Teachers build a portfolio for each child, a collection of his or her work that illustrates efforts, progress, and achievements. Portfolios capture the evolution of a child’s abilities, providing a rich documentation of each child’s experience through his or her time at Children First. Each Portfolio contains items that represent children’s work and progress on our Goals for All Children, and on their individual goals. Examples might be:
Portfolios have many layers of importance to children, parents and teachers. For us, they are a means for clarifying our thinking, capturing our observations, focusing our reflections and telling stories that are important and moving to us. They are one of the ways we make our respect for the children’s work and our tender feelings about their individuality visible to them and to their families. And they help us remember and reflect when we prepare for conferences.
For parents, these books are a window to their children’s lives at school, an explanation of Children First curriculum, and a source of joy and pride. We intend for portfolios to deepen parents’ understanding, appreciation and love for their children.
And for children, portfolios say, “You are the protagonist in a compelling story. What you do and what you learn are recognized and appreciated. The grown-ups in your life see you and love you.” And eventually, we imagine the portfolios as a rich archive and inspiration for children as they remember their childhood; reflect on their identity, passions and unique path; and make their choices about who they will be and what they will do in the world.
Portfolios can tell you what things happen, like at the Eno and about what you did and it can be a treasure for your whole life and you can keep them and there’s lots of new stuff. It’s so fun to look at them. Your parents or you, when you get older, can read it.
Niko, age 5, explaining Portfolios in a Welcome Book