EPortfolios Update 1

Posted: November 3, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

So, I’ve been thinking about the digital portfolio project I wanted to add to my classroom this year. (Read about my plans here and here.)

I ‘ve made 17 ePortfolio wikis on wikispaces: one for each student and one for me. Each student has added pages for three subject so far (language arts, math, and social studies). And a few weeks ago we updated both the language arts and math pages.

Here’s What I Did

First up, language arts. We started by looking at 2 inspiration webs we had worked on in class. I passed back the first assignment and asked students to look at the feedback I gave them. Next, I passed back the second web and asked them to look over it with my comments in mind and evaluate their own work. Then, I passed back other work and a reflection guide that allowed them to rate both the quality of their work and their work habits. Each person chose one piece of work that would represent their best work on their wiki.

The next day, we hit the wikis. Using the reflection guide students wrote about their work and work habits during this unit, inserted their best work, and explained that.

Next up, math.

We have finished the first 2 units and assessments in our math curriculum. So, I put a list on the board of the skills that were assessed. I also made an outline with the following headings:

  • things I can teach someone else
  • things I can do in class (or that I feel ok about)
  • things I still need to work on
  • directions and neatness

Then, I handed back both assessments (the first they had already seen) corrected. Their task was to use the assessments as a guide to put the skills in the appropriate category on their math page.

Here’s What Happened

Students really thought about their comments on their webs. Most of them were right on.

One student wrote, “this was my best assignment because I was really prepared and I had fun doing it.”

Another said, “I see progress in my packet [reading comprehension questions]. My examples got better.”

“After we practiced [making inferences], I got better at it.”

Students spent a lot of time thinking about where to put each math skill. One student asked if he could divide the skill into 2 parts since he felt it belonged in different categories for him. Wow! I mean, WOW!

What Next?

Well, I think this is a success already. We have plenty of room for improvement, but I feel like the time we’re spending on this is worth it. My ultimate goal is to have student write quality discussions and make complete reviews of their work on the way to self-discovery and nirvana. Too much?

Next week, we review our next unit’s worth of language arts work.

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Comments
  1. Debra says:

    I saw them making the comments on the wiki and it seems they are getting good at seeing their work objectively and being able to discern what makes their recent pieces an improvement on earlier pieces. Reflection is definitely worthwhile to build in and it doesn’t always get done. This should make them reflect without being asked to (well, one can dream).

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Alpha R Paquibo, Wendy Eiteljorg. Wendy Eiteljorg said: New blog post: Eportfolio project in 5th grade. Great project so far. Comments welcome http://bit.ly/9vq8os #edchat #elemchat […]

  3. Maggie says:

    You reference some great examples of students’ thoughtful assessment of their work. Any patterns to be gleaned from the students who didn’t gain as much from the experience? Were there any students who struggled?

    • Ms. Eiteljorg says:

      Maggie, of course not everyone was as successful as I would have liked, but really most folks did a good job, at least on the paper reflection guide. What the students put on the wiki was less meaty, for sure. We’ve now added another language arts entry and will add our first social studies entry on Monday. At that point, we will look over our entries and think about what it all says. Parent teacher conferences are at the end of next week so I plan to have each student add a preconference/general entry.

      Some smart person I know suggested students write a 1 sentence definition of themselves as a learner. I think I will have each student do this as his or her final activity before our conference. Phew, I guess we better get on that right away.

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