Thursday, February 26, 2015

Students Create Showcase Portfolios

Students showcase portfolio will be led by this packet of guiding papers.
Today and tomorrow students will create their showcase portfolios in preparation for next week's family-student-teacher(s) conferences.

What is a showcase portfolio?

A showcase portfolio is a small online or offline collection of learning endeavor results that demonstrates an individual's learning highlights. The showcase portfolio tells the story of a learner's experiences, efforts, and mindset.

I have used both online and offline portfolios with students, and at this time, I prefer the offline showcase portfolio for fifth grade due to the fact that the ability to touch and manipulate the binder like a hand-held book seems to impact the students more than the online portfolio. Students will pull from their online collections of writing and projects, in part, to create this offline showcase portfolio.

What will the showcase portfolio include?

This year the showcase portfolios will include the following components:
  • A beautiful cover
  • A personal reflection
  • Writing samples
  • Reading work and/or book lists
  • Math Assessments
  • Project Work
  • Images and explanations of special events
  • A happiness survey
The paper and images will be placed in clear sleeves which both protects and gives the work a special quality.

What is the rationale for creating showcase portfolios?

As I present this effort to students this morning, I will tell them that it's important to step back and make the time to think about your overall learning as that kind of reflection helps you to recognize your strengths, interests, needs, and goals. I will also say that creating a showcase portfolio is a reflection exercise and reflection exercises help us to know who we are which in turn help us to make good decisions for our lives.  In addition, I'll add that a showcase portfolio is also a chance to show off your more wonderful work and goals. I'll share my online portfolio as an example, and go through the pages explaining my organization and choices briefly. I'll invite them to create an online portfolio as well if they're interested. We're a Google school and they know how to use sites so they can easily do that. 

What is the showcase portfolio process?

We'll review the showcase packet which will lead their work. I will allow students to deviate from the packet format if they'd like by creating a more creative cover, adding a letter or story about their learning, and including work that is not listed on the packet list.

Students will house their fine work in one-inch showcase binders.

I will coach the process, edit their writing, and help them as they create these important 5th grade books.

Then, next week, students will have the chance to share their portfolios with family members and teachers. I'll look forward to their share during those conferences.