Students need grades, even early in the year. And even though this assignment, the letter to your future self, is just a beginning-of-the-year exercise, a way to get a bead on the students as writers and individuals, I cannot justify the time spent on it unless I find a way to get it into my gradebook. And yes, it takes time – last year, there were 67 of them.
But this particular grade is pretty fluff, so kids will end up looking like they are A and B students even though they’re really not – except for students who don’t submit anything no matter how hard I work at trying – emails or calls home, extra time during lunch study periods . . .
Still, I need something in that gradebook so that parents know I’m doing something.
And so I’ve created a rubric. Did they include a date? A salutation? A body with at least three paragraphs? At least three specific details about themselves? A short anecdote about something that happened to them? A closing? A signature? Some evidence of editing and proofreading?
Time to grade.