Strategies and Tools
portfolio is a collection of student products and reflections gathered
over the course of Journey North studies. It typically features work
samples that show the range and progress of student thinking, understanding,
and problem-solving abilities. A portfolio can be a powerful instrument
for encouraging students to become more independent self-directed
Both you and your students can select items to include in the portfolio;
be sure to offer a rationale for why to include each item. Ask yourselves,
How can this help show growth and progress toward learning goals
(in science math, geography, and so on)?
maps or KWL charts
initial predictions and revised predictions along with explanations
for the revision.
responses to journaling and challenge questions
charts, graphs, and analysis of data
drawings, migration maps
examples of student work/recording sheets
summaries of ideas and opinions on issues that have been explored
definitions, concepts, and problem-solving processes written in
the students' own words
on using portfolios for assessment:
portfolios in the classroom and have students note the entry date
of each document placed in it. If a document is a product of group
work, list the names of all group members.
students explain what portfolio items reveal. Consider these options:
each student chooses one portfolio item (or a “before”
and “after” item) that shows evidence of his or her
progress toward learning goals (e.g., ability to make sense of graphs,
understanding of how adaptations help animals survive).
2.) Students put a sticky note on each portfolio item explaining
what it reveals about their thinking, skills, and progress toward
3.) Students write a cover letter or annotated list describing the
portfolios contents, why individual items were selected, and what
the portfolio reveals about their thinking, skills, and progress
toward learning goals.
each student to give you a tour through his or her portfolio. Ask
questions that prompt thinking and responses about their progress
toward learning goals.
checklists, rubrics, or informal notes as you read portfolios or
discuss them with students to assess what the collections reveal
about students’ progress toward learning goals.