Saturday, February 21, 2015
I've spent the past couple days working on my students' portfolios - printing lots of pictures, and organizing work into categories (social/emotional, literacy, math, science) - and am again reminded of how far each child has come so far this year. Portfolios are an important part of the assessment process at this age, and I think of them as companion pieces to the written narratives. They are used by both students and me to reflect on their learning, and to show growth.
I ask students a couple times a year to help me pick out pieces to add to their portfolio. They look through their poetry anthology and memory books to choose "best work". These are work samples they are most proud of - whether it is because they worked a long time on something, did neat and careful work, or just because it brought up a good memory. In this way, even very young children can show self-reflection and be part of the assessment process.
At parent-teacher conference time, I will show you your child's portfolio, and you are also free to take it home for a few days in order to go over it with your child (or to show other family members). At the end of the year the portfolios will go home for good. Of course, you are free to look at your child's portfolio at any time.
Authentic assessment (rather than letter grades) is a time-consuming process, but so worth it. I can't wait to share with you some of the wonderful accomplishments your child has made.