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Portfolio Contents and Descriptions

Three components, one of each of the following, must be included in each student's portfolio:

  • Problem-solving Investigation
  • Creative Expression
  • Growth Through Writing


Problem-solving Investigation

The Problem-solving Investigation must have some aspect of student design but may be based upon a teacher prompt. In contrast to a fill-in-the-blank exercise, this activity should show that the student has worked independently beyond the teacher's directions. It should include problem-solving, student-designed procedures, collaboration and applications to real-world situations. The thoughtful completion of the Problem-solving Investigation Self-reflection Sheet must thoroughly explain the scientific concept under investigation by citing examples from the student's work (see pages 16-17) and is considered an essential part of the evaluation of the entry. The entry will be evaluated by how well it meets or surpasses the following requirements:

    Student Design

    • Purpose, problem to be solved, or hypothesis to be investigated
    • Student-developed procedures appropriate to the design and execution of the problem to be solved

    Observation, data collection, analysis, and conclusions

    • Organized data display
    • Qualitative and quantitative observations
    • Observations and data support analysis and conclusions

    Important real-world applications

    • Relate to daily life
    • Relate to issues that affect society or the environment

    Collaboration

    • Evidence that working with a group or other individual(s) improves understanding of science

Creative Expression

The Creative Expression entry shows a depth of understanding of a scientific concept through music, art, poetry, video or other media in an original or unique way. It is important to note that an outstanding appearance or display of work is not enough. As part of a science portfolio, it is essential that the work creatively shows understanding of an important scientific concept. The thoughtful completion of the Creative Expression Self-reflection Sheet is an essential part of the evaluation of the entry (see page 18). The entry will be evaluated by how well it meets or surpasses the following requirements:

    Clear expression of the concept

    • Written description that is understandable to the reader
    • Labels, written explanation, or captions that explain the concept the student is presenting

    Presentation

    • Understanding is communicated effectively by the format selected
    • Work that shows quality and originality
    • Photographs of objects too large to submit
    • Videos - presentation cued to desired location on the tape

Growth Through Writing

The writing component should show progress in understanding a particular scientific concept over time. Information should be presented conceptually, not as isolated or unrelated facts. There must be clear connections among the parts of the student work and the identified scientific concept. The writings are to be arranged from earliest to latest, and dated. The thoughtful completion of the Growth Through Writing Self-reflection Sheet is an essential part of the evaluation of the entry (see pages 19-20). The entry will be evaluated by how well it meets or surpasses the following requirements:
    Evidence of progress toward mastery of a concept

    • Original work and improved versions are included and dated
    • Revisions which show deeper understanding of science, not merely a neater appearance

    Relationships to other scientific concepts

    • Relates the scientific concept to other scientific concepts, subjects, or real-world situations

    Clear and coherent communication

    • Relevant and appropriate terms
    • Language and writing which promote effective communication
    • Grammar and spelling which do not interfere with the presentation of ideas

Additional Portfolio Submission Tips and Documents

    A teacher prompt for each entry must be included in each student's portfolio

    • A concise description of the specific instructions given to the students
    • Uses scoring guide as a guideline for writing the prompt

    Self-reflection Sheets for each entry must be included in each student's portfolio

    • Purpose:
      • fosters self evaluation,
      • highlights featured aspects of each component,
      • communicates to portfolio evaluators what the student sees as significant about the portfolio entry.
    • Students should understand these expectations:
      • high quality, thoughtful answers to questions,
      • all work will include detail and evidence,
      • revision of the Self-reflection Sheets as well as the component.
    • Provide many practice Self-reflection Sheets
    • Practice, practice, and more practice:
      • students benefit from repeated experience with portfolio activities, responding to Self-reflection Sheet questions, and practice making substantial improvements to their work.



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