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How will writing, binders, displays, and presentations be assessed for Washington DC trip?


1. Emphasize writing and thinking, but recognize good presentations, both live and on display panels. That balance should ensure the selected team will represent the project well in Washington.
2. Allow all students a chance (not punish those from schools that have gone in past three years)
3. Assure that attention is paid to portfolios, which are full of good ideas, represent tremendous work, include the material that is archived, and often form the basis for gifts of scholarship to the community.
4. Involve all teachers and students in this process as a way to increase their awareness of work done by other students, teachers, and schools.
5. Make the selection process for LOC ambassadors as clear and transparent as possible.
6. This system requires focused and purposeful work by teachers and students during the YHF.
7. This system assumes a small number of official student representatives at the YHF.
8. This system lets us announce ambassadors during the YHF.

Weighting: Writing - 50 points; Presentations - 30 points; Displays - 20 points

1. Reviewing student writing:
Have each school digitally submit three essays based on Project work two weeks in advance of the Youth Heritage Festival. (March 17).

Staff will read and screen these against the writing checklist, and collectively select the top essays to be sent to an outside judge. We’ll do that within a week.

Our outside judge will use the same checklist to select a “distinguished” student writer from among the essays provided.

Using the ratings of staff and the outside judge, three student essays will be selected to be read during the Youth Heritage Festival.

The school which sends three essays that together best meet the highest standards on the rubric will receive 50 points; the runner-up school will receive 40, the next highest 30.

Student writing may be in the form of historical research essays, essays of place, or feature articles. They must be based on project work done during the current school year.

2. Reviewing student presentations:

As a group, teachers from each site will score each of the Monday afternoon presentations against a presentation checklist.

Each site’s group of teachers will turn in a single scoring sheet. Sites with multiple teachers will need to collaborate. Teachers will not judge their own students. Judging will not be anonymous.

Staff will add the points awarded on the scoring sheets provided. The school that scores the highest according to the checklist (based on total numerical score on scoring sheets) will receive 30 points, the next 20, and the third 10.

3. Reviewing displays and binders:

As a team, students from each school will complete a rating sheet for all the all the displays using a display and portfolio checklist provided for this. They will have time specifically to complete this task. Students will not judge their own work. Judging will not be anonymous. Each team of students (one team per school) will collaborate to turn in a single scoring sheet for each other school.

Staff will total the scores on the scoring sheets. The school that best meets the rubric (based on total numerical score from all scoring sheets) will receive 20 points and the next 10.

The school with the highest number of points will be this year’s “Ambassadors to the Library of Congress.” In the event of a tie, the school with the highest score in submitted essays will be selected.

Distinguished Student Writer

The writer of the essay that is scored highest by the outside judge will receive scholarship funds from the fund that Renee has started. This distinguished writer may or may not be a member of the ambassador team.


The binder will be reviewed twice--once by students at the Youth Heritage Festival then again by teachers at the Summer Institute.

Schools will be asked to bring portfolios with them to the YHF and place them with their displays as completed as they are to that point.

All teachers will participate in a full review of completed portfolios at the Summer Institute. Teachers who do not bring portfolios will not receive their Institute stipend until the material has been submitted. Teachers will also be asked to bring tapes, interviewee permissions, as well as any transcripts or indexes that were created. Teachers will be asked to rate the binders that they like best, using whatever criteria they feel is important, and the two highest rated binders will receive gift certificates at a bookstore. Since there are no published criteria, teachers are invited to express excellence in whatever way they feel matters. 

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 02/01 at 12:05 PM






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