
Re: Portfolios
Posted:
Dec 3, 1998 10:47 AM


On 24 Nov 98, Carol M. wrote re. Portfolios:
> I'm a first grade teacher who is new to Investigations and to portfolio assessment. Portfolios seem like a great idea for older children, but does it really work for 6 and 7 yearolds? >It's easy to collect math work for portfolios but I'm not sure what items are best to collect and then the big question is: once it's collected, how do I assess it? Also, can first grade children really help with choosing the items? > > Thanks, > Carol > > Carol, I believe that some investigations lend themselves to collecting and assessing more so than others. Selecting specific investigations to target as work samples to save in a portfolio takes some experience with the materials. Which unit are you currently teaching? Perhaps some other teachers will have some thoughts regarding this question. One of the means to assess the work is to look at the assessment focus questions that are included with many of the investigations. These questions provide guidance with regard to the learning outcomes for each lesson. At the beginning of each investigation the Mathematical Emphasis also offers expectations for student performance. Comparing student work with a colleague is a terrific way to determine if the students are "getting it." With or without a colleague present, a teacher can sort the work into 3 or 4 piles based upon the criteria established in the assessment questions. After a few times of sorting student work in this manner it will become more clear to teachers which students seem to display an understanding of the concepts on a regular basis and which students require additional support. Can first grade students help in the decision making process? Perhaps not all students will have the same big picture approach to what "good work" looks like, yet the goal is a valid one. Students will learn to assess the quality of their work if they are asked to do so. If they are not asked, they may not pause to reflect upon their performance. The fact is that the teacher will have the final word on the contents of the portfolio. However, it is a valuable experience to ask students to begin thinking about the quality of their work. >

