Thinking Log Scoring Rubric

"A" Logs- Demonstrates in-depth and frequent entries. Entries are often both directed and non-directed. Directed writing means those assignments made specifically by the teacher; non-directed and frequently important types of entries are those where the student is motivated by the desire and need to write. These non-directed topics are not just for the topic at hand. "A" logs also evidence a great deal of risk taking with thinking and show the reader the thinker is willing to try out ideas and syntheses of ideas on the reader. Entries in "A" logs are frequently neat, polished, or "finished." This demonstrates a habit of thinking that is reflected in the pride of workmanship. This is not to say that there will never be unpolished and at times, cryptic entries, but the good log writer frequently visits the log to "put it in order." Obviously with the "A" log there is conscious attempt to pay attention to spelling and other mechanics of writing.

"B" Logs- These logs also evidence both directed and non-directed writing, but usually there will be found more teacher-directed writing in these logs. What usually makes the difference between an "A" log and a "B" log is the former show evidence of strong self-motivation and the willingness to "go the extra mile." "B" logs also show less interest in taking risks with their thinking. These log writers sometimes seem to go for the minimum expectations to receive the decent grade. "B" logs frequently will have comments by the teacher such as : "not enough depth;" "needs more analysis;" or "you have to cultivate the habit of writing more frequently." Writing frequently and more in-depth begets more ideas and insights. "B" logs also evidence that the writer doesn't revisit his/her writing to give it that polish and finish that the "A" writer does.

"C" logs-These logs usually have little or no non-directed writing and very little directed writing. They are frequently shallow in their thinking because there frequently is simply not enough writing to help the teacher judge. The writer seems to say to the teacher: "From what I have given you, intuit what I do or do not know." This is dangerous because it gives the reader/teacher power over the log writer. In other words, the reader can intuit wrongly what the writer is attempting to say. Frequently, this type of writer gets angry and claims that he or she doesn't know what to write. "C" logs usually show no risk-taking with thinking or none that is documented. Further, "C"logs demonstrate little if any attempt to synthesize what the student is learning much less thinking. These logs frequently are sloppy and thus indicate a habit of mind that shows little concern about the writer's respect for his or her thinking and writing.

"D" logs- These logs are always turned in late. Sometimes there will be just a few scribbles or comments from what I call the "Ozone Level." The only option here is a "D". These learners seem to be indifferent to their thinking, therefore, the documentation of their thinking is flawed or absent. Fortunately, these logs are very rare.

--used with permission, B.C. Hollister, Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Created by: Shelly Peretz from Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois.
Multimedia Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab. Funded by the Midwest Consortium for Mathematics and Science Education based at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Last Updated: July 22, 1996
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