Our library program includes not only what we do with books but also what we do with information, more broadly (how we consume it in a positive, responsible way and how we create it in a positive, responsible way). This includes information we consume (books we read and YouTube videos we watch, for example) and information we create (presentations with slides and science projects, for example). While our younger students keep the information they create in a "hard" format (paper, for example), much of the work that our older students create was born and only lives digitally (slides or reports written entirely in Google Drive, for example). As such, keeping track of information students create changes as they get older and requires new methods.
In grades 3-4, I've been working with both classes to organize their work in Google Drive so that they have copies of particularly meaningful projects in a "portfolio" folder. Once we've completed the process of creating, copying, and moving files, students will have an opportunity to reflect upon the work that they have done over the course of their time in the class and comment on it (what they learned from doing it, about which parts they are particularly proud, with which parts they struggled, and so on). This reflective piece is an essential part of regular classroom work at SK and we are hoping to capture that reflection in these portfolio folders.
This week, I will begin doing a similar organization of Google Drive folders with the 5-6s. In future years, the 5-6s may also begin to use Google Sites for online portfolios. In Karl's 7-8 class this year, all of the students have created online portfolios using Google Sites. They've also organized their Drives into folders and placed work accordingly.
This portfolio-creation process gives students a chance to create, reflect, and grow in new ways. As a school that appreciates the process (as well as the product) of creation and the opportunity for meaningful reflection, we hope that portfolios will give us a new way to express both of those deeply-held values.