A Pirate's Resources

Teacher's Guide

How to :: A Guide to using the Guide :: Grading and Assessment

This brings up a big parent question - how do I grade something without an answer key? This is creative writing. Creativity is the key and it is not something you can grade in a traditional way. There are few right and wrong answers when you are brainstorming - imagine us trying to tell you the “right answers” to the exercise that asks them to “list 5 awful ice cream flavors”? This is why we don’t provide a way to grade these exercises. But that doesn’t mean you as a parent can’t assess their progress.

Assessment is about less objective things, and you’ll want to focus on how willing or engaged your student is. Are they writing the first thing that comes to their mind and plowing through to just get it done, or are they thinking about it, letting their ideas come to the surface? If they are prone to plowing through, are they slowly growing more inventive and more thoughtful? Certain things aren’t about the end product, but about the attitude of what you are doing. The questions you ask and the way you assess is meant to validate their openness to the process of developing their creativity and moving towards their strengths as a writer.

We have provided challenge exercises (we call them “
Heave Ho!”) for those who are ready to dig in deeper. And we have another set of review work called “Scratch Yer Noggin.” These pages test your memory of past sections. I recommend using these pages (you can require your student to review and study before filling them out, or allow them to flip back as an open book review) to assess how much your student is grasping, and they certainly could be graded if you require graded work. Better still, let the do these sections in fun, and base your assessment more on their willingness and ability to put into practice the “In Real Life” suggestions, and their ability to “Find it in the Story” as they go along through each exercise. These sections can be found, exercise by exercise in the Teacher’s Guide.

The goal of our workbook is to help your student open up and allow this muscle of creativity to grow and develop through the learning of basic story elements. Your encouragement and interest is all that you both need to have a successful class!