A child’s portfolio is a look back on their school year in your classroom. The portfolio is designed to document the child’s educational journey that displays key pieces of work and the child’s progress to show parents and others to be informative and educational. Portfolios help you begin to construct a well-rounded and authentic picture of each child so you are better able to plan your program to build on individualized strengths and support each child’s growth in all developmental areas, so you’ll need examples other than concrete products.
As you review your learning environment select a space that will be used to store the portfolios. An individual notebook can be used with children’s work in clear sheet protectors and table of content (other storage items for collection that can be used are individual oversize file folders, pocket folders, accordion files). The children’s work is placed in chronological order with date and dictation from child if required. Clear sheet protectors can be used so children and parents can flip through their book to look at photos and work. The notebooks have clear covers with a photo of the child in the front sleeve. While thinking about what to collect try “Work Sampling” that has four types of samples collected for each child: notes, matrices, samples (photos of the children’s work), and photos (photos of the children in action).
Include anecdotal notes, photographs, art, stories, and other samples of children’s work in the portfolio. You can take photos of children building with blocks, participating in science explorations, dramatic play, pretend-reading a story, and so forth with an attached page describing what the child was doing, direction quotations of things done while engaging in the activities. Photos of artwork or other projects that are too large or bulky can be included in the portfolio. For the work that is placed in the portfolio write the “objective” so parents and others viewing will know the purpose of the activity. Helpful hint: Print labels with the objectives on them and stick them to the back of the paper. The objective labels can be used as a list of product samples need to be added to the portfolio and which children were absent when a sample was completed. Remember to develop a plan on when and how you will record information from observations. As part of your weekly planning time, decide on what will be focused on to record. For example, decide to observe two or three children (same group for the week) or a specific developmental area (e.g., fine motor, math). An option to assist in recording documentation you may want to color-code index cards. Through designating a color for each developmental area you’re assessing it will assist when you go back to write recordings for portfolio.
Keep in mind that the portfolio should include products collected from the domain areas (e.g., fine motor, large motor, literacy, math, science, art). Assessments used by the program (e.g., checklist, rating scales) and anecdotal recordings related back to objectives.
The portfolios can be used during parent conferences to show what children have accomplished. In addition, use them to fill out progress reports, if required. View the slideshow for verbal display of child’s work posted in portfolio.
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