Student Portfolios

Creating Portfolio Memory Keepsakes

A portfolio is a sampling of information relating to a child’s developmental progress in a school (or home) setting. Portfolios contain work samples that are representative of where a child is at a particular time. It clearly shows development as it continues throughout the school year. A portfolio is an effective assessment tool that authentically documents a child’s progress and serves as a great reporting tool as well.

I have used portfolios for over two decades. They have not only proven to be effective assessment tools, but I have found them to be very popular with parents and students alike. Furthermore, they continue to be loved throughout the years. (I have had students graduating from college bring them back for me to sign!)

Memory books are also a great tool to keep “favorite” school memories alive. We have merged the memory book idea and included it as part of the portfolio system. This keeps the documentation of student growth fun and interesting to the student along the way.

If you are interested in a step-by-step "How-To" on setting up a portfolio, you might want to read more here.


Using a Portfolio Template


We offer two portfolio products that have been built for flexibility!

There are seven choices of portfolio covers and binder end tags provided for all grades -- Preschool, Pre-K, K and 1st. There are color and black and white options included. 

The product is divided into sections: Beginning of the year essentials, month by month work samples, pages to use throughout the year to document memories, and an end of the year section. 

We extend this basic portfolio template by including math and science work samples.

Using these two products in tandem, adding photo pages such as the ones below (I add about 2 a month), you will have a treasure for your students to take home at the end of the school year.


These portfolio helps are available at our Teachers Pay Teachers Store by clicking on the product covers below, or you may purchase them at the bottom of the page here, at our Squarespace store. For more information on portfolios, you can listen to our podcast episode!

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Portfolios: Authentic Assessment

Do you use portfolios? 

A portfolio is a great way to collect and save work throughout the year. It provides parents, teachers, and even students with a tool for assessment. It also serves as a wonderful keepsake of the kindergarten year.

What goes in a portfolio? You can include anything that you consider important. Some suggestions include writing samples, recordings of science experiments, and art or construct projects. Include a variety of other work such as periodic handwriting and math work pages to show the scope of your curriculum. To round out your portfolio, add a few photos. You may even want to include copies of report cards or testing results.

If you haven’t started collecting items for a portfolio this year, it’s still not too late to begin. Start simply, saving one or two selections each month. Collate the pages, punch holes in them, and place in a 3-prong folder. If you save three or more samples each month, you will need a binder for each student.


Students and parents will enjoy looking through the portfolios. They can show growth while preserving memories of the year. For ideas and templates, check out these products:

   

Creating a Kindergarten Portfolio

A portfolio is the most authentic way to assess the growth and development of students.

Additionally, adding photos and memories to the portfolio make it a priceless keepsake!

If you haven't used portfolios before, or you feel like you could use some help with organization and/or production, here are a few tips.

I have tried portfolios in many different formats from dime-folders to digital masterpieces. I have found the binder style to be the most productive, easy to manage, and easy to store. I use these binders that I buy on Amazon. I have had students bring their own binders, but I like the binders to be uniform.
I like the Clear-View binders so that I can add a Cover and Endplate with the student's picture to make finding each binder an easy task. And they look professional and purposeful.
 The most important thing to keep yourself organized and on top of portfolios is finding the storage area before you begin. Plan to keep the portfolios in reach of students. (Even though I am the only one that adds pages, I have students bring the books to me and return on their own).

Also. don't get behind!!! I add the pages for the month at the end of the month.
                                     
If you are printing your own photos on copy machines in either color or black and white, invest in quality paper for those pages. I have found that paper makes all the difference. If I use the heavier weight paper, I use less ink.
If you are printing and then mounting photos, Shutterfly and other on-line photo processing areas offer many great discounts. Then for mounting, you MUST have the Scotch ATG gun. Using this tape  gun will keep everything secure! No more wasted time remounting photos!

If you have access to a color printer, the photos can be easily printed as a full sheet. I print a few of my pages at school, but I print the majority at home on my HP printer. The most important time-saver tip in printing, is to print the pictures ready to put in portfolios. I even organize my photos alphabetically by first name so they will come out of the printer collated, ready to slip in the portfolios.

 Start the year right! Take a picture at orientation, or on your first day. (I use the same photo to crop for the helper chart, dictionary, desks, etc).
Then, take your photo and print as photograph, or design a page on iWork's, adobe, powerpoint, or etc. (Remember to organize the pages alphabetically before printing).
 Design (or, okay you can purchase mine) a monthly divider that has purpose. This divider will allow an authentic measure of handwriting growth monthly. I print the divider on a color that matches the mood of the month or season.

Continue the beginnings of your portfolio by adding one or two pages that represent beginning of the year memories. I love these two, a takeoff on Brown Bear and another on Pete the Cat.
 Next add some beginning of the year measures that will be also produced at the end of the year for full year growth comparison.
Add a beginning of the year work sample.
















Continue your portfolios by adding about 4-5 pages each month (A variety of photo memories, creative writing, work samples, etc). Think in terms of month when doing portfolios. Ask yourself, "What four (or more) pages will best reflect the month's learning in our classroom."

Here are a few of the pages I have used in the past.







Besides using journals, I try to place a minimum of two writing samples in the portfolio. I have found that parents love that everything is in one place, easy to store and preserve.


I also add a minimum of two art or other work samples each month.

 I add about four video samples yearly. I either add the video directly burned on a DVD, or on the page documenting the activity I add the link to a secure video on Vimeo, Youtube, etc.
 Be sure to have an end of the year section just as you had a beginning of the year section. It will keep the portfolios organized and bring the book to a feeling of completion.



You will love documenting your student's kindergarten year and providing a treasure to families. I actually had a couple of students bring their kindergarten portfolios for me to sign to celebrate their College Graduation! Yes, portfolios are worth it! 



Creating Portfolios


Student portfolios are simply a systematic collection of children's work that depicts samples of typical daily work, or areas of growth and development. This collection serves as a documentation of development and provides authentic assessment of growth over time. 


Here are my portfolio binders ready to go for my new kindergartners. I simply use a 1 1/2 inch clear-view binder, add an end sheet and a front cover in the clear view, and they are ready to accept children's artifacts.

I love portfolios, my students love portfolios and parents love portfolios! I had two graduating seniors visit me once with their Kindergarten Portfolios in tow. Consequently, I would venture to say that even their children will love portfolios.

I have a few portfolio helps that might help you get started if you are new to portfolios or wish to gain new ideas to enhance your portfolios.

  

Also, most of our units provide ideas for portfolio pages that will document learning during a certain theme.





Creating a Portfolio (Memory Book): Measuring Growth One Sample at a Time


A portfolio is a sampling of information relating to a child’s developmental progress in a school setting. A portfolio contains work samples that are representative of where a child is at a particular time. It clearly shows development as it continues throughout the school year. A portfolio is an effective assessment tool that authentically documents a child’s progress and serves as a great reporting tool as well.
We have used portfolios for about 15 years now. They have not only proven to be effective assessment tools, but we have also found them to be very popular with parents and students alike. Furthermore, they continue to be loved throughout the years.
Memory books are also a great tool to keep “favorite” school memories alive. We have merged the memory book idea and included it as part of the portfolio system.

Check out our Portfolio/Memory Book product at our on-line store. We know your students and parents will love it!


                     



This product has been built for your flexibility. There are portfolio covers and binder end tags provided for all grades Pre-K, K and 1st. There are also color or black and white options to run on colored tag, as colored ink is generally at a premium.
The product is then divided into sections: Beginning of the year essentials, month by month work samples, pages to use throughout the year to document memories, and an end of the year section. 
This summer, we will be adding other portfolio options. These will include adding math, science, art and more to this existing portfolio template. Also many of our units include portfolio suggestions.