Time for Reflection

The last week of school is a great opportunity for reflection. It is a good winding-down exercise that the students can enjoy. In my grade 5/6 class I am currently leading the students through the steps of creating a Portfolio of their work. This is what we are doing:

– last week, we handed out all the work that I had saved through the year in various folders for assessments/interviews (such as math tests that were returned after being signed, displayed writing pieces, art work, individual goals).

– each student had a large pile of accumulated work to sort through on their desk. As they sorted I listened to their recollections and delights as they discussed their work with their peers.

– I provided each student with a folder and instructions to select 2-3 pieces to represent math, language, art and any other subjects that they wanted to represent.

– then they were encouraged to create a table of contents for their work, and write a reflection on why they chose the pieces that they did.

– now they are assembling and decorating their folders as they choose. Some students have stapled their work in, while others have used holes and ribbon to create a book.

– in the next few days we plan to do a gallery walk and the students can share their portfolios with others in the class.

This exercise in reflection has provided students with direction and time to reflect on their own progress and success. Every student has been engaged and interested in creating their own personal portfolio. It has also encouraged them to take pride in their work and take home at least one folder, rather than making the rash decision to recycle their work before it even makes it home. It also provides a vehicle to share the work with their families.


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