Portfolios Record Children's Progress
Many teachers have heard of 'student portfolios', but there are still only a few teachers actually using them. One teacher who routinely makes and uses portfolios is Ibu Maria Ulfah (photo right), a grade 1 teacher at SD Kebondalam, Mojokerto. She is a MBE national trainer for the early years.
Her portfolios record the students' work showing their development from month to month over the school year. On the right you can see what she wrote about portfolios, and also an example of the work of a grade 1 student by the name of Arief.
The aims of creating a portfolio is to make a collection of a student's work both two dimensional and three-dimensional, or any other work the child produces so that it doesn't just pile up on the teacher's desk, get stored in a cupboard or thrown away.
What goes in the portfolio?
Student's work such as poetry, dialogues, reports of what they have observed, reports of interviews, reports of science experiments, stories about their experiences, retelling stories in their own words, etc.
Who decides what goes in the portfolio?
- The students themselves
- Other students in their group
- The teacher
- The parents
When do they make the choice?
- After they have finished a unit or theme
- At the time of tests
- Once or twice a month
What is the portfolio used for?
To show a student's development over a specific period
To report to parents, so that they better understand their child's development and can provide more effective support at home
To provide data for writing the child's report
As evidence to overcome the doubts of parents about what their children are doing at school.
Portfolios are taken home every Saturday together with a communications book to be filled in and signed by parents. Parents can write in these to give feedback, make requests, comments, and give their comments on their child's work.
Maria Ulfah, Teacher at SD Kebondalem, Mojokerto, East Java
Portfolios provide a portrait of student development. Here are two examples from the portfolio of Arief, a grade 1 student at SD Kebondalem, Mojokerto. The sample above was written at the start of the school year in on 27 July 2004, and the one on the right was written towards the end of the school year on 1 April 2005.
School Committee Helps with Lessons in Kebumen
When one of the primary school teachers at Gombong passed away, all the teachers at SDN 5 Gombong visited the deceased at 10 a.m. to show their respects. For a time we were worried about who would take care of our students. Should we leave them, or should they go home? Fortunately, one of the committee members, Bpk Sukarjono passed by the front of the school, and I quickly waved my hand to call him into the school. We asked him to help us by taking care of the students.
Bpk Sukarjono was very willing to help, but he asked us for 10 minutes to allow him to change out of his shorts. While we were waiting we used the time to prepare a program for the students. We gave grades 2 to 6 similar tasks. Grades 2 and 3 for Bahasa Indonesia were given the task of observing the school environment and making sentences of more than 5 words. Grades 4 and 5 were to write descriptions of plants that were growing within the school grounds.
For Science, Grade 6 were given the task of recording the plants within the school grounds, noting their method of repro-duction and describing the branches, leaves, fruits, roots and flowers. The students all went out to observe the school environment, supervised only by Pak Sukarjono. During the first 20 minutes the students made observations, then for the next 20 minutes they wrote neatly on paper, and then their work was displayed on the outside walls of the classes. During the next 30 minutes they each corrected three of their classmates' work and wrote comments underneath.
The student work was well beyond our expectations. In fact all of the students were able to conduct and complete the tasks very well under the supervision of Pak Sukarjono. Grade 2 students were able to make 12 sentences of at least 5 words including: "Beside the school there is small river in which the water is clogged up with rubbish." On the right is the work of a grade 5 student.
Written by Ibu Kresni Wiyati, Principal of SDN 5 Gombong
Comment: This story demonstrates a number of points, including: the teachers prepared good lessons, the children could work independently and the community is prepared to support the school.