Rubrics have, in general, made it easier for students to become clearer about exactly what they need to do and know to achieve a particular score or grade. Some learners, however, may still be confused by the descriptions featured on a rubric especially if they are struggling readers, just learning English, or just comprehend visual supports better than the written word. These students will appreciate the inclusion of visuals into a rubric and may even be able to provide a higher-quality product because of this enhanced assessment tool.
To create your visual, design your written rubric. Then, translate each step of into a visual. This may not be possible for every rubric you create, but it should work well for writing assignments, some projects, foldables or other graphic organizers, and study tools such as notebook entries. For instance, students in a middle school science class could check the visual rubric hanging in their class to see if their lab notes would be complete enough to get the five points available. Students could easily see that missing components no diagram or image would result in a missing point.
For more differentiation ideas for K-12 classrooms, check out From Text Maps to Memory Caps [Paul Brookes Publishing].