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5-3-1 Rating System

  • by Kelly Harmon
  • Nov. 11, 2020, 11:25 a.m.

I like to use a rating system with students. I explain that a rating of 5 means you are an expert and you could teach someone else. A rating of a 3 means you are an apprentice. You need more coaching and/or practice to clear up misconceptions or misunderstandings. A rating of 1 means you are a novice. You are just beginning to learn the learning target. There may be vocabulary in the learning target that you don't recognize or understand. At the 1 or 3 level, you can set personal learning goals. This might sound like "I'm a novice and I need to know what character motivations are and how you would describe them."


As we move through a unit of study, we revisit the learning targets and determine if progress is being made. I ask students to make a plan for achieving a 5 rating. What do you need to do? What do you need the teacher to do?


The goal is owning the learning. As teachers, we can't be the sole owner of the assessments. When learners self-evaluate, they grow and develop the executive skills of planning and organizing for success. Click here for an example of a student rating sheet.



Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

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Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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