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EWYL

 

 

 

 

EWYL Project: Electronic Portfolios


Project Summary

This project gives second graders an opportunity to showcase their writing over the course of several months. In their classroom, writing portfolios are kept, with reflection pieces added late in the school year. In an effort to capitalize on this reflection process, and to use it to help students set personal goals for their writing, students will be provided with a structure to look at their writing products. They will note the items they already have under control in their writing and identify specific things needed to improve their writing as they head toward the standards for second grade writers.

This is where the technology will enhance the present curriculum. Copies of the students’ writing will be scanned into PowerPoint slides. Then, students will work with a parent volunteer or cross-age (and later a peer) helper as they enter the information they have gathered into templates created by the teacher in PowerPoint. The final project will encompass four on-demand writing pieces, one published piece of writing and the reflections on each of these pieces. In addition, students will be required to illustrate one of the pieces of writing and defend their artistic choices in the areas of medium and colors used, since these standards are addressed in the state standards under Creative Expression. An “About the Author” slide will complete the project, again enhancing a writing skill typically introduced in second grade.

In the project design, several decisions are based upon the particular situation in this second grade classroom. The school does not have a computer lab and classroom computer access, especially at lower grades, is very limited. This project needed to be accessible to children who might have no background with computers, either at home or in school. It also needed to be accomplished with minimal computer hardware and software. With just one classroom (or even laptop) computer with PowerPoint software, students can be assisted as needed (see Technology Standards) as they utilize templates to support their presentations. If no scanner is available, work can be scanned off site and added in a graphic format. The timeline proposed allows the teacher to utilize a weekly parent volunteer who will assist students on a one to one basis. With an average of six weeks between sections, the urgency often associated with multi media projects will be avoided.

The choice of software was also deliberate. Since students will eventually be required to do presentations somewhere in their technology education, PowerPoint seemed to be a tool that would offer an introduction that could be revisited and built upon. The additional support of a template that could be “filled in” with minimal assistance will give students ownership of a product. The complexity of the templates can be altered as students become more comfortable with the hardware and the software. Student choice will be evident throughout the project, with the intention of increased student ownership.

It is expected that the students will go away with enduring understandings about their writing, art and technology. They will understand that in writing, as in many other things, the first attempt might not be the final product. With this first introduction to revision, they will see the value in reflection and setting goals for improvement. Their appreciation for art will begin to grow. They will realize that there are ways that technology can be used to showcase what they know, even to a world wide audience.