Portfolio Information

THE PORTFOLIO PROJECT – 2016-17

Grade 9 students are working on their portfolios within their Life Works Exploration class with Mrs. Clemis.

Overview:

You are required to create a personal learning portfolio over the course of the school year. This portfolio will reflect who you are as a learner and as a person. It will include artifacts from your courses as well as artifacts from events and experiences in your personal life. You will collect meaningful artifacts throughout the year, reflect on what the experiences meant to you, and put it all together in the binder provided by the school in an organized manner.

Meaningful Artifacts:

A meaningful artifact provides evidence of your participation in the experience. These can include samples of school work, marking guides or rubrics, pictures of you in action, certificates, and thank-you letters. Ultimately the artifact should be interesting to look at, should connect you to the experience, and should make sense to the reader.

Reflections:

Reflections are to be done using the Reflection Sheet (attached). This sheet is available in WORD format on the schools website as well, which allows you to type the reflections. They may be hand written but we recommend that you choose one method and stick with it throughout the entire portfolio.

Binder and Organization:

You will be provided with a binder that includes dividers for each section of the portfolio. You are responsible for the condition of the binder, which is part of the assessment process. There is a divider for each of the 5 sections in the portfolio. The final four sections are based on the priorities in the school plan. They are as follows:

  • Who Am I – In this section you share some required information about yourself for the reader including a cover letter and resume as well as some artifacts designed to share your interests.
  • Achievement – This section includes school work demonstrating your abilities in the “9 Essential Skills” as identified by the Conference Board of Canada.
  • Belonging – This section provides evidence that you have developed connections to other people or groups with similar interests. These connections have built a sense of significance.
  • Altruism – This section provides evidence that you have been of service to others and have demonstrated respect and care for people and the community.
  • Independence – This section provides evidence that you are developing self-control and exerting influence in your life. It demonstrates that you are empowered to develop your life-path.

Due Dates for 2016 – 2017:

  • Grade 11 and 12 Portfolios are due to advisors before or on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.
  • Grade 9 and 10 Portfolios are due to advisors before or on Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Grade 12 students completing the portfolio by the due date will be eligible for all scholarships and award opportunities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we do this?

There are many reasons for this project. The most prominent reasons are:

·         Provide student learning opportunities

·         Showcase student learning

·         Promote reflective thinking

·         Build a complete picture of individual students

·         Celebrate individuality

·         Improve staff knowledge of individual students

This project connects to school goals and to divisional priorities.

Do we HAVE to do this?

YES – The portfolio project is attached to a compulsory credit (usually your ELA credit). Regardless of which semester you take the assigned compulsory credit in, your credit is not granted until your portfolio is handed in and marked as “complete”.  

Is the Portfolio Project part of the curriculum?

YES – portfolio development and reflective thinking are elements of multiple curriculums in Manitoba. They are most associated with ELA however, which is why your portfolio is attached to that particular credit. The individual tasks required to complete the portfolio connect to many curricular outcomes in multiple curriculums as well. And yes, other schools do portfolios but they are designed differently at each school.

How are the portfolios marked?

The teaching staff meets in groups of 4 or 5, led by your advisor, to grade portfolios. Every teacher in the building participates in the assessment process. These meetings are held on early dismissals that coincide with the due date for each grade level. Those due dates are as follows:

·         April Early Dismissal – Grade 11 and 12 Portfolios are Due

·         May Early Dismissal – Grade 9 and 10 Portfolios are Due

The portfolios are marked as “Incomplete”, “Complete”, or “Honourable Mention” depending on their quality. The attached documents explain what each means. “Incomplete” portfolios must be corrected and re-submitted until they are deemed “Complete”. 

When do we complete the portfolio?

There will be meetings at the start of the school year to explain the project and clarify any misconceptions and confusion about what needs to be done. It is the student’s responsibility to keep the portfolio in the back of their mind throughout the year and to accumulate artifacts. In January, there will be another round of portfolio meetings. Students will be given time to work on reflections and to ask questions at this time. There will again be portfolio meetings in March to continue building the portfolio. Overall the school will organize approximately 5 hours of class time to work on the project. This is a significant amount of time and if used wisely, will account for the vast majority of time needed for completion. Remember that it is critical to keep this in the back of your mind throughout the year.

What if I don’t do the portfolio?

As mentioned, this project is attached to your ELA credit. This means that you will not be eligible to register for or attend the next level of ELA course until it is finished. For grade 12 students, failure to complete the portfolio will result in failure to graduate in June. Participation in “June So Soon” and other student activities is also dependent on completion.

What can I use this for?

First and foremost, this is a learning activity. The process of building a clear picture of yourself as a student and of reflecting on your experiences in school will help you understand yourself. Along with being a learning activity there are some tangible ways the portfolio can be used.

·         Employment – use the portfolio to showcase your skills and abilities for potential employers. When you are young, your work experience is thin. This can show them your capabilities despite this lack of experience. Employers are increasingly using portfolios during interviews to assess employment potential.

·         Scholarships – the portfolio will be used by staff when considering multiple scholarships that are handed out at the end of grade 11 and 12. A strong portfolio will be required to be given consideration.

·         Scrapbook – the portfolio acts as a scrapbook from your high school years. It will be an accumulation of your work, it will demonstrate your growth, and it will provide you with some idea of who you were during these years of your life.

The 9 Essential Skills

The 9 Essential Skills are the skills needed for work, learning and life. They provide the basis for learning all other skills and are the cornerstone to lifelong learning. The importance of – and need for – people to have appropriate levels of The 9 Essential Skills is clear and strong.

What specifically are the Essential Skills needed in the workplace?

The Government of Canada began surveying organizations and individuals in 1994 to determine which skills were most important for success in the workplace. The following 9 skills were identified and adopted as “The 9 Essential Skills”. For the purposes of our portfolio project we are asking that each student uses their academic experiences during the school year to prove that they are building each of these 9 skills. Below is a description of what each skill means and a short list of academic examples.

  1. Reading Text is the ability to understand reading materials in the form of sentences or paragraphs. We use this skill to scan for information, skim for overall meaning, evaluate what we read and integrate information from multiple sources.

Academic Examples: ELA comprehension activities, Concept Overviews, Article Analysis, textbook questions etc.

  1. Writing is the ability to write text and documents; it also includes non paper-based writing such as typing on a computer. We use this skill when we organize, record, document, provide information to persuade, request information from others and justify a request.

Academic Examples: ELA writing assignments (letters, essays, stories), content area essays, proposals etc. 

  1. Numeracy is the ability to use numbers and think in quantitative terms.  We use this skill when doing numerical estimating, money math, scheduling or budgeting math and analyzing measurements or data.

Academic Examples: Math assignments and tests, Practical Skills measurement activities (cooking measurement, pattern measurement, woodworking dimensions), business or accounting spreadsheets etc.

  1. Document Use is the ability to perform tasks that involve a variety of information displays in which words, numbers, symbols and other visual characteristics (e.g. lines, colours or shapes) are given meaning by their spatial relationship. We use this skill when we read signs, labels, lists, instructions, as well as when we interpret graphs and charts.

Academic Examples: Graph extrapolation activities, math assignments using tables and graphs, map assignments, mechanical instructions, recipes etc.

  1. Oral Communication is the ability to use speech to give and exchange thoughts and information. We use this skill to greet people, take messages, reassure, persuade, seek information and resolve conflicts.

Academic Examples: Class presentations, speeches, debates etc.

  1. Working With Others is the ability to work with other workers to carry out tasks. We use this skill when we work as a member of a team or jointly with a partner, and when we engage in supervisory or leadership activities. 

Academic Examples: Group or partner projects, CTS work experiences, Envirothon, Skills Canada team activities (cardboard boats, wind turbines) etc.

  1. Thinking is the ability to engage in the process of evaluating ideas or information to reach a rational decision. We use this skill when we solve problems, make decisions, think critically and plan and organize job tasks.

Academic Examples: Inquiry projects, time management activities, math word problems, science experiment design etc.  

  1. Computer Use is the ability to use different kinds of computer applications and other related technical tools. We use this skill when we operate cash registers, use word processing software, send emails and create and modify spreadsheets.

Academic Examples: Microsoft Office use, course specific software (Photo-Shop), GPS device usage etc.

  1. Continuous Learning is the ability to participate in an ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge. We use this skill when we learn as part of regular work or from co-workers and when we access training in the workplace or off-site.

Academic Examples: This is the ONLY Essential Skill that can be represented by experiences outside of school. For example, you may use First Aid Certification, Lifeguard Training, Seminars, or any other learning activity you have participated in.