Tag Archives: Portfolios

Prove it: Stifling innovation with the burden of unobtainable proof

Think of something new and innovative that you are trying out in your classroom, school, or district. Prove to me that it works. Yep, I want you to stop reading this and think about some fancy new way that you have of educating and/or assessing students and tell me what evidence you have to prove that your new technique works. Twice recently I’ve been faced with this demand. In the Read More →

Portfolios as classroom-embedded assessment systems for the NGSS

This weekend at the NSTA national meeting in Chicago I’ll be hosting a discussion about the use of portfolios as the keystone of new NGSS-centered district and state science assessments. Here are the slides I’ll use to start the discussion: NSTA15: Performance-Based Portfolio Assessment of the NGSS from Chris Ludwig Exemplar portfolios can be found here Please join the discussion if you can make it to Read More →

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Accountability without measurement

What if the next generation of teacher accountability systems simply relied upon assessment of student performances?  You’re thinking: don’t we do that now? No, we don’t. In most cases, our current accountability systems of standardized tests are supposed to measure student learning, which is not the same as assessment.  Attempting to measure learning often leads to limiting ourselves to finding the best statistical models, crafting the best distractors, Read More →

Creating Google Sites for Student Portfolios: A Shared Biology Portfolio Template

I’ve received some requests recently to share the biology portfolio that I use with my students. Here’s a quick note about how to use my template to set up a Google Sites portfolio for students to use.   In experimenting with student-managed portfolios, I’ve found it best to create a Template Site that students can use to create their portfolio. If you have a set of standards Read More →

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Skills-Based Portfolios Meet All Three Requirements for an Assessment System for the NGSS

Introduction (or Why Should I Care About the NGSS?) As you could guess, one of the major themes at the recent Denver Regional NSTA meeting was how to begin to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in our science teaching. I started off the conference by attending a talk by Brett Moulding, who is described as being the “writing team leader” for the NGSS, Read More →

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NSTA 2013 Slide Deck: Assessment in the Modern Science Classroom

I’ll be giving a short presentation later this week at the Denver Regional NSTA meeting about how (and why) to use portfolios for assessment and evaluation in science classrooms. For those of you who like to mark up slides during a talk, here’s the set of slides (pdf link) that I plan to use. They’ll make a little more sense with some dialogue to accompany Read More →

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Student Achievement as Visualized by Portfolios in High School Science

This quote from Dean Shareski came across my Twitter feed yesterday just as I was archiving some of my favorite examples of student portfolios: Challenge accepted. First off, I’ll state that even portfolios are a weak form of proving “achievement.” The real kind of achievement that we should be aiming for as teachers will be only evident in the lives of our students once they’ve left Read More →

Some science process standards in BH

My nomination for best educational web tool: BlueHarvestFeedback

I normally would automatically vote for Edmodo in a “best-of” web tools list, or maybe Prezi or Evernote, but lots of other people have written about these, and they have become uber-popular the last year or so and most educators have at least heard of them. Chances are that you use them, or at least have tried them once or twice. My vote for a much more Read More →

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Standards-Based Grading in the land of portfolios, blogs, and other time-sucking grumkins: a how-to guide

This post is an update to my older year end wrap up that seems to get a lot of traffic from people searching for “standards-based grades” and similar terms. I can only assume that there are lots of folks out there trying to get their heads around what SBG is about and how to do it. What follows will be a (hopefully) concise discussion of Read More →

THIS is why I love digital portfolios: what do my classes look like?

I’ve been asked a few questions lately about what my classes look like: Are your classes “flipped?” What kind of assignments do you give? How much lecturing do you do? I thought about writing a post answering these, but then today I was evaluating this portfolio and thought that I would just post a link to it instead. If you spend some time with this Read More →

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