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Day 91: Highs of New Project
By Mark Heintz
Jan 9, 2020

Day 91

To say I was excited was an understatement. I presented the learning portfolio today. After a semester of reflecting on learning and having students give me feedback, I made some decisions to implement a better way to document the process of learning. 

I stood in front of my students a little nervous. Anytime I present an idea to them that is important to me there is a potential to have blank stares fed back to me. I shared with them the document that I posted yesterday. I had a few examples of portfolios students have made. I told them this was due on the last day of school and we have ample time in class to create it.

After I shared with them the what, the why, and the how, each student picked two of the C’s they wanted to document this semester.

After they picked two, they defined them. I wanted them to say what citizenship meant to them.  Here are a few examples.

The Good.

My nervousness subsided after I started. Students didn’t outright hate it or roll their eyes. I had a positive feeling as the day progressed.

I’m glad I’m asking for feedback. I’m amazed at how little feedback I received my students in the past. I will post the more positive review today. It was not all sunshine and rainbows; but, there were a number of responses I curated that spoke to the good and the bad. I will post the more critical ones tomorrow.

Student #1

I personally think that creating the portfolio is a good way of organizing all of our thoughts and ideas on the class. In my Intro to Engineering and Design class, our final consisted of creating a learning portfolio that contained all of our projects from the 1st semester, one other course or activity, and an about me section. The final product was a very organized website that was very helpful in organizing my thoughts.

Student #2

My Initial thoughts on the learning portfolio are that it looks to be very good for us. This is due to the fact that the students will be able to bookmark themselves and see how they have grown as learners through the five categories. As well as help us in the future if we ever have to showcase our work to a audience in the future, we would be able to show it on a website.

Student #3

In class today we started the learning portfolio. I think that it’s something that can really help us to see how we grow as learners throughout the course of the year. It can help us to see the places we struggle most so we can work on them, but also the places we do well in. I believe that this is something that will allow us to reflect on all areas of our learning.

Student #4

My initial thoughts about our learning portfolio is that it is an interesting way to document our growth throughout the year. Utilizing the portfolio allows the documentation of certain events this year which helped us grow as learners or students. This is a good ways for our progress this school year to be recorded and not forgotten as this year comes to an end.

Like I said, these were the more receptive ones. It seems that the students who have created portfolios in their CTE classes, they are on board. They have already completed something different. In talking to a few teachers, every time students are asked to compile a portfolio, it is more work. The students often reject it because grades are easier. The teacher does the assigning and assessing. They often have to sit back. I’ll post the more critical tomorrow and give a more in-depth review. 

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