Starting With the End in Mind - End of Year Portfolios

Starting with the end in mind.  That pretty much sums up my approach to teaching.  When you know where you need to go, you plan your journey to make sure you end up at that destination.  I guess I take that same approach with everything though.  End of year portfolios included :) 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen me post a little teaser pic of my EOY portfolios.  Several of y'all asked that I blog about what's included, so here we go!

Here's what my portfolios look like when I send them home with the kids.



These portfolios aren't to be confused with the ongoing portfolios that follow your kids from grade to grade.  Typically those portfolios are very specific as to what's included that best reflects growth and progress.  My little EOY portfolio does the same thing...reflects TONS of growth and progress...but it also serves as a precious keepsake for the parents.  As a mom of two, I can't tell you how much I cherish stuff like this!!!



These portfolios are 2 inch 3 ring binders with pockets in the front and back. They were purchased by my school and every teacher sends one home at the end of the year.  I know how expensive binders can be.  If you're interested in starting something like this, you might be able to offset the cost with a grant, PTO/PTA money, grade level funds, etc.  Not sure how feasible that all is, but those *might* be some options that you can explore if you don't want {or can't} foot the bill out of your own pocket.  

I pretty much  hoard  save everything my kids do.  Well, not everything, but LOTS of things.  I try to make sure I include the bulk of their writers workshop writing samples...books, etc.  I collect their writing each and every time they write.  Mostly to use as a springboard for their writing conferences, but also because I LOVE looking back at all the growth they make throughout the year!  POWERFUL people!!! I'm tellin' ya!  And I like to have a variety of writing formats included in each portfolio.


                


               

I start collecting samples on day 1.  Starting with their first day self portrait. {The self portrait template seen here is from my Saved By The Bell packet}


And just so I don't lose this...because I've been known to *misplace* things a time or two...I add this sample to their portfolios before I go home on the first day.  All of their portfolios are labeled and set up before the school year starts so that I have quick access to them when I need.  I don't add everything right away...most of it sits in file folders in a giant crate...but when I'm organized I'm adding as I go.

LOTS of other samples are included in the portfolio as well.  Lots of pieces that showcase their growth in writing.  Math activities...word problems...you name it.  I really love to include pieces that show off different concepts we worked on throughout the year so that parents can see what their kids know how to do.  Labeling, writing lists, letters, expository writing, how-to, response to reading, etc.  Here are just a few examples.





One of the writing samples I love including is their graduation writing they complete the last couple weeks of school.  A little reflection of their awesome year in Kindergarten.  I place this writing sample right behind their first day self portrait. 



I also include these precious laminated keepsake pics {idea from Katie at Little Warriors} along with a writing journal & calendars and a little summer work packet {both from my Sweet, Sweet Summertime packet.  I put a packet of crayons, a glue stick, and pair of scissors with that as well.}




There are lots of samples I collect that just don't fit inside the portfolio.  I keep lots of things from our art and science teachers that don't fit neatly into the binder.  For anything and everything that doesn't fit inside, I add to their little pocket portfolio that goes home with them on the last day as well.   This is a little "catch all" that I decorate with their names and tuck in the back of their binders.  




The best thing about these portfolios is the look on my kid's faces when they see them for the first time.  I loved listening to them as they looked through their work saying things like "I REMEMBER THIS!!", "Oh!  That was such a FUN activity!", "Mrs. Carroll...are you sure this is mine?  I don't write like that!".   I love that their little portfolios give parents a little freeze frame of their Kindergarten year....to help them remember just how little they were when they started and how they grew SO much and SO fast as the year progressed.   As a mom, it really makes me cherish every little moment all the more because I can see just how fast it all goes by!  

Do you send home portfolios with your kids at the end of the year??  I'd love to hear what you include and how you set it all up if you do!





18 comments:

  1. I love the binder idea! I always take poster board (we have a ton in our work room) and stable them like your did in the last 2 photos. I put all their writing and crafts in there to take home on the last day of school. And you're right, the kids really do treasure it!

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  2. How great that your school provides the binders! Its really a great keepsake for families. Out of curiosity and being a visual learner what were those chevron bandaid shaped tabs?

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    1. I think they are bunny ears that stick out (see the last photo for a different view)! :)

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  3. WOW!! What a great end of the year present! Totally in love with the cover. Any chance you will make an editable version available in your store? I teach 1st!

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  4. Totally love the cover as well, hoping to be able to get the editable version too :)

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  5. I am with Angela, I would loooove an option to purchase an editable version of your cover! Everything you make is so stinkin cute!!

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  6. I LOVE this idea! I like the binder and I love the idea of storing things in the a file folder until it's time to put them in the binder. I was good about keeping up with my third grader's tests, but not so great about keeping those other important pieces. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea!!

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  7. The binder idea is great! I usually laminate a cute cover (first day photo) and back page and bind the book together at the end of the year. I love watching them go through it!

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  8. I love this idea! I know as a mom, I would love this!

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  9. I have each of my kiddos color and decorate a My Portfolio cover page. Then I glue that on the front of a two-pocket folder. I gather work from each quarter as we go along and put it in the folder along with a cover sheet that documents skill progress. Then I bind that group together. So by the end of the year, each child has a portfolio showing how they progressed and learned for each 9 week period. Parents love seeing this at conferences, open house, Science and Math nights (I feature work for each subject area), and then it goes home at the end of year as a keepsake of kindergarten. BUT....I love the idea of using a binder, so I am going to add a 2" binder to my supply list and see how many I can gather. We have a store here in the Phoenix areas "Treasures For Teachers" that has lots of teacher goodies for free or really inexpensive for a yearly fee. I think I can gather some from there too if everyone is not able to send one in. I will let you know how that turns out in August/September:) Thanks. I love all your resources. It is a little addictive! My friends keep telling me I should start my own store with all the goodies I have created over the years, but so far I haven't taken the plunge. I love going to the TPT store and shop...shop...shop! Well didn't mean to write a book...

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  10. "Begin with the end in mind" is one of the seven habits of highly effective people (by Steven Covey) This coming year we are going to be implementing the kid version called "The Leader in Me." Are you familiar with it? I'm excited to read the book and do some research on it! Just curious to know which of my blogger friends have use it before! :)

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  11. What an awesome way of displaying student growth! Wonderful keepsake, too. This is my first time visiting your blog and I absolutely love it! I'm going to feature you on my 'Links I Love' page on my TeachTrainLove.com web site. :-) Looking forward to your future posts.

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  12. I have been doing this as a teacher for many years. Our kiddos and their families LOVE their portfolios. This year when we were learning about adjectives, we worked with each child to write ONE describing word about each classmate. It was a great exercise to talk about describing someone's heart and what is on the inside of a friend. We gathered all of the words and created a Wordle for each child. We put them on the front of their portfolios on the last day of school. WOW! What a community builder. and great way to end our year.

    As a parent, my oldest son graduated from High School this year. I went back to his Kindergarten Memory book and I am incredibly APPRECIATIVE of the memories that are in his book. I found some great art work and photos to use at his graduation party.

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  13. I do something just like this. We call them memory books. A couple of years ago I saw on pinterest an idea of making them that has made it easy for me the past few years. They are very similar to these: http://www.mrsliretteslearningdetectives.com/2012/06/hip-hip-hooray-15-days-of-k-day-6.html I use 5 paper bags per student and the book binding machine at my work. The paper bags are used as pockets, each side represents a month. I glue an rainbow name writing project they do on the first day of school as the cover. I take pictures of them all year too and place them inside. The parents donate $1 per month to help with costs.

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  14. Impress with the binder idea! It is great way to display kids growth. I just love this cover, so cute. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful idea!!

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  15. can we get an editable version of the cover?
    Christy.inglis@tps-k12.org

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  16. I use the binder system and then make a scrapbook on Publisher of all of the pictures that I take throughout the year! I have a general template to it with generic class pics, pictures of groups of students and then customize one or two pictures for each student. It is always a parent pleaser and a wonderful keepsake of student work and pictures. The binder is a MUCH better way for it to not fall apart and it stores easily on a bookshelf!!

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