BloggerBy . The first assignment of the semester always generates cries of dismay.  I use the full range of numbers available to me in my grading rubric and most students earn scores that, if they were correlated to a conventional letter grading scale, would end up being a high D or low C.  "Pay no attention to what the letter grade would be!" I exhort them.  "The grading rubric is a guide to help you build on your strengths and recognize your weaknesses--it's a tool, not a label of your worth as a student and human being.  Let the numbers guide you as you rewrite the paper, and you'll do much better on the next version." More...