Here's a quick peek at mine.
Throughout the year, I compile the children's written work in these accordion-style folders. With a tab for each subject, they make a handy spot to stash things away for more concentrated organization at the end of the year. You'll notice the very intentional color choices for the accordion files. Once again, an example of how I color-code our school day.
Once I am ready to sit down and actually create our portfolio, I look through all of these work pages...math sheets, spelling tests, creative writing assignments, handwriting practice pages, etc....and select one sample of each from the beginning of the year, the middle of the year, and the end of the year. I can choose to be very purposeful in my selection...to save a writing project that was particularly important or special...or just randomly choose three pages. The point is, I choose a few samples from EACH subject in order to clearly show progress from the beginning to the end of the year.
I can then feel COMPLETELY free to toss the rest. As I mentioned earlier, it would be impossible to save every page my children ever finish.
Then comes the portfolio...I use a 3-ring binder with divider tabs to organize the work from all my children...an accordion file, file folders, or banker's box would work just as well.
I had hopes, long ago, of making a binder for each one of my children every year, but as I now have five kids, the logistics of finding space to store five new binders each spring would be impossible. Plus, we do much of our studies together, so the binder inserts would get a little redundant.
I divide the portfolio into the following sections:
1. A complete list of subjects we have done together as a group...Bible, history, science, art, etc. I note every book that we have used for that subject. Since our history curriculum consists of dozens and dozens of "real life" books, I just note the bibliography info of the curriculum guide on the main bibliography page and then list the books on a separate sheet. I keep a running list of these historical books all year long, print it off in the spring, and add it to the binder.
2. A photocopy of the Table of Contents page of any encyclopedic type books that we have read portions from. I highlight the sections that we completed.
3. A list of all the read alouds that we enjoyed together. Again, I keep a running list on my computer all year long so that I can just print it out when I am compiling the binder.
1. A field trip form that details where we went, when we went, contact info, and a brief synopsis of what we did there.
2. A clear plastic sleeve to keep any ticket stubs, brochures, printables from the field trip locations as proof of our visit.
3. Photo sleeves to display pictures of our field trip. The last few years, it has been easier just to put them all on a disk and toss it in with the tickets and pamphlets. Either way, pictures are great "proofs" and a nice way to remember the great travels we took together.
1. A list of all non-book, non-worksheet related studies such as youtube videos we watched, audio programs we listened to, science projects we completed, etc. I make sure to record the date and a short description (3-4 words) of each project.
2. Photo sleeves or a CD of pictures of our completed projects. For lack of space, we cannot keep them all, but the pictures help to retain the memory.
1. A hard copy of our co-op schedule that lists our basic units of study/book club lists for the year.
2. If we happen to do a group skit or performance at the end-of-the-year spring program, I include a copy of the script.
3. Photographs or photo CD of co-op pictures from the year.
1. Divider tabs for each child.
2. A bibliography page for the books that each individual uses for subjects like math, language, phonics, etc.
3. A copy of the Table of Contents of encyclopedic-type books that each child read only portions from. I highlight the sections that he/she read.
4. Three individual work samples from each subject.
5. A clear plastic sleeve to hold any awards/certificates that each child earned throughout the year from church, piano lessons, community sports, county fair, etc.
1. A large manilla envelope that holds any small projects that can not be hole-punched but were deemed "save worthy"...lapbooks, journals, mini books, etc.
A Final Word
I label the spine of each binder with the school year, the initials of each child included, and the grade levels of each.
So, that about sums up our annual portfolio assessment binders. Other items/topics that could someday find their way into our binders include:
Report Cards/Highschool Credits
Apprenticeship Hour Log
Annual Achievement Test Scores (I currently keep these elsewhere.)
For more information in creating an annual portfolio take a look at these additional resources.