Standards Based Portfolios in My Classroom
Welcome to my blog! I wanted to return with an update on how our standards-based portfolios are going. If you missed my initial post about this, you can check it out here.
First some facts about me: I teach 3rd grade in Virginia and my county is relatively new to standards based grading. I am departmentalized and even though I created standards based assessments for math and science standards as well, I only teach reading and social studies.
Changes I’ve Made Throughout the Year
We started our year with all assessments copied, hole-punched, and in binders for the kiddos. We learned quickly that our third graders are not gentle when they started ripping pages out of their binders by accident. We also got annoyed at having to send kids with their binders because I needed the reading/social studies assessments and my partner needed the math/science.
We came up with the genius idea of transferring the binder assessments into two prong folders and it has worked wonderfully! I keep the assessments I need in a folder in my room and my partner does the same with their math/science assessments. I am proud to say that we have had zero papers ripped out of the prong folders!
Another change I made was where I placed the stickers. Originally, I was going to place a sticker on the “Standards I’ve Mastered” grid when the students were done. I realized however, that just because a student finished didn’t mean that they mastered the skill. So, I started placing stickers on the front for completion. On the grid, I cross out the skill when they finish. An “X” in the space means they mastered the skill. A “/” in the space means they completed the page, but need reteaching and another opportunity to show mastery.
How I Incorporate the Assessments
In reading, I try to do one assessment a week, usually on a Friday. Monday and Tuesday are spent practicing the standard whole group, I typically make a poster of that week’s page so that students can get familiar with it as we fill it in together. Wednesday and Thursday are spent working with partners, small groups, or independently with informal feedback on the same standards page. I typically copy the page front/back so students get more practice. Friday is the day students respond independently on the weekly page in their folder and receive a grade. I will sometimes staple in a passage if the students used it to complete the page so that when we look back or share with parents, we have the text.
I have been loving the assessments for reading, because they are essentially graphic organizers, which means they leave a lot of room for modifications. For example, I can have all students complete the same page, but with a text on their level so that I am truly assessing the skill and not the readability. Another modification I’ve made is creating a bank of answers for them to choose from. For example, for the theme page below, we did a SCOOT activity. The students had to move to different table groups, read the fable, then select a theme/moral from a given list to add to their organizer.
In social studies, our folder assessments have replaced our unit tests. Let’s be honest, with all the testing we do, our kids do not need ANOTHER exam. My admin okay-ed us using the standards assessment pages instead, so student fill these in throughout the unit as they are learning the material.
In science, the assessments have been used as a center. Students are provided with resources such as websites, books, or passages, in case they need help completing the page during science centers.
In math, the pages have been used as end of unit review before the test. Based on results from the unit, struggling students are pulled into small groups to complete the pages with additional support.
There you have it!
I have received great feedback about the assessments, so I have been busy working on more. My heart is with reading, so of course I began there. Below is the list of standards based assessments I plan on completing. If the title is a clickable link, then I have already finished and it has been added to my Teachers Pay Teachers store.
VA SOL 3rd grade Social Studies
VA SOL 2nd grade Math
VA SOL 5th grade Reading
Talk to you soon,