Interpersonal Skills – New Rubric

Some in the group may want to check this new version of the old jGR and current Interpersonal Skills Rubric. In keeping with our way of working together here as a group, we never assume that there is only one way to do something. Ron Wilbur explains what he did and why in creating a new version of the ISR that works for him:
Hey Ben –
A couple years ago I observed that the rubric you presented was prejudicial to quiet students. I did not improve on it, though.
This year, however, I am trying this one I have attached. It’s cumbersome, but so far it works well. The students evaluate themselves, and then I do the same on the same sheet. I give an overall avg. score, as a result. The first time they freaked at their low scores simply due to their extensive use of English. It certainly got their attention.
Anyway, when you get a chance, I would like your critique.



11 thoughts on “Interpersonal Skills – New Rubric”

  1. Those who remember the old jGR rubric, developed here, can immediately see the similarity between it and Ron’s document. If you search it, look out because there are hundreds of posts on it because the entire concept of changing how assess had to happen. What I like about what Ron has done is that it is very much resembles that original document, but with more categories. I don’t know how we got away from it except that I think we wanted more simplicity. Again, there is no right way to do it, so take your pick. I remember the old days of coming up with jGR. Jen Schongalla (the “j” in “Jen’s Great Rubric) and Annick Chen and my colleagues at Lincoln High on Denver’s west side, along with Barbara Vallejos and esp. the great, unmatchable Robert Harrell developed it here once I realized – in my own view – that we should be doing all of our assessment of that one part of ACTFL’s Three Modes of Communication. This by Ron is an excellent rubric. Can’t wait to get some responses for him on how it’s working.

  2. I hear you when you say that the jGR rubric is prejudicial to quiet students. But the jGR doesn’t punish expressive students, so long as they are helping the flow of language. And let’s put some value in those quiet students and their ability to exercise the habits of strong listening skills, the rigorous habits of listening and opening the mind to language, surrendering themselves to the conversation, letting go of all distracting thoughts.
    Today, one of my students, Pelumi, had heavy eyelids as we were reading through a story narration about a dinosaur (I have a puppet dinosaur a la Alisa Shapiro-Rosenberg) who likes to eat sushi that we created a couple of days ago. Her eyelids were very heavy through the Spanish reading. She put her head down once, even. But when we go to translating in English, she was shouting out all kinds of translations, showing me that she was receiving and channeling the language even though her eyelids were heavy. And she felt good about it, apologizing to me after class, saying she didn’t get much sleep last night.
    Then there was Crispin, another student in the same class. He is a first year student put in a second year class due to complications with his schedule. He was mumbling some English and Spanish as we were reading through. It was his way of playing with the language while sustaining attention. I don’t think I should mark him low on the rubric for using too much English. Rather, I would put on the ICSR “Supports the flow of language”
    So, my ICSR has the following
    1) Listen with the intent to understand
    2) One person speaks and the others listen
    3) Sit up… Square shoulders… Clear eyes
    4) Support the flow of language
    5) Nothing on desks or lap unless told otherwise
    I think your “Responses,” “Participation,” “Body language,” “Story Ideas,” “Password,” all apply to “Support the flow of language.” I also chill out on demanding no English. Sometimes a little banter in English, even in the middle of a L2 conversation is ok, especially with children. We need to build relationships with them.

  3. Sean hits the nail on the head here:
    …let’s put some value in those quiet students and their ability to exercise the habits of strong listening skills, the rigorous habits of listening and opening the mind to language, surrendering themselves to the conversation….
    I hope no one is actually grading a kid down simply for being quiet. There are two kinds of quiet kids and we use the rubric to come up with completely different grades on them.
    Thank you for shining the light on the crux of the issue, Sean.

    1. Yeah, I have never actually “graded down” a quiet student. I sometimes ask them privately what is a good way for them to show me they are responding (alternative to “eye contact” “responding out loud” “gesturing” etc. and we work out a stealth signal so that I can “document” that. But usually I just know those kids and “document” anyway. Of course they can get a 4 if they are engaged!

    2. Haha. I’m the opposite. I want less “participation” from students who are having side conversations in English about an OWI. Sometimes I think that it is the just the group of kids who nerd out and it’s the way the Invisibles really bring out the imagination of the students. They can’t stop adding little details about them in English.

  4. OH! And I love Ron’s version! I don’t know that I will be able to use that daily. I’d love some coaching on how to document kids in such detail on the daily. Typically I note the outliers and use a 1-4 since I honestly cannot keep track of all that stuff AND keep the class rolling along.
    I agree wholeheartedly with Ben that there is no “right way” …only the way that works for each teacher in their context in their classrooms!
    Bravo to Ron for this great update!!!

    1. Hi jen!
      I’m using Tina’s rubric found on the CI LIft off files this year. It it 1-4 points. I feel that it is well designed by starting with the 4 out of 4 points criteria. I have students read those categories. Then I summarize for them. I have split the two criteria this year for points: 1) “Listen and Read with Intent to understand” is concretely graded by BODY LANGUAGE – eyes, square shoulders, no tech in hands (squishies/stress balls are ok). This is the 1st or 2nd week. Then the week after I grade them on 2) SUPPORTING THE FLOW which is graded by Answering Questions/Call and Responses (like “suddenly” etc…), Avoiding blurting/side conversations and Encouraging others to be a part of the conversation of Spanish (This one I like)
      For grading I have everyone at a “4” automatically. Then I put a – usually when I have to remind the whole class. If need be I talk to the student after class. This is a -.5 from their 4 point total. I tell my students, if you have a “-” sign next to your name I will look for positives. So I write a “+” sign. This will give them .2 The student has to earn three “+” signs in order to recuperate their “-“. I hope this helps. I just like sharing out. I appreciate any feedback.
      I am also working on putting these grades in but marking them as “Excluded” in my grade book in order for it to be at 60% of my grade all year round. Last year I had about 12 per semester and each participation grade was less than %6 each. I saw how it was not significant as time went on.

    2. Thank you, Jen, but I don’t use it every day. I keep a log of student behaviors, but I only evaluate them maybe three four times in a quarter. At least that is my plan.

  5. Steven I admire but could never do the plus and minus system. I can barely put a grade in the book at the end of a nine weeks period. I’m lazy that way. Except that I am not lazy in the first month. I am like a tsunami of feedback in the first month, and they tend to get real under the pressure, the constant parent contact, the constant walking over to Rule #2, the little talks about how we acquire languages, the content quizzes (up to three a day), the moving around of kids to be as far as possible away from their friends, etc.
    I work harder in August grading than in the other eight months combined. Once in Denver at Lincoln HS (an urban school where the students and parents are always working and there are no helicopter parents) I didn’t grade a single student – not one grade – in any of my classes from Feb. to June. Nobody noticed because I had set the tone early and admins, as they are want to do, never hassle a teacher after a certain point in the year because they are so busy putting out fires in classrooms where the teacher was soft in the first part of the year.

    1. The system is simply my way of being strict and clear. No fires here at my school. Later if I am consistent, my work will have paid off.

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