Portfolio Development - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Portfolio Development

Posted on September 30, 2005

by Dr. Edna Hussey on September 30, 2005

Each year, every K-5 student prepares a binder which contains student-selected pieces from various areas to answer the basic question � Who am I as a ___? (reader, writer, mathematician, inquirer, person/citizen, artist, musician, athlete). The purpose of this assessment process is to develop and encourage consciousness-raising about how they learn, make choices, follow up on decisions, and set learning goals. This ability to think about how they think and learn � metacognition � is one of the most important skills we can teach learners of all ages, including adults. Using portfolios demystifies learning for students and helps them to become more self-reflective and involved in inquiring about their own learning.

In an effort to further improve our teaching and curriculum, the teachers and I are taking a very careful look at the different processes of student assessment by focusing on the progress portfolio. Our research begins with critical analysis of sample portfolios taken from last year. Our central goal is to determine how well we are implementing the portfolio as a learning strategy for the students.

Just a reminder about the quality and quantity of snacks you provide your child. Your child should have a healthy snack during the first recess period, generally between 9:30 and 9:50am. An occasional bag of chips or cookies rather than as daily fare is preferred. Some suggestions for snacks: string cheese, cheese cubes, any sliced fruits, raisins, granola, any vegetable slices, bagels, bagel chips, rice cakes, low-salt crackers, and low-sugar cereals, fruit juices (check on amount of sugar in these drinks). A couple of snacks rather than 4 or 5 is probably healthier. We�ve noticed that some children aren�t eating their home lunch or school lunch because they�re filling up on the snacks. You know your child best, but do encourage healthy snacks over the chips, cupcakes, and cookies.

I forgot to mention this in my last letter, but congratulations to Multiage 1-2 students Shayna Chung (mom Nicole Chung) and Brenton Kaita (parents Jon & Cindy), for their photos in the September 16th issue of the Honolulu Advertiser. Shayna and Brenton are members of the Minakami Karate Dojo, and they were photographed during practice at the dojo.

Your child�s MPI I.D. card is enclosed in today�s packet in the brown manila envelope that has the class photo. If you didn�t order a photo, the I.D. is in a white envelope. If you have any questions about your child�s photo packet, please call the phone number listed in the information packet. Our school office will not be able to answer your questions.

Thanks to parents who attended Moon over Manoa. I don�t have any final figures on monies raised, but I do know the silent auction items were great this year � I purchased one of the special tile tables made by last year�s 5th graders, and it�s sitting in my office!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey