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Monday, August 5, 2013


Click to play this Smilebox slideshow

 Portfolios have been one of those things that I have done for years and years but, continually add to or change things over time.
Years ago, I purchased large strong pizza boxes as portfolios.  They stacked on top of each other (took a bit of room... but my room wasn't quite as full as it is now... after 20 years ;)  The kids loved them... the parents loved them.  I was told by a parent last year that her daughter (that I taught in 2nd grade) was graduating from high school and still had her pizza box portfolio under her bed! 
Over the years, I changed to a 3 ring binder... maybe it was easier... less space... more organized... I'm not sure but the 3 ring binder has been the method in my room for about 7-8 years now.  Each student brings a 1.5" white binder with view cover to school the first week of school.  I tell parents it is for a portfolio that they will bring home at the end of the year. (I usually buy 3 or 4 at the BTS sales for children that never bring one)  In the video, my portfolio shows sheet protectors (usually because the master copy is in the plastic with the example).  I don't have my kids bring/used protectors.  Just a 3 hole punch. 

It stays in chronological order because when we add things we always add things to the back.  The kids get good at this!  Each month we do a WRITING activity.  (I use my WRITE ON cards for this activity... but any chart would do.  The kids have a topic and I challenge them to use 4 NUGGETS (vocabulary words) in Sept and maybe 9 NUGGETS in January and by May they use 12+ vocabulary words because they are more confident and comfortable readers.  We also do a MATH review monthly.  We highlight the standard we covered and mastered.  We have a patterned ART piece to show fine motor, details and creativity. 

Throughout the year whenever we complete a project or assignment we are proud of... we pop it in the back.  You will notice many activities in my portfolio besides the writing, math and art.  Some activities I just created, some I purchased from friends on TpT and some from my dear friends at Creekside.

This coming year, I decided to add their reading calendars to the portfolio along with their SEP self assessment.  Portfolios are stored right in class so they are able to look through them whenever.  My favorite is SEP Conferences... we just place them in the hall and they look through their work with their parents before their conference.

I just ordered this little corner shelf to house my portfolios this year... should be coming soon... (It's pink on one side and black on the other).

Another thing that is nice is to have the student information inside the portfolio.  I used to keep a file for each student in my desk with this information... now it is just part of the portfolio.  It's fun for them to see what mom or dad thought their strengths were in 2nd grade or what some of their "favorites" were when they were 8.

I'd love to hear what you put in your portfolio.  I know I'm missing something that would be fun for the kiddos.  Leave me your idea with your email.  I'm giving away 3 portfolio sets (below) on Friday.


Katy said...

I have not used portfolios but that is something I'd like to start. Your post gave me some great ideas on what to include. :)



Roxanne said...

I have never used portfolios before and I am a newbie teacher. I would love the opportunity to win a copy of your Portfolio so that I will be able to implement using Portfolios as part of my teaching requirements.

Your great ideas and pointers are truly awesome.

Thanks and take care.


Melinda said...

This looks great! I think something like a self portrait for beginning and end of the year and maybe something where they can make a list of favorite books throughout the year. I'd love this pack. I know this is something I definitely need to improve.


Suzy Q said...

I have only used a writing portfolio before, but like the idea of an 'all in one' portfolio. It might be fun to have a page of addition problems and time them on it four times a year.

tokyoshoes at hotmail dot com

Unknown said...

I love the idea of a portfolio and would love to win a copy of your file.


Amanda said...

This would be awesome!


Mrs. Phillips said...

LOVE this idea! What about a way to show progress in their knowledge of high frequency words? Maybe graphing words they can read every quarter?

Lindsey - lmburto@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I love how organized your portfolios are. I love all of the proof that you have that the students are meeting (or not meeting) the standards!
I have used portfolios in the past, but nothing like this!
I like to include a goal sheet in mine as well.
I would love to win a copy of this!

jezzie said...

I don't use portfolios at this time, but these look great. I'd like to give it a try.



Michelle said...

I added a self-assessment in where the students fill out how they feel they are doing in school each quarter. Also a letter from the parents that they read to their student during SEP's

michann00 at gmail dot com

abcteacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abcteacher said...

Your ideas are truly motivating! I love using portfolios with my students and am excited to have new ideas to incorporate. I would love to win a copy of your portfolio! I have my students put their technology projects ( animal informative brochure, bio cube, poetry book of original poems, original puppet play script along with a photo of their puppets and them, etc.) in their portfolio as well. At the end of the year, we also like to include a S.E.P. self evaluation and goal sheet from each conference, as well as a page that has a photo of the student from the beginning of the year and the end of the year - along with a comparison showing how they have changed (physically, academically, and socially. Thank you for sharing your ideas!

Emily said...

I have used portfolios every year for my nine years of teaching and of course they change a little each year. In my portfolios I include a lot of the same things you do but I also include our animal reports and a class photo from the first day and last week of school.
I love all the new ideas that you have shared and would love to win a copy!!

Kelly Miller said...

These look great! So organized. I would love these as a parent too. I haven't tried portfolios in my classroom yet, but it's a great idea!

Anne Holmberg said...

Wowzers, this is amazing! I've always wanted to start portfolios, but never knew where to start. This is amazing! I know parents would love this and I would be thrilled if my daughter brought one of these home some day!

Io would love to include first day photos and maybe a writing sample for their name and letters.

You are so creative!

Tigger12 said...

I love your idea of a portfolio because it seems so much more balanced than some I have seen. Perhaps you might think of adding some photos throughout the year like a timeline. Also I thought about the recording the students reading beginning, middle, and end, so they could hear their improvement and keep the memory.
I would love to try this out and I think I will. Thanks for the great ideas! Donna Bastock

Cherie said...

We let the students choose/select work that they have done for each Unit of Inquiry, let them decorate the cover of their portfolio and show them to their parents at the end of each semester.


Unknown said...

I love your portfolio idea. It is so neat and so organized. I would add a self portrait at the end of the year also to show what they have learned in art. I also would have them illustrate their stories. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Im new this year to second grade but I can tell you what I did the last couple of years in 4th. We had student Data Binders. The binders were seperated by Testing which included (FCAT/FAIR prior year scores), behavior, Writing, Reading, Math, Math Frenzies,and a calender in which the student marked in red the date he didnt do his HW. All areas included goals...the how...the by when and the what. It was really intresting because it was all student lead. As we tested they would input their weekly test in a chart. When parent teacher night takes place student leads the confernce and you would have little to say. We even created invitations. One year I had 85% of my parents come. Truly an experience when the heat is on the student.
But yours is so great it reminds me of Moose Notebooks always wanted to do...
Your work is great:)

Alyssa said...

I include self portraits in their portfolios. I have them draw themselves in each season.

Snowfalls said...

This is awesome! I have been using folders, but I like the idea of binders. I also like the activities you have created for check ups for each month- so great. I usually include a writing sample, some math from the end of a unit and any special project that we may have worked on in Socials and Science. This year I was thinking of adding a picture or a class picture and possibly a sheet with new words that they learned that month.
Thanks for the opportunity to win this package.