As with many things in life, improvements happen progressively. Students begin the year with an assessment to show where they began the year. As the student learns and grows throughout the school year special care should be taken to show the improvements in a tangible way. There is a great way for teachers and parents to connect about how each student has progressed since the beginning of the school year. A student portfolio is an excellent progressive way to note improvement in a student’s work and comprehension of core subjects. These simple tips will aid teachers to prepare a portfolio for each student without taking too much time from an educator’s already busy schedule.
There are two different types of portfolios to select between a digital or paper portfolio. There are benefits of each type, for example, a digital portfolio is easy to maintain, quickly view, and can be shared virtually with a student’s parents. Traditional paper versions are kept in a folder where homework, assessments, tests, projects, and other relevant student materials can be added throughout the school year.
Teachers should begin the school year by creating a portfolio for each child. This can even be done before the first day of class, although the student roster does tend to change during the first month or so. Whichever version of a portfolio is selected preparing it early in the school year allows the most student information to be added over the course of the year.
Junior high and high school students are more mature than elementary students. Teachers of these grades sometimes like to give their students a year-long portfolio assignment as a self-assessment. This can also build maturity. In these cases, the student is responsible for collecting, categorizing, and analyzing their work from the school year. At the conclusion of the term, the student will be graded on their efforts rather than their improvements alone.
Mid-Year and End-of-Year Evaluations
Regardless of the age of the students, there are two times a year that it is best to check in on each student’s portfolio. Mid-year evaluation is pertinent to seeing areas where each student has progressed and areas of opportunity. Students completing their own portfolio should check in to not only ensuring that they have begun their project but to also offer guidance. End-of-Year evaluations show the student’s growth. Parents like to stay “in the know” with their students and want to be kept apprised of the progress and opportunities the portfolio demonstrates.
Gauging how a student progresses from the beginning of the school year to the middle and end is important. Students must learn and grow as the year progresses. Teachers can create a digital or paper portfolio for each student as a way to keep track of homework, tests, assessments, and projects. These items and the grades tell the story of how well the student is learning; a portfolio is a helpful tool.