Writer’s Note: Since I live in West Virginia, an annual assessment is required as well as the Notice of Intent mentioned below. My portfolio was created to meet those requirements as well as be a keepsake of my child’s school year.
This was my first year creating a portfolio…EVER. I spent many hours searching online for a portfolio which would fit my active lifestyle. Personally, I was not happy with anything I found. All the examples were either too complicated or didn’t provide enough how-to pictures or instructions. I wanted something simple, straightforward, and something which wouldn’t take me FOREVER to put together! So, I gathered the different pieces from those I liked and created my own portfolio style!
So let’s break it down:
Gather the Supplies: notebook, plastic sheet protectors, index tabs, paper, computer/printer (optional)
Step 1: First and foremost, find out what your portfolio evaluator requires! I began this process thinking I needed to include examples of almost ALL my child’s work and was pleasantly surprised how little I actually needed. Now, of course, still wanting to be on the cautious side (and being a proud parent) I still included a larger amount than was required. 😉
Step 2: Choose a sturdy binder and a package of sheet protectors. I bought a nice 3 inch binder on Amazon and chose clear heavyweight sheet protectors. The sheet protectors will keep each entry of the child’s work safe and give the entire portfolio a clean look.
Step 3: Design a cover page and spine insert for the binder. I did this easily in Microsoft Publisher – my go to program for designing pretty much everything in the portfolio!
Step 4: Create a Table of Contents page to give order to the portfolio.
Step 5: I chose to include an All About Me page. This would be optional, but since my plan is for the portfolio to also be a keepsake, I wanted to add some “remembrance” items for future years.
Step 6: I made a copy of my Notice of Intent to the school board and added it next.
Step 7: Print out or neatly write the labels for the dividers (which I also bought on Amazon). Big tip – Make sure you buy dividers that are extra wide, otherwise, the tabs do not stick out past the sheet protectors!! Each entry under the Table of Contents will have a divider.
Step 8: Create a Subject/Objectives Page for each divider. When I was trying to create these, I could not find good examples of what to actually include. So basically, I just listed the books/resources we used and the topics which would be or had been covered/learned for each subject. For most subjects, I could use the chapter titles in the textbook or the Table of Contents to obtain subject objectives.
Step 9: Start loading the binder with examples of your child’s work! And no, every example does not need to have a perfect grade! Include worksheets, tests, pictures of projects/experiments, field trips, etc. Here are some different examples of things I choose to include:
Above – I made a Science Experiments tab and created a different section for each topic we covered. I created all my picture pages in Microsoft Publisher – no cutting and pasting physical pictures! Being able to print all the pictures directly onto paper was a huge time saver – thank you modern technology!!
I combined art and music into one section. I took pictures of “Thing 1” practicing the piano and included music practice charts. I also combined all his drawings from art class throughout the year into a spiral bound book and just placed it in the section.
“Thing 1” created a cover for his art book. I laminated the front and back pages and bound it with a comb binding machine. It looks so professional!
You can easily create a portfolio throughout the year adding items as you go or procrastinate like I did and throw it all together at the end of the school year! 😛
I did keep all “Thing 1’s” worksheets in other subject labeled 2-3 inch binders and sheet protectors. This made it easy to quickly flip through them and pull out the pages I wanted to include in the finished portfolio.
And that’s about it! Again – everyone is different – this is just what worked for me. Please feel free to leave suggestions or comments below!