My own process of
Rather than ME selecting work I thought students should keep, I slowly began having my kids look periodically at their work and select pieces THEY wanted to remember. Although at first they chose only the pieces with good grades, I encouraged them to select not only their favorite pieces (ie. the work they got good grades on), but also to choose work they did not do well on, so then they could later add an evidence of the same concept they mastered! This really freed up the need for perfectionism and instead, focused on growth.
We eventually moved from haphazardly identifying our strengths and selecting our goals into a more organized format. (Thank goodness!) Now that my students are looking at their work on a regular basis, it is simple to recognize their own strengths and areas to improve. They write these strengths as 3 Pluses and then select one area for improvement. I always emphasize choosing only 1 goal that will help students overall. (This way, it is attainable.) At first, children will want to focus on goals such as, “I want to get all 4’s”, but gently guide them toward more meaningful and realistic learning goals. Then parents and you, the teacher, will also write the child’s strengths and a goal. (More details about this in the next post: student-led conferences.)
Similarly, when teaching how to write goals, we practice writing specific goals to help with that same curricular content. Your students will want to write, “Next time I want to write neater.” or “Next time I want to spell better.” It will take constant modeling of appropriate (and redirecting) goals that actually have to do with the content.
I’ve compiled all the forms needed for Student Portfolios here. I hope it is helpful in getting you started!