Calhoun Elementary School’s academic intervention specialist Kelli Kendrick says this is the idea behind a school wide student portfolio system this school year.
“These will help students track their progress from third through fifth grade and make them an active part of the learning process,” Kendrick said. “They are taking ownership of their ideas and learning what motivates them.”
The student portfolios are designed for students to work one-on-one with their teachers at school and follow their own progress in academics, attendance and behavior. There is a place for students to set goals in each of those areas.
Within the portfolio, each tab is color-coded into four areas of study: reading, English/language arts, math and social studies.
This section of the portfolio will hold a collection of student work representing a selection of performance-based tests. It will be used by teachers to help monitor the growth of a student, and can be shaded in by the student.
“We want to make it a true measure of what they learn in the classroom,” Kendrick said. “We want them to be challenged and to reach success.”
Tricia Waters, a third-grade teacher, said the portfolios have helped motivate her students.
“The kids love the portfolios. I have one that filled her reading log,” Waters said. “Some goals are too lofty, but I tell them that they can change them and still stay on target.”
Kendrick said the main purpose of the portfolios is for teachers to engage students, but teachers also use them to educate parents.
“Teachers have access to much more information than in the past. If a parent comes in, then we can show them what their absences are and all the other info,” Kendrick said.
“It’s a great place to share with them from year to year and see their education pick up.”
Parents will first see their child’s portfolio, which stays at school at all times, at the first parent-teacher conference in October.