So... I want to share something with you today that I've been doing for a number of years now that has changed the way returning papers goes down in my classroom. I have to back up a second and tell you that NO I do not do pencil/paper activities every week or even every month in music. Ain't nobody got time for that with everything else we have to do. But there are times when I feel like the pencil/paper work is appropriate and maybe, just maybe it even lends a little bit of weight to the 'seriousness' of the learning that I am trying to assess.
Portfolios was a education-ese THING a few years ago. You know what I"m talking about; those edicts from on high that come down and everyone runs around trying to figure out what they are supposed to be doing about it but no one really says and there CERTAINLY isn't any professional development on the topic because that would like... make sense.
This may require some planning ahead or some purchases of your own. Here is what you will need- however you plan to fund it.
1. Pocket folders for every student
I asked my PTA moms who were in charge of the school supply list for the school to add a pocket folder for Music to each grade level's list. Because they are usually putting this list together in the spring so they can sell their prepackaged school supply bundles and have them delivered in time for the beginning of school in August, you may have to plan ahead a bit to make this happen. You could do this as a gradual thing and start with just one grade level. Also I should say that I selected folders WITH prongs in case I wanted students to put things in the prongs. You may feel like that isn't necessary - its your classroom and your decision!
You don't want all of this just laying around messing up your Pinterest perfect classroom sooo of course you are going to need some method of keeping these folders in a quiet out of the way place. In the beginning I used cardboard boxes like the one of the left. Later I discovered that sometimes those magazine files didn't have enough room for my 4th and 5th grade classes. So I chose these storage boxes (on the right) from Lakeshore as a sturdier alternative. Let me just say that I bought a few of those plastic boxes at a time. Lakeshore is proud of their boxes! (wink, wink)
Definitely this is concern for many since storage may be at a premium in your building. I happen to have a nice sized storage room and I have dedicated one section of shelves for our student work. Think about where or how you would be able to pull this off before you get the ball rolling and then discover you have nowhere to put all of these boxes of folders. Some of you very techy people probably have Dropbox or other online storage solutions for your students but that is a whole different blog post! Here is one last photo to reveal my storage room and our work folders. Thanks for reading and if you have questions, comments or other intriguing ideas regarding student work I would love to see what you have come up with for your own situation. Share below!
Mark @ Musical Gems