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Writing Portfolios

By Patrick Lashmar May 28, 2015

The three-pocket writing portfolio has been developed to help students become proficient users of the writing process. It is a concrete representation of the procedure. It offers a framework within which students can work through the various stages in the process.

The three-pocket writing portfolio becomes a comprehensive record of a student’s progress as a writer. It becomes a tool that displays writing at different levels of development. The portfolio becomes an important assessment tool for you as well as for the students and their parents. It demonstrates growing strengths and pinpoints the writing skills that need to be worked on next.

The information published on the various pockets of the the portfolio provides students with basic information concerning each stage of the procedure. The information should not be perceived as a rigid series of steps through which all students must proceed every time they write. Rather, the text is a ready reference to be used in appropriate ways by teachers and students to help unlock the complexities of the writing process:

  • the planning and drafting stage
  • the revising, editing, and proofreading stage
  • the publishing and reflecting stage

The text on the first pocket of the writing portfolio gives students important planning and drafting ideas. Students will grow in their ability to use the ideas here as they work with them over time. The text appears for student reference but can also offer instructional opportunities for teachers.

On the second pocket is printed information for student reference when revision is under way. Over time, students will improve in their ability to revise their work as well as the writing of others. Revision can take place independently, in pairs, in small editorial groups, or with the entire class. A variety of approaches should be used.

Students need to share their final drafts with the intended audience. Others should experience their writing as well. Ideas for publishing and reflecting are listed on the last pocket. It is hoped that students will have a wide variety of opportunities to share and publish their work as they progress.

The students’ actual writing is organized in the portfolio pockets according to these stages.

Teachers and parents should review the portfolio many times during the year to see how well a student is progressing in the skills of writing and the use of the writing process.

The three-pocket portfolio is a powerful tool for the assessment of writing. It is a practical organizer for writing in progress and a concrete visual representation of the process itself.

I'll post some links below to grade specific resources you can use in your classroom today!

Writing Portfolios and Assessment Tools:

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