Portfolio Creation Ideas

Merriam-Webster defines the portfolio as “a selection of a student’s work . . . compiled over a period of time and used for assessing performance or progress.”

NutsBolts

Here are some more “sequential” ideas on portfolio creation. My basic portfoliopage, my assessment ideas page, and the notes from my assessment workshopcontain some great ideas… but sometimes a more specific walkthrough is necessary. If your portfolios have been working for years, great! If not, some “nuts-and-bolts” ideas are listed below: 

 

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    • Choose an easy-to-update storage method for your materials: an expanding file is super-flexible and can be Folderreused each year.
    • Know where you’re going: Set learning goals for your students, be they formal (finish this textbook) or informal (master multiplication, division, fractions, and percents)
    • Decide how you’ll show progress in each subject area. Here’s a great form to help.
    • Consider keeping a Teachers Plan Book — but use it to record what your family actually does each day.
    • Every month or two, collect samples from each subject area and file them. Update your reading lists. Print out (and back up) your computer work. Get those pictures out of your camera!

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    • Reading: Can be easily measured by assessing your child’s reading level at the beginning and end of the year. BoyReadingProgress can also be shown through a child’s reading list or progression through a language arts or phonics curriculum.
    • Handwriting: Curriculum samples, periodic journal entries, copywork, dictation… Date the random paper in order to show progress.
    • Language Arts: Workbook pages are great, but a lesson plan book, curriculum guide, or reading list might work just as well.
    • Mathematics: Workbook pages are quick and easy, but a lot of early math learnin’ just calls out for “hands-on” activities. Show progress with an annotated list of learning objectives, a lesson plan book or activity summary, and/or sample activities and pictures. Make sure to accompany your awesome pictures with a written summary so your evaluator can easily see your child’s progress… if you’re not a “math person” it can be tricky evaluating a stack of un-dated pictures!
    • Science & Social Studies: Reading lists, field trip brochures, photographs, curriculum guides, learning journals, teaching journals, mapwork, timelines, drawings, shutterbooks, scrapbook pages, writing assignments, blog entries… almost anything works!

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    • Reading: What books was your child reading in September? In December? In June? Has their confidence increased? Speed?
    • Handwriting: Curriculum samples, periodic journal entries, copywork, dictation… Date the random paper in order to show progress.
    • Language Arts: Reading lists (both teacher and student read), workbook pages, lesson plans, teaching journal, learning journal, pictures of projects or activities
    • Writing: Writing samples. Handwritten, typed, dictated to a family member… In a notebook, journal, or scrap paper… Keep samples.
    • Mathematics: If you’re not working through a formal curriculum, you really need to be clear about your goals and intentional in your teaching and documentation. Keep an annotated list of learning objectives, a lesson plan book or activity summary, and/or sample activities and pictures. Make sure that you’re evaluating your child’s retention and mastery… the fact that they could perform a tast on Monday does not mean they’ve retained it in May.
    • History & Geography: Reading lists, field trip brochures, photographs, curriculum guides, learning journals, teaching journals, mapwork, timelines, drawings, shutterbooks, scrapbook pages, writing assignments…
    • Science: Reading lists, field trip brochures, photographs, activity pages, learning journals, teaching journals, drawings, shutterbooks, scrapbook pages, writing assignments, blog entries… almost anything works!

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    • English: Reading lists (both teacher and student read), writing samples (work that your child has authored — this may or may not be handwritten), workbook pages, lesson plans, teaching journal, learning journal, pictures of projects or activities, tests, date items to show progress!
    • Mathematics: Tests, written work, and competancy projects are key. Shutter books, notebooks, pictures of activities, skills checklists…
    • History & Geography: Reading lists, field trip brochures, photographs, curriculum guides, learning journals, teaching journals, mapwork, timelines, drawings, shutterbooks, scrapbook pages, writing assignments…
    • Science: Reading lists, photographs, learning journals, shutterbooks, projects, writing assignments, tests, lab reports…
    • Other: Letters from teachers, certificates, printouts from online activities

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As of the 2011-2012 school year, I am requiring a completed
Portfolio Plan form to be included in all high school portfolios.

    • English: Reading lists and writing assignments are essential here. Tests, workbook pages, and study guides can also help.
    • Mathematics: Tests, written work, and competancy projects are key. Extremely detailed skill charts are possible but incredibly difficult to maintain.
    • History & Geography: Tests, reading lists, learning journals, mapwork, timelines, student projects and writing assignments all work.
    • Science: Written work, tests, lab reports, pictures, learning journals….
  • Health & PE: Activity log, journal, reading list
    • Computer Science: Projects, data CD, completed checklist, typing speed test, quizzes
    • Other: Letters from external teachers (detailing classwork and time committment), grade printouts from online courses