Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Using Portfolios in the Primary Classroom

As an IB school, we are required to have the students keep a portfolio that they use to reflect on each of our transdisciplinary units. At our school, the students start their portfolio in kindergarten and it follows them until they get to 5th grade. 
This is our third year doing portfolios. Our first year I created the framework for what I wanted mine to look like... Of course, keeping up with it was a whole different story! 
But its a new year and I have new goals for making sure we keep up with it better! :)

Here is what our portfolios look like...

The Cover... 
Some kindergarten teachers use the pages I made, so I am excited that the kids will have a cute self portrait from kindergarten follow them all the way to 5th grade!

Table of Contents...

We have areas in our Portfolio for our 6 Transdisciplinary themes, Learner Profile, and Action/Student Choice. I've made some blank editable pages for those who are not an IB school too! You can choose what ever areas you want!

The trickiest part of portfolios is keeping up with the work that can potentially go in the portfolio. 
I usually have my kids keep an inquiry folder and we store work in there for each unit then at the end of the unit I let them pick a piece of work that they want to add. This first time around I don't give them as much choice because we are building the routines so I gave them the summative assessment and we all reflected on that.

Reflection Choices:
I give my kids three choices
1. I enjoyed this
2. I learned
3. It was difficult. 

Even though it is some times hard to read what these first graders write as their reflection, I really want them to write about it. If they just put a happy or sad face, they are just hitting the surface. I want them to start thinking about the WHY. 

Now remember... this was our very FIRST reflection... First graders are still learning what it means to reflect, so whatever they write down, I will take! :) 
As the year goes on, I will encourage the kids to go a little deeper and work to pull more out of them. 

At this point, I want them to get used to looking at their work, 
reflecting on how they felt about it, 
and trying to express why they thought that.

Our first year doing portfolios we didn't even start them until the middle of the year. 
Last year, we were reflecting on pieces of work from two or three units ago and doing multiple ones at the same time...NOT okay!I knew this year had to be different!

Goals for this year:
I hope that at the end of each unit our choices and reflections will deepen. 
I really want the students to be proud of their portfolios and be able to self-assess their work. 
I don't want it to be a chore or a hassle. 
I would love for my students to share their work with their parents at the end of the year. 
The last two years, I don't think my parents even knew these existed! 
We are off to a great start with our portfolios, I hope that we can keep it up! :)

You can get the portfolio page for FREE at my TPT store! Go check them out! Several pages are editable, including the cover, table of contents, and spines for the binders (I put their names on them).
Click on the picture to find it at my store!

1 comment:

  1. So happy to have discovered your blog! This is the 2nd year that my kids are in an IB school (one in kindergarten and another one in 2nd grade). They have portfolio sharing sessions (student-led) at the end of each unit of inquiry. I love the reflection choices you give to your kids!


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