At the beginning of each school year, ISA teachers are asked to plan the portfolio entries they hope to include in their course throughout the year. My document this year looked like this:
It’s now November. At our professional development meeting on an early dismissal day, we looked at portfolio entries (formerly called blog posts) together and gave warm and cool feedback on the assignments. I looked at a senior English piece, as well as a sophomore math task. One thing that impressed me was how the math teacher provided a fill-in-the-blank statement; when students filled in the blanks, using their own work as evidence, they were very strongly demonstrating the performance outcome. That is an excellent example of scaffolding, and I should adopt a similar strategy in my own portfolio entry assignments to tie the student work to the standard.
When I look at my August plan, nothing surprises me. I have done what I expected to do: have students set up their blog accounts, practice documenting service hours, write a blog about summer assignments, and another about Storytelling. One thing I have not done is implement a type of badge system for demonstrating proficiency in different areas. I got this idea from the South by Southwest Education conference. Edmodo uses a badge system, and we are using Edmodo right now, but I’d rather put the badges on the About page of their blog. All I would need to do is create an image and share it with the students that earn it. For example, there could be a Service Documentation badge, a Video Editing Badge, a Collaboration Badge, etc.
At the moment, students have turned in their Storytelling Blog Posts, but I have not yet graded them. It’s not too late to tweak them, if I need them to be more explicit about how their work connected to specific Performance Outcomes.