After each investigation, I used to collect my students’ STEM notebooks after an inquiry or unit and assess them with a rubric. I would grade certain pages/assignments and spot-check the remainder. Even by using this system, it took forever for me to grade them. When I’d pass them back to students, they would flip to the rubric page, look at the grade and move on with their day…after I spent so much time grading them!
So, I soon moved to a new method. I handed out a variation of my general rubric and asked students to glue it inside the back cover of their notebooks for their reference. Then, I passed out an assessment page, to be glued into the next empty page of the notebook. On that page, I listed which assignments would be graded and asked students to assess their work before giving it to me to grade. This helped students to not only understand the time it takes to thoughtfully assess student notebooks,but gave them a part in the assessment process as well.