Student Portfolios

Do you have a way of collecting student work throughout the year?

I reserve a drawer in my huge, ancient, crickety teacher desk where I have a hanging folder for each student - this becomes their "portfolio." Throughout the school year I place particularly meaningful assignments, creative projects, and important assessments in their "portfolio."

Sorry it's low quality - I blurred out the student names...but you get the idea of how the portfolio system works.

The parents absolutely LOVE these - it tracks the students' progress and shows their growth from September to June. At conferences, I just pull out the portfolio and show off some of their child's best work. I also put in anecdotal notes or important test scores that serve as talking points. 

The students know that I keep these and often come to me with something they're especially proud of and ask if it can be included in their portfolios. 

At the end of the year, I write a note to each student and add it to their file. I pass out blank file folders to the students and have them decorate them with pictures and words that describe their feelings about 5th grade (hopefully positive!). I then collect the folders and transfer all of the documents in their portfolio to the folder and stick a big rubber band around the whole thing (they get quite fat!).The last couple days of school, I hand out the portfolios and have the students reflect on how far they've come in 5th grade. They choose the piece (or two) that they are most proud of and get to share it with the class. It's an awesome tool in helping them be reflective learners. 
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