Update for 2014
From March 1, 2014-August 16, 2014 I will accept your portfolios, write up encouraging notes, and send you the forms you need for your school district. After August 17, 2014 I will only review the portfolio, and send you the form you need for your school district. Thanks so much. Becky firstname.lastname@example.org
I really enjoy reading the freestyle assessments I receive. They are so interesting. People often ask me for some ideas on what to write and send. The following is what I have shared with them. Hopefully it will help you as well.
I have seen freestyle assessments written in many different ways. The key thing is to show the progress your child has made from last July/August to now. Ohio law says the child must make progress within their ability. So when I do this for my kids I try to think through the following questions. How have they changed? What can they do now that they could not do a few months ago, several months ago, and a year ago? What do I have demonstrates this? (pictures, samples etc.) Lastly, what can I share that communicates this?
As far as writing up the assessment, I have seen them set up by subject, by project, and just sharing progress. The following are some ideas to get you started. I think once you get started you will be surprised at how much you have to share.
If you write by subject you might write about the following. I am going to give many examples to choose from. Please do not feel you need to use all of them. These are to spur your thinking about your year.
Reading: Share the books your child has read or you have read to them. Maybe share a series they are into like the Boxcar Children, Arthur, or Henry and Mudge. What magazines do they enjoy reading? Are there web sites they enjoy visiting and reading? What your child is reading now versus the beginning of the year communicates the progress they have made.
Writing/Handwriting If your child is writing tell me what they are writing. Tell me if they are making lists, writing their name, writing stories, labeling pictures, writing letters etc. If they are older, tell me about their creative writing, poetry, or journaling. Send me a sample. Do they write a blog, email letters to Grandma, or maybe record in a nature journal? Tell me about it, send me a link, send a sample, or take a picture of it.
Math: Share how your child is telling time, working with money, adding or subtracting, multiplying or dividing, using percents, and/or measuring. Tell me about activities your child participates in like cooking, grocery shopping, or building with blocks or LEGOS ©. Share games with me that you play that involve math. If you happen to do any worksheets you can always send in one from the beginning of the year and the end.
Science/Social Studies/History/Art/ Music/PE: For younger kids you might share experiences to demonstrate progress. You write about the museums you have visited, zoo visits, park trips, neighborhood walks, nature walks, music lessons, and any sports your child may participate in. Do you attend the YMCA to swim each week? Do you attend an art class? Tell me about books they have read or you have read together, if they have completed any projects, or art work your child has created. This is a great place to include pictures. For older students share what they have learned this year, a class they have taken, and/or a research project they have been working on. Having your child write a summary of what they have learned is a fantastic way to demonstrate progress.
Another way share your student's progress is to write up your assessment by project. For instance you worked on a community or family garden together. You discuss how you preplanned by getting books from the library and reading about plants, your internet research, the garden store you visited, how you measured the rows, how you prepared the soil, did you count the plants, if you sold them the skills you used, and anything else that your child learned. You might include pictures of your child working in the garden, some notes your child took while researching, and a list of books your child read. You might share the 1-3 projects that your family used to facilitate learning for the year. Then maybe you share about trips, nature walks, park visits, any type of lesson, and art you do.
You are trying to showcase what your child has accomplished this year. Usually when I sit down and think about all we have learned, I am excited about the progress my kids have made. If you are working on learning most days you have made progress. This is your chance to celebrate by sharing it with me.
If I can help you in anyway let me know. Link to Freestyle Assessment
I accept portfolios for review through Saturday August 16, 2014. After that date I will accept your portfolio, but I will not write up any notes. I will only send you what you need for your district.