Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Updating and Adding to Your Portfolio Assessment

In the past, I've discussed the rationale for portfolio assessment and how to start your own portfolio assessment system for your ESOL students. Hopefully by now, you've already begun your portfolios and included basic information, as well as some baseline assessments in reading, writing, speaking, and listening. So....now what?

What sorts of things should you be putting into your portfolios? Remember that you are including work from all four modalities, reading, writing, speaking and listening. Using work from all subject areas that you study (math, science, social studies, etc), as long as it includes language is fine.
  • Anecdotal notes- Make notes daily (and date them) about the things the student is struggling with, as well as what he or she is doing well. Also include other information that may be relevant, such as if the student appears tired or hungry. Make notes of behavior issues also. All of these things contribute to the student's ability to do well in school.
  • Classroom activities- The items that you include should be authentic. Don't have designated "portfolio activities", but rather choose items to go in the portfolio from authentic work that your students have completed in class. One of the ways that portfolio assessment differs from other formal assessments (tests) is that students are not aware of what will go in their portfolios when they are working on it and don't feel like they are being "tested". 
  • Testing Accommodations- Keep a copy of the student's testing accommodations form in the portfolio with the other biographical information. Also, use this FREE Testing Accommodations Record form to record the testing accommodations you provide for classroom tests and keep a copy in the portfolio. Remember, you are required to provide testing accommodations on ALL classroom tests, not just district and state tests!
  • Work that your student has struggled with or done poorly on- The tendency with a portfolio is to think that you should only put the student's BEST work in. However, this is not the case withan assessment portfolio. While you do want to include some of the student's best work to show how well he or she is doing, the idea of a portfolio is to demonstrate all aspects of the student's learning, not just where he or she excels. When you put in work or skills that the student has struggled with, then you can target those skills, and your portfolio will have room to show growth as well. 
  • Rubrics- You should include a rubric assessing each activity according to your state or districts English Language development standards.If your state or district does not have their own, I recommend using these Speaking and Writing Rubrics from WIDA, or you can purchase the Reading Comprehension Rubric or the Baseline Writing Rubric that are available in my TpT store.
One thing that many teachers struggle with is how to assess student speaking or listening informally. One way to do this is during pair-share time. Students should spend at least a little time each day explaining a new concept or idea to a classmate. Circulate and listen as students chat. Use the WiDA speaking rubric linked above to assess what students say to one another. You can create another rubric to measure listening. Then ask the student to retell what their classmate said, and use the rubric to assess his or her listening skills. Group presentations are another time when you can assess a student's listening or speaking abilities. However, please remember when assessing speaking that accent is not important, as long as it does not impede understanding.

Please let me know how your portfolio assessment is going!

No comments:

Post a Comment