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Social Studies Department

Meet the Social Studies Teachers

  • Hope Archambo
  • Alisa Hake
  • Vicki Shock
  • Katherine Owen
  • Jodi Lingo
  • Kari Smith
  • Christopher Peterson
  • Brennan Williamson

Social Studies GRC Rubric

Consider the Following When Using These Rubrics

Gradebook Reporting Criteria (GRC) are based on the Colorado Academic Standards. GRCs are designed for reporting on student learning in student- and parent-friendly language. Most courses have four GRCs.

A student may receive a 3 or 4 at any point in time, provided that current work and performance of that student align with the descriptors at a Level 3 or 4.

The difference between Level 3 and Level 4 performance is generally based on student work that involves transfer, depth, and complexity.

When a student’s performance falls between two performance level descriptors on the rubric, a teacher should seek input from colleagues and use professional judgment in making a determination of performance.

In order to assess if a student is achieving at the “Advanced Understanding Level – 4” of performance, it is necessary to provide opportunities for students to work at the highest level of performance. To accomplish this goal, teachers will need to adjust instruction and assessment practices.

For example (but not limited to) …

  • Grades K, 1, 2, 3, and 5 - Use of the “Enrichment Activities” found in the “Differentiating Instruction” section for each TCI unit within the respective grade programs. These should be incorporated into lesson plans as a Level 4 opportunity.
  • Grade 4 – The Colorado Story offers a variety of ways to differentiate learning and assessment. These include but are not limited to examples from the “Differentiated Path” section in most chapters, and ways to integrate with science and literacy. These should be incorporated into lesson plans as a Level 4 opportunity.
  • At the secondary level, near perfect performance on District Common Assessments must be paired with a consistent ability to complete additional Level 4 opportunities within coursework with success.
  • Teacher-created Level 4 opportunities

Conceptual Understanding

Students know and are able to apply key concepts of inquiry and analysis within each SS standard. (i.e., Ideas as powerful forces for change within history, how geographical forces affect population change and movement, etc.)

  • Advanced Understanding 4
    • The student can evaluate concepts in order to make reasonable and defensible predictions.
    • The student will transfer concepts and make connections independently.
  • Meets the Standard 3
    • The student can analyze predictions and arguments using the concept and supporting evidence in order to make choices or explain courses of action.
    • The students can draw inferences that show an understanding of the connections the concept has to the subject matter.
  • Approaching 2
    • The student can summarize or demonstrate an understanding of the concept.
    • The student can explain the concept showing an understanding of some of the connections to the subject matter currently being taught.
  • Does Not Meet 1
    • The student demonstrates little understanding of the concept.

Content Knowledge

Students understand and are able to successfully explain key elements of each unit of study. ( i.e., important figures in history, necessary vocabulary for economics, tools used by the geographer, core documents in civics, etc.)

  • Advanced Understanding 4
    • The student applies a wide range of terminology accurately, fluently and appropriately.
    • The student uses detailed relevant facts to show understanding through accurate and precise descriptions, explanations and examples.
    • The student transfers content and makes connections independently.
  • Meets the Standard 3
    • The student uses appropriate content terminology accurately.
    • The student uses relevant facts to show understanding through accurate descriptions, explanations and examples.
  • Approaching 2
    • The student uses some content terminology (both subject specific and skills oriented) accurately and appropriately.
    • The student uses mostly relevant facts and usually shows understanding through descriptions, explanations and examples though they may be basic or superficial.
  • Does Not Meet 1
    • The student demonstrates little understanding of the content.

Research & Source

Analysis Students not only read and interpret text but are able to research and analyze key primary source documents in support of the unit. Within this comes the understanding of the different interpretations of events.

  • Advanced Understanding 4
    • The student independently locates, selects, documents, and uses a wide range of relevant information including a variety of appropriate primary and secondary sources showing different perspectives.
    • The student utilizes the research process to show a high level of critical analysis.
  • Meets the Standard 3
    • The student selects, documents, and uses relevant information from a wide variety of sources with little assistance.
    • The student utilizes the research process to show satisfactory evidence and depth of analysis.
  • Approaching 2
    • The student selects, but may need some assistance, and uses mostly relevant information but documentation may be inadequate.
    • The student uses the research process but it lacks the required depth in analysis.
  • Does Not Meet 1
    • The student, with assistance, can select and use some relevant information but the sources are inadequate.
    • The student displays minimal analytical skills.

 Presentation & Communication of Content

Students will be able to convey their understanding of key concepts through a variety of modes: written, oral, digital, presentation, debate, etc.

  • Advanced Understanding 4
    • The student communicates information that is always relevant to the topic.
    • The student organizes information into a well-developed and logical sequence, appropriate to the format required or chosen.
    • The student presents and expresses in a clear, concise, effective, and possibly creative manner.
    • The student uses language, and extensive and superlative visual and technological representation always appropriate to the audience and the format
  • Meets the Standard 3
    • The student communicates information that is relevant to the topic.
    • The student uses a structure appropriate to the task and sequences the content logically.
    • The student presents and expresses ideas clearly.
    • The student pays attention to the audience and purpose in terms of appropriate language, and visual and technological representation as needed.
    • The student communicates in a manner which does not interfere with understanding.
  • Approaching 2
    • The student communicates information that is mostly relevant to the topic.
    • The student attempts to structure and sequence the work but is not always successful.
    • The student presents and expresses in a way that is occasionally unclear or inappropriate.
    • The student communicates in a manner which may interfere with understanding.
  • Does Not Meet 1
    • The student communicates information that may not be relevant to the topic.
    • The student attempts to structure the work, but it may be unclear and/or inappropriate as required by the format.
    • The student presents in a way that is unclear and imprecise.
    • The student communicates in a manner which interferes with understanding.

Grading Policy for all grade levels:

This course assesses on common district criteria aligned to state standards. The rubric achievement levels are each 1 - 4. I will grade all summative assessments with rubrics. In all courses, the higher the rubric score on a summative assessment, the better the student’s demonstration of knowledge. At the end of the semester and year, I will issue a final trend mark for each criterion. I will determine the final trend mark by the knowledge the student demonstrates throughout the semester and year in each criterion. As your teacher, I will consider summative assessments, formative assessments, observations, and student circumstances when giving a final trend mark.

Missing assignments for a student that has not completed any work, has not turned in a project, or has not attempted an assessment will become part of the overall demonstration of knowledge that I will consider for a final trend mark. Every student has the right to take a summative assessment once. However, re-takes/re-dos will not be permitted until all classwork has been completed and a study session attended. I will evaluate exceptions on a case-by-case basis. Students who complete 95% of classwork will be allowed to re-take/re-do assessments provided that the student attends a help/study session with the teacher. The study session requirements will be an agreement between the teacher and the student. Re-takes/re-dos of assessments must be completed by the end of the next unit. In addition, all make-up work must be completed by the end of the next unit. Students will always receive the highest grade they achieve on a test regardless of the number of times attempted.