Portfolio Assessment System Used In Daycares And Preschools

1000 words - 4 pages

In this paper, I will discuss the portfolio assessment system used in many daycares and preschools to track growth in the children in their care. I spoke at length with a teacher from Kids R Great in Smallville and used questions from the practicum assignment to understand the use and meaning of this type of assessment.
I first asked the teacher what she feels is the purpose of the portfolio assessment. The teacher agrees with the basic premise of our text, that developmental portfolios are used to collect information pertaining to a certain child to reflect progress and growth from the beginning to end of the school year. It is her opinion that a portfolio is an excellent way to show growth in varied areas of development: cognitive, language, social, and emotional.
With regards to the collection of materials, she collects the child’s artwork, writing samples, cutting samples, pictures of the child, anecdotal notes, and progress reports. In her classroom, the child may inadvertently play a part in the portfolio. If a child is more interested in art and actively participates in drawing and writing, they may have more art than a child who is not as interested in this area. Conversely, if a child is more developed in language skills, they may have more written work samples than other children; it just depends on the interests of the specific child. She does state, however, that the portfolio system is “a great way for me to view the areas that they are weak in and the areas that need to be strengthened”. She does occasionally allow a child choose what work goes into their portfolio, allowing the child to be an active part of the process. Self-portraits are often included as well. In her classroom, this teacher has the students draw self-portraits at three different times throughout the school year. She finds it interesting to see how their self-perception changes over time.
As far as logistical or technical problems inherent in the system itself, she acknowledges that there are many components that go into a child’s portfolio. As an educator, she finds that the biggest problem with this system is delegating proper time to organize work samples. With time management, she can observe children’s work and observe their growth, then identify what needs to be focused more sharply on in class. She also states that occasionally, children will paint with oversized paper or make large art projects, and she maintains a separate box for storage of these items.
Within her classroom, the portfolio assessment is organized into developmental areas. Each child is assigned an individual folder with dividers for each main developmental area, cognitive, language, social and emotional. Artwork and work samples are then filed chronologically. There is a section in the folder for anecdotal notes and behavioral observations, kept in the portfolio but not always included with the final product. The teacher notes that organization is important when...

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