Well, this is what I am calling them at least but I don’t believe that they are truly a portfolio in the truest meaning of the word. The students are not choosing what goes into them and truth be told, I am not sure that the students even understand what exactly they are. In my classroom, I have created a portfolio of sorts for each child and in the portfolio I have room for different examples of the students work throughout the year. There are five different section in the portfolio: printing, drawing, math, crafts and projects. Each section is differentiated but a title page and a poem that are on different coloured paper.
by Chris Yarzab
Here is the dilemma that I am having with myself. Do I use this portfolio as I did last year or do I change the purpose of it this year? Last year, because I started the year half-way through, I used the portfolio as more of a keepsake for the parents. There were not many parents that knew that I had been keeping this up during the school year and even less who knew what would be included in the portfolio. On the last day of school, I had the parents in and the children did a little presentation for them and then I presented each child with their portfolio. The children were all very proud to show their parents their work and it was a good way for the parents to see how their child had progressed (or not progressed in some situations) from January to June. The parents were all very supportive and thoroughly enjoyed their child’s portfolio. However, this year, I have the chance to use this as more of a tool to show the parents where their child is at the time of Parent/Teacher interviews. I would like to show the parents some examples of their child’s work so that they can see what we have been doing in class and also so that they can see where their child is starting out. This way at the end of the school year, when they look at the completed version of the portfolio they will be able to see how far their child has come in one school year.
How do you use portfolio’s in primary classrooms? Do you let the children help decide what is included in the portfolio or is it basically your choice what is included? Do you let the parents see them whenever they want or do you keep them for the end of the year? I feel as if I should also explain that in my School Division, French Immersion Kindergarten classes do not have report cards the first term. So this portfolio, of sorts, is a good way to show the parents how their child is meeting different objectives in the classroom. We do have Interviews, but the information that we tell the parents comes mostly from the testing that we do in early November.