Sunday, January 18, 2015

Getting Ready for Student Portfolio Season

The new year has come and gone.  Many people are getting ready to celebrate the 100th day of school.  Some may even be using my 100th Day Centers to celebrate!  Before we know it, the end of the year will be upon us and we’ll be saying to ourselves – “Oh wait, weren’t we supposed to create portfolios this year?”  Now is the time to sit down and create a plan so that you are able to create those portfolios before it’s too late.


6 Steps to Creating and Presenting Online Portfolios - Online Portfolios - Steps and Directions from Raki's Rad Resource

Here are the steps I used when creating my online portfolios with my students:

1.) Plan out what information will need to be included in each portfolio.  For example, my students always included on writing piece from each genre of writing (narrative, informational, persuasive, responsive to literature and poetry).  The writing pieces could be blog posts, storybird books, journal entries or essays we wrote in class.

2.) Share this information with your students as early in the year as you can, so that they can start thinking about which pieces and projects will be included in their portfolio.  Stress to them that portfolios showcase the best of their work.  Online Portfolios - Steps and Directions from Raki's Rad ResourcesSince they want many pieces to choose from, they should try to complete each project to the best of their ability.

3.)  5 to 7 weeks BEFORE you want portfolios published, let students begin reflecting on the year’s learning.  I had my students reflect on each subject and write out what they had learned and what their favorite part had been of each subject they reflected on.  This writing was the basis of their online portfolio, but it also provided time to truly reflect on the learning and activities that had happened that year.

4.)  3 to 5 weeks BEFORE you want portfolios published, let students begin choosing projects and pieces that they want to include in their portfolio.  Give students any specific guidelines for the pieces they want to include.  Encourage students to decide at this time HOW they will include these pieces and projects in their portfolios.  In the case of an online portfolio, my students uploaded photographs and videos of tangible projects – like dioramas and presentations.  They also included links to online projects – online posters, videos, blog posts, etc.

5.) 2 to 3 weeks BEFORE you want portfolios published, begin conferencing and editing with students.  Talk to students about what you think about their portfolios, what they might add or take away, help them to make this a true presentation of themselves.

6.)  Once students are ready to publish, invite parents in – either in small groups, or as a whole – perhaps in a computer lab if you aren’t in a one to one situation – and allow students to present their portfolios to their parents.  If you are using a student-led conference model, this provides you with a great format for presentation.

Available in my Online Portfolio Starter Kit is: three different levels of planning sheets, step by step technology tutorials for students and step by step directions for teachers. 

What type of portfolios are being done in your school?

Heidi Raki of Raki's Rad Resources