Child Portfolio Project
The purpose of this assignment is for you to gather, compile, and organize documentation of childrenâ€s work and then help the children to select and showcase these artifacts in individualized or whole class portfolios. You should begin this project at the very beginning of the term, as helping the children to collect, store, and organize their work over a long period of time will provide you with more artifacts to choose from when building the childrenâ€s portfolios. As with all of our assignments in this class, please consider using your work here in your own professional career portfolio.
Gathering Childrenâ€s Artifacts
Many of the activities that the children engage in at the center will produce observable artifacts that chart their growth, creativity, development, curiosity, play, and learning experiences. Some of the artifacts, like hand drawn or written work on paper, will exist in a more permanent form. Save everything and encourage the children to help you. Other artifacts, such as creations made of blocks, sand, water, or clay, or produced by dancing, singing, or dramatic play, may be less permanent or difficult to capture on paper, so you will need to document these artifacts with a digital camera or video recorder.
Your first goal in this assignment is to serve as a collector of childrenâ€s work in every possible way you can imagine. Remember that collaborative work and whole class activities, adventures, projects, and field trips are also artifacts of individual child growth and development. Be creative in thinking about different ways to collect observable documentation of all of the wonderful things that the children do.
Compiling and Organizing Childrenâ€s Artifacts
As you gather observable artifacts of childrenâ€s work at the center in multiple forms, begin organizing the artifacts for the children in individualized folders. You will likely need both a hard copy and digital folders for each child in order to keep all of the artifacts organized and accessible for children, parents, and your colleagues at the center to see and enjoy.
At the beginning of the term, create a folder for each child and label it with his/her name. Consider allowing children to decorate their own portfolio folders. Folders provide just one way to store hard copies of childrenâ€s work. Feel free to come up with your own organizational system. You should also consider creating a series of folders on your computer and labeling them with the childrenâ€s names. You can then organize photographs, video artifacts, and any other digital files according to the children that these portfolio pieces apply to.
Your goal in compiling and organizing childrenâ€s artifacts is to create individualized hard copy and digital folders for each child.
Showcasing and Selecting Artifacts with the Children
At some point in the last three weeks of the term, hold a portfolio meeting with the children. This is an opportunity for you to show the children all of the work you have collected about each of them over the course of the term. Prepare for this meeting by ensuring that all childrenâ€s folders are filled with hard copies of their work. Also, think of a novel way to showcase all of the digital files you have collected. You might consider creating a digital slideshow or a short movie. Be creative. This is a time of celebration for the children. It is also a time for everyone to reflect on all of the things you have learned and done together.
After the children have a chance to see all of their work, help them to select their favorite parts. Work with the children to create a special project featuring their favorite pieces of work. You may choose to create individualized projects or a whole class project. Depending on your resources and the desires of the children, you all may decide to make special books, a class bulletin board, or a digital project that they can view and share with family members online. As you work with the children to select their favorite pieces of work and decide how to showcase them, ask them about their choices and help them to reflect on what they have learned.
To successfully complete the Child Portfolio Project:

Collect artifacts (hard copy and digital) of childrenâ€s work.
Organize all of the childrenâ€s work in individualized folders.
Work with the children to select their favorite pieces of work and decide how they would like to showcase the work.
Work with the children to create their portfolio project(s).

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