A Portfolio Primer explains how any teacher can build a community of writers, using portfolios to demonstrate progress across the curriculum. Intended for teachers of grades three through twelve, the book outlines practical strategies for ensuring that students explore meaningful challenges and develop essential speaking skills.
Author Geof Hewitt chairs Vermont's Writing Assessment Leadership Committee, which designed the nation's first statewide portfolio-based writing assessment program. Recognizing the new national emphasis on assessing students' learning, he explores a range of uses for portfolios that complement formal assessment programs for all subjects. Key to the success of a classroom program is the students' regular use of their portfolios and the ongoing activity of reflecting on, and editing, their selections.
Hewitt suggests the kinds of work that should go into a student's portfolio. In a step-by-step review of "the writing process," he explains how to guide students in developing their own processes and argues that "the process" should be reserved for only those pieces toward which the student feels substantial commitment.
A Portfolio Primer provides generous samples of student work, including two portfolios reprinted in their entirety, as well as a variety of tools for formal and informal assessments. The book also offers practical suggestions for ensuring ownership so that students can control and witness their own development in the classroom.