Posted on November 26, 2015
While our students enjoyed a leisurely day at home, a play date with friends, or an outing with parents this past Wednesday, the preschool and elementary teachers arrived early to campus to prepare for the parent-student-teacher conferences December 10 and 11. (Enjoy the slide show of the faculty. Only Ms. Kimberlyʻs photo is missing; she had just left a kindergarten class where she was demonstrating how to edit a video clip, and I was walking in!) During this intensive assessment of looking over student work to determine its quality, the elementary teachers refer to the performance continua in reading, writing, math, inquiry (social and studies), art, music, and physical education to identify the appropriate placement of the student on the continuum. Or they are drafting their notes for the conferences. Unlike the traditional practice of adding up scores in a gradebook, the teachers review a body of work from each student, which you might see in the slideshow of images. Preschool teachers select video clips and images from their documentation for each child and write narratives called "learning stories."
When elementary students return to school on Monday, November 30, many will continue to work on assembling their electronic portfolios by adding pieces and writing or recording their reflections for each selected piece. We have implemented electronic portfolios since 2008 and hard-copy portfolios since 1997. Electronic portfolios have provided more flexibility to include artifacts such as video, voice and music recordings, student-annotated slides of their work, and images of their work. The report card of the 20th century with limited data pointsno longer makes sense when we know so much more about how children learn and have the technology to communicate a clearer, deeper, more complex story of each childʻs learning -- as it should be.
While parents have already scheduled their meetings with classroom teachers on December 10 or 11, I encourage parents to also schedule conferences with the specialists. Send email to the specialist to set up a meeting.
E Kūlia Kākou! We strive and aspire together!
For our children,
Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.