Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Kindergarten Portfolios 2008
Teachers keep three different kinds of portfolios in kindergarten. They keep a works-in-process folder for each child. In Kindergarten this is a vinyl folder with clear pockets that includes an insert of pictures worked on as a family project to give the child a menu of things to write about that he cares about. It also includes the current work of each student.Teachers also keep cumulative folders that include ALL of the child's work. Some teachers keep these in a file drawer (above) and other teachers keep them in an open crate in the classroom. At specific times during each nine weeks, usually at the end of a writing unit, the teacher encourages each child to go through her folder and choose things to keep. The teacher then transfers the "keepers" into the cumulative file. In earlier years we kept every single piece of paper that a child wrote in Kindergarten, but now we clean out these folders on a regular basis, keeping several sample pieces that represent the student's writing for that period of time. The reason we went to this system is simple. Keeping every single piece of paper just meant bulky, messy folders so now we send home a few of the pieces and keep a few.
The final type of folder that teachers keep is the final portfolio. This is kept in an orange folder that is put in the cum folder at the end of the year for each student.
In writing we keep a single sample for each of the genres of writing: Narrative, Information/ Report, Functional/"How to" procedures, and Response-to-literature. In addition the final portfolio includes three pieces - one from the beginning, one from the middle and one from the end of the school year to document work over time. In reading we file an in-house assessment profile and a graph of the child's reading levels. In Math we simply keep the scores of the beginning, middle and end of year internal assessment scores.
Each grade level has an agreed upon list of items that go in the child's portfolio at the end of the year. This information informs next year's teacher and provides a history of the child as they move through the school. In the fifth grade the entire orange portfolio file is sent home and provides a keepsake for the child of their growth through their elementary years.