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BCPS Writing Portfolios

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What is a writing portfolio?
Purpose of a writing portfolio
Managing the BCPS Writing Portfolio
Roles in Portfolio Evaluation
Scope & Sequence/Expectations

What is a writing portfolio?
Most teachers are familiar with composition folders which are containers for student writing. By design they are used to document and store the completed writing experiences for a year, but they may also include partially completed writings, or “best draft” writings. In some cases, composition folders move with students to the next grade level, and to a degree a teacher may use the container as a means of reflection by having students analyze their writing. Writing portfolios are not storage containers. Their purpose exists as a tool to help students reflect on their evolution as writers (See Writers INC, 35). Through journaling, letter-writing, and skill inventories students can reflect about their performance as writers.
  • What are their strengths?
  • What are their weaknesses?
  • Have they demonstrated growth during a quarter?
  • Have they achieved the goals specified in the writing program?

Resources:

  • Writers INC, 35
What is the purpose of a writing portfolio?
Portfolios are an opportunity to celebrate student growth. This may be accomplished through:
  • face-to-face student/teacher conferences
  • teacher-review or peer-review
  • parent/student reviews
  • a class presentation of writing
  • a formal presentation of folders to a specified audience

Some schools celebrate student writing in a manner that is similar to a science fair. Students select the pieces of writing that are most representative of their growth during a year. These pieces are displayed, and students discuss their growth in writing with invitees.

How can teachers manage the BCPS Writing Portfolio?
Schools should handle portfolios in a way that supports the academic growth of well-rounded, 21st Century students. Interdisciplinary portfolios are excellent tools for showing a student’s growth in writing across disciplines . Organization may vary due to the grade-level and scheduling of the English course , the goals of the class or of the individual student, and the mode of composition products available for inclusion. See Resource Sheet: “Scope and Sequence of BCPS Writing Portfolio expectations,” which outlines the scope and sequence of writing portfolio expectations for English and Language Arts classes. Typically, in a year-long class, a teacher assigns composing experiences from a required list of county-wide curriculum activities, and students complete an average of two lengthy composing experiences per quarter. A composition folder may be used to store writing, but a portfolio should represent a student’s evolution as a writer. Writing portfolios may include artifacts such as:
  • example illustrating a student’s process writing
  • one-act play
  • weblog or discussion post
  • research notes
  • concept (mind) map or other organizational strategy
  • quick write or other brainstorming activity
  • Cornell notes or other active note-taking strategy
  • learning log
  • metacognitive journal
  • letter
  • vocabulary map (tree)
  • television broadcast, commercial, or other film
  • Web 2.0 presentation

Resources:

  • Using PBWorks for the BCPS Writing Portfolio
  • Writers INC, 38-39 and 129
  • Managing the BCPS Writing Portfolio in Various Schedule Contexts
  • Portfolio Writings Worksheet
What are the roles of a teacher and a student in evaluating a writing portfolio?

A portfolio is a powerful tool if students use it to reflect on their growth as writers as well as the effectiveness of each artifact in the portfolio . Grading procedures may vary, but teachers should give credit for completeness as well as student reflection included in the portfolio. A grade-level or school leadership team may consider integrating the writing portfolio into a capstone assessment. Most successful portfolios divide teacher and student responsibilities as follows :

 

The Teacher

The Student

Developing
Assignments

consults curriculum, adapts for grade-level and skills , selects rubrics

participates in decision-making process

Establishing
Writing Portfolio Specifications

establishes structure , sets deadlines, creates skill charts

sets personal writing goals, selects artifacts

Evaluating a
Writing Portfolio

develops evaluation procedures and holistic rubric , provides focused feedback and holistic assessment

identifies strengths and weaknesses, reflects on development as a writer, provides peer-review

Resources:

  • Writers INC, 26, 35
  • RAFTS prompts
  • Sample writing assignment rubrics
  • Scope and sequence of BCPS Writing Portfolio expectations
  • Sample skills chart”
  • Sample BCPS Writing Portfolio checklists
  • Sample holistic BCPS Writing Portfolio evaluation rubrics
  • What is focused feedback?
  • Sample peer review and comments sheet
Scope and Sequence of BCPS Writing Portfolio Expectations

 

Total number of artifacts (minimum)

Minimum which include evidence of the complete writing process

Number of artifacts of each writing type

Minimum number of writing in response to source artifacts

Minimum number of research writing artifacts

Common Core State Standards to be addressed in skills chart and student reflection

Narrative

Informative / Explanatory

Opinion / Argument

K-2

3

2

1

1

1

1

1

 

3-5

5

3

1

2

2

3

2

 

6

6

4

1

3

2

3

3

 

7

5

3

1

3

1

3

3

 

8

6

3

2

2

2

4

1

 

9

6

4

1

3

2

4

1

 

10

7

4

2

3

2

5

1

 

11

7

3

1

4

2

5

2

 

12

7

3

0

4

3

4

2