Portfolios Provide Opportunity for Year-end Review
As school draws to a close for many families, it is time to give those student portfolios (formal or not) a good spring cleaning! Reviewing the collection of work samples allows you to reminisce on your year of teaching, learning, and student accomplishments. After walking down memory lane, it is time to get down to the business of what to keep, what to toss, and how to celebrate growth. You may need a portfolio to meet a state requirement for an annual assessment or just as a personal record of your student’s achievement. Your portfolio design should be a reflection of an organizational system that works best for you. It might take the form of a three-ring binder with dividers, an accordion file, or even an electronic file.
Depending on what you’ve amassed, you may wish to keep examples from these categories:
- Notes of experiences, efforts, and progress
- Lists of materials and resources, which can include books, games, manipulatives, websites, and outside classes
- Samples reflecting a broad range of topicsincluding: handwriting samples, tests, quizzes, compositions, and daily coursework from all subjects
- Photos, videos, artwork, and projects
- List of Goals (if established at the start)
- Test results (if required or desired)
Some items may need to be purged because they are not relative or are not a good reflection of the student’s accomplishments. Keep those items that showcase an overall representation of the school year and the student’s progress, including high and low results. Once you have sorted out what to include, you may wish to create a table of contents to aid your portfolio organization and review.
While you may have a formal portfolio review with your school system liaison or another organization, with or without your child, it is also an opportunity for a student-teacher conference between you and your child. In either circumstance, your child will benefit from talking about what’s been covered during the year and all that has been accomplished. To prepare for this chat,make a list of topics you wish to cover which will guide the discussion. This opportunity should be a positive sharing session where all involved listen and learn.