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Portfolio or Testing?

Posted by on May. 12, 2014 at 8:23 AM
  • 8 Replies

In my state we have a choice between having a portfolio evaluated or doing a test.  Either way, the results are only for us and we don't have share them with the state or anyone (not sure why we have to do it then...lol)

We were going to go the portfolio route, but then a friend said the test is way easier for the mom, lol.  For the test, they only have to score in the 40th percentile or above, the test would be good for me to just confirm we are doing fine (or better than fine).  It can be done at home, then sent in to have it scored.  My concern with this is just wondering what happens to the scores after, are they in some database?

For the portfolio, it's around the same price as the test.  It's a lot more work for me to put it together.  But I like the idea of it to get in the habit for later.  It can be an assignment with the kids as well which helps them with accountability I think.  This will take up more room for storing it than a test score.  But I also know where the portfolio is going and who is seeing it, etc.


So which would you do?  Do you have experiences with either or both you'd like to share to help me make a decision?

by on May. 12, 2014 at 8:23 AM
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Replies (1-8):
mem82
by Platinum Member on May. 12, 2014 at 9:55 AM
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I have used both but right now I do the portfolio. It's easy for me to hold to a few papers a month.
coala
by Silver Member on May. 12, 2014 at 12:23 PM
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I personally don't have to do either.  I do however keep a portfolio of 1 item from each child, for each subject, for every marking period.  I have them divided by year for each child.

Molimomma
by Bronze Member on May. 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM
1 mom liked this

Personally I like portfolios but that's what I am used to. I did portfolios when I was teaching in public school (before testing took over) and at least for lower grades I think that's more accurate than testing. I come from an early childhood background though, and had to do a portfolio for my own degree. I imagine testing would be easier for older kids though.

hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2014 at 5:26 PM
1 mom liked this

I would do the portfolio, but I do one anyway.

In Indiana, where I live, we don't have to turn in ANYTHING, ever (awesome!) but I do try to keep a few work samples throughout the year, as well as take lots of pictures. Then when the school year is over, I put the samples and pictures into sheet protectors, and put those into a large binder, with tabs for each grade. I also do an end-of-year interview with my child, asking about things like, "What was most challenging for you this year?" and "What's something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?" I am always surprised at their answers! I really enjoy doing the portfolios, but maybe if I were having to follow stringent guidelines I would not enjoy them so much. I remember having to do them when I was in college (education degree) and those were less fun, but I did still enjoy them.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on May. 13, 2014 at 7:45 PM
I love your interview idea! Share more questions!

I am planning to make a shutterfly photo book for them, like a yearbook. And I could include that to show the portfolio evaluator (who is just another HS mom who happens to be a certified teacher in out state...the one requirement for an evaluator). I have done many portfolios as an education major and working in a public school, so I am comfortable doing them..but I think the test would be simpler...less time consuming I guess. But I have all of their papers in order, we kept them neatly throughout the year, so I think it will be pretty easy to make portfolios.

Quoting hipmomto3:

I would do the portfolio, but I do one anyway.

In Indiana, where I live, we don't have to turn in ANYTHING, ever (awesome!) but I do try to keep a few work samples throughout the year, as well as take lots of pictures. Then when the school year is over, I put the samples and pictures into sheet protectors, and put those into a large binder, with tabs for each grade. I also do an end-of-year interview with my child, asking about things like, "What was most challenging for you this year?" and "What's something you did this year that you think you will remember for the rest of your life?" I am always surprised at their answers! I really enjoy doing the portfolios, but maybe if I were having to follow stringent guidelines I would not enjoy them so much. I remember having to do them when I was in college (education degree) and those were less fun, but I did still enjoy them.

TJandKarasMom
by Debbie on May. 13, 2014 at 7:46 PM
My kids are 5th and 6th grades...so I feel I could really go either way with them. I definitely have portfolio experience though, so I am leaning more that way anyway I think.

Quoting Molimomma:

Personally I like portfolios but that's what I am used to. I did portfolios when I was teaching in public school (before testing took over) and at least for lower grades I think that's more accurate than testing. I come from an early childhood background though, and had to do a portfolio for my own degree. I imagine testing would be easier for older kids though.

hipmomto3
by Bronze Member on May. 13, 2014 at 9:51 PM
1 mom liked this

I also asked them this year:
What was your favorite place to visit? 

What would you like to be doing when you are an adult?

Of the books we/you read this year, which was your favorite? 

With each, I try to say "Why?" and get more out of them. 

jen2150
by Silver Member on May. 14, 2014 at 6:51 AM
1 mom liked this
We take the test. I would have them take the test either way. I want them to feel relaxed with standardized tests. Right now their test results match where they are at academically. I have been thinking of doing a portfolio soon to keep track of their work.
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