fine text.
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Recycling or reviewing information in the same chapter but from a previous level can also be useful in producing a text. For example, if your students are writing a film review (7C), reviewing how to narrate a series of events (Bildgeschichte 7A) and how to write a plot summary (Inhaltsangabe 7B) can be exactly the tools students need to produce an excellent film review. Thus, elements from different sections of a chapter and from the corresponding rubrics can be added to the rubric for a particular assignment at the B and C levels.
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Instructors are strongly encouraged to develop rubrics for grading key writing projects in the Schreiben lernenbook. Using rubrics can make the expectations clear to students and help them to direct their efforts. Rubrics can also help the teacher distinguish the A-, B-, or C-level students in concrete, measureable ways.
About Rubric Grading
Rubrics delineate specific things that are being assessed. Point values are assigned and the awarding of points is based on how well the student product meets the defined criteria. Here is one example of one component of a rubric from chapter 1A.
Aufbau structure of the text
|5||The profile begins with an effective overview, followed by information about the writer’s personality and family. The connections between the individual sentences are clear and the balance between the topics appropriate and effective.|
|4||The profile begins with an overview, followed by information about the writer’s personality and family. The connections between the sentences may not always be clear, and the balance between the topics may not be entirely appropriate and/or effective.|
|3||The text does not include an overview, and the information about the writer’s personality and family is not presented clearly. Connections between individual sentences and topics are ineffective or lacking.|
|2-1||The text does not contain the assigned elements of a profile, and the personal description is disjointed and unclear.|
The rubric descriptions help students know what they need to do to produce an excellent product for a particular assessment or project at a particular level. In this case, students can know that their profile should begin with “an effective overview,” and that they must write about both their personality and their family in good balance. Moreover, clear connections between the sentences is expected; they shouldn’t just grab sentences from their pre-writing activities without blending them together in good ways.
The rubric also helps the teacher to distinguish between excellent, good, fair and poor writing; it gives a defined reasoning for determining the points for the “structure of the text” for this particular assignment. This makes the grading seem less arbitrary and helps everyone better understand what good writing is and how to achieve it.
Points awarded for each graded component are added together to result in a grade for the whole product. For example,
- Inhalt (10 – 1 Punkte)
- Aufbau – Struktur des Textes (5-1 Punkte)
- Wortschatz (5-1)
- Sprache-Strukturen und Grammatik (5-1 Punkte)
Gesamtnote _____________ / 25 Punkte
Sample rubrics for Schreiben lernen
Sample grading rubrics are included for the final writing assignment in each section of Schreiben lernen. The sample rubrics are a resource for both students and teachers. These rubrics:
- reflect the intention that the students write two drafts of each text and that each effort is equally important;
- can be photocopied and used or edited to fit your goals, approach and specific assignment;
- can be posted electronically to inform students of the grading criteria.
Download the rubrics for each section below, available in either PDF or Word.