Thursday, May 2, 2013

Portfolio Pimpin' & a few {FREEBIES}

Yippee! Today we finished our STAR testing. The students were so excited to be done. At the end of the test they did silent cheers just in case are neighboring classes were still hard at work. Now that state tests are complete, it is time to focus on preparing for student led conferences. As a school, we hold student-led conferences at the end of the year. It is a time for the students to share their learning with their parents and teach them how to be a 2nd grade scholar. One thing that we do during student led conferences is a portfolio presentation. In my classroom, portfolios are maintained both electronically and physically. I maintain ongoing Evernote digital portfolios for each student and the student adds to a portfolio binder through out the year.  For the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on the physical portfolios. I will introduce Evernote portfolios at a later date. These physical portfolios are almost exclusively student driven (the only exceptions are P.E. and drama where all the students complete reflections for a specific activity). Because they are student driven, the portfolios are a personal connection to each student's learning process. The only requirement for each selection is that they must complete a reflection to go with the selected work, and they must include at least three pieces for each transdisciplinary theme (an I.B. thing for those of you who are wondering). Other than that. the child chooses what he/she would like added to the portfolio. Often they are pieces that the students are proud of, but students are also encouraged to add things that were difficult for them. When something was not incredibly successful, the student reflection can be quite rich as they can address their struggles and also set forth a ideas for future growth. This is putting the action cycle into practice, which is essential to the inquiry process. The only true consistency is the structure. All of the students use a binder with a personalized cover on the front. The first page of the portfolio is a photo of the student from the first day of school and behind it is a picture of the student at the end of the school year.  There are tabs for UOI (unit of inquiry), Spanish, Writing, Math, and Specials. Behind the UOI tab there are divider sections for each transdisciplinary theme. I was not as prepared this year and we basically assembled it as we went. For next year, my plan is to set up the binders in advance with three page protectors behind each transdisciplinary theme and three behind each of the other tabs. Then the student can just slip the item in as soon as they reflect on it. They will also be able to tell if they still need items for a certain area, because the page protectors will be empty. I think that this will make it much easier for my mini-nuggets (kinders) next year. If you have never had your students maintain a portfolio, you really should try it. You will be amazed at how the students take incredible pride in their portfolios.  I find that they also drive students to do better work because the nuggets want to showcase their awesomeness in their portfolio.
The freebies for today were created to support I.B. portfolios, but the covers could be used in any classroom. If you would like to download the documents, just click on the pictures below. I hope that you enjoy this portfolio glitter!

Have a fabulous evening!


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