Sunday, August 29, 2010

Save or Toss?

View Binder Makeover
A question I hear from parents every year is, "What do I do with all of this stuff?" Throughout the year, you may wonder what to keep and what to toss. I say we address this now. My advice? Use portfolios!

One of the most useful ways to document your student’s progress is to create two portfolios - one for Writing and another for Favorite Projects. A portfolio could be in the form of a binder, a large album or a scrapbook. Large view binders are my favorite, because you can personalize the cover with scrapbook paper and a title (left). You can also add clear plastic sheet protectors inside to hold odd-sized pages.

Writing Portfolio: Whether you are a kindergartener or an 8th grader, it is important to store your writing in a portfolio. Every piece of writing can go into the portfolio (even if it was a quick write or rough draft). Keep everything in order by date and you will be amazed at your student’s progress over time! 

Favorite Projects: Have your students choose their favorite lessons and projects as you go through the year. If they want to keep EVERY project, put them in a bin and revisit them at the end of the school year. Fun things to include are:
  • Exceptional or favorite pieces of work 
  • Notes about your student's progress and experiences 
  • Photographs of your student performing science experiments and other fun lessons
  • Photographs from educational outings and family trips
  • Photographs or scanned images of completed projects
Students will enjoy sharing their portfolios with family and friends. They also serve as a memory book of the year. Many of my former students (who are now in their twenties!) have told me that they still enjoy looking through their portfolios from elementary school!

Do you have a nifty way of saving student work? What do you save and what do you toss? Please share it with the rest of us by leaving a comment!

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