Monday, May 16, 2011

Showcase Portfolio- A Valuable Tool for BOTH Teachers and Students

Teachers are taking time, in this last month of school, to interview their students regarding their growth as writers. Gone are the days of “Letter to the Reviewer”. Gone are the days of the “dreaded 4th grade portfolio” that is scored, filed, and never seen again. Gone are the days of student’s working a piece of writing to death.

Now, with our Showcase Portfolio, we welcome STUDENT Reflection in the form of a conversation or interview. It is there that students can share how they’ve grown—based on our OCS beliefs about writing. The boxes are small, but the information is powerful. It is in our Showcase Portfolios that students have CHOICE in selecting their entries that showcase them as writers. It is in this folder that new teachers gain insight about the students they will welcome into their classes in August. It is in this new Showcase Portfolio that we show (once again) how much we value our young writers’ thoughts, ideas, and products.

Deb Sullivan and Vicki Greenlee spoke about the reflective interview process (and Showcase Portfolio) this year. They commented that it’s going much easier because:

• We’ve become more comfortable and understand the purpose and process better

• We’ve used the language all year long with the kids (i.e. “This is writing to demonstrate your learning. Now, let’s reflect…Let’s take time to talk about…Good writers…”

• We’ve “interviewed” the kids and made it fun. They are not concerned about fishing for the “right” answer, but know we just want their reflective response.

• I’ve taken the time to really think about my notes because I know I’ll use them next year to relearn about each child. They will be a great reminder to me and good information for their new teacher.

• It’s going much faster- the kids are ready to respond to the questions.

Next Post: K/1 student reflections on What makes a good writer? You won't want to miss it!

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