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Using Technology to Create a Portfolio, One Letter At a Time

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Keywords: writing, poetry, portfolio, technology
Subject(s): Social Skills, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, Photography, Social Studies, Spelling, Grammar, Science, Math, History
Grade 4
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Lamarque Elementary, North Port, FL
Planned By: Tammi Purdin
Original Author: Tammi Purdin, North Port
The teacher will introduce the portfolio at the beginning of the year, offering several samples that were previously created by past students. Once they see this, they are excited and engaged.

Each title of an assignment is based on a letter of the alphabet. The first assignment is A=All About Me. The students are given some guidelines to use the Tool Factory Word Processor to write two paragraphs, write a poem or create two scrapbooking pages with journaling. Even if they do the paragraphs or poem, they still must have a "picture page," which is some type of illustration representing the written portion. They must word process their A page. The picture page will be digital creation, using Tool Factory Math Draw, a photo or can be a drawing/painting. The students will print these pages and insert them into sheet protectors in a three ring binder.

All the pages are on lessons we are currently working on in our curriculum and do not go in order. For instance the B page will be done in February, as we do a study on Black Americans. The written B page is their Tool Factory word processed monologue that they read as they are dressed in costume of a famous Black American. The picture page is created using a found picture of the real person and a phot of the student during the monologue.

Several pages will be based on poetry and these pages will use the Tool Factory Word Processor. For example: S=Sensory Poem, C=Cinquain, D=Diamante, G=Getting to Know Me, and H=Honey, I Love (based on Eloise Greenfield's, Honey I Love book/poem.) The students will use Tool Factory Resources Bank for the picture pages.

Several pages will be based on science experiments and activities. For instance, P=Puff Mobiles when we are studying wind energy. The students will summarize (using Tool Factory Word Processor) the scientific method they went through while creating their group's Puff Mobile. The students will take photographs of the activity and the photo will be the picture page. F page will be Flags of Florida. The students will write detailed descriptions of each of the Florida flags, as well as when they were in existence and why. The picture page will have each of the flags on it. The E page will be the Energy page. The students will create a graph, using energy data and Tool Factory Database. M page is the page where students will create word problems based on measurement. The picture page will be digitally created pictures, using Tool Factory Math Draw, describing the word problem.

The students will continuously add to this portfolio throughout the school year, touching each and every part of their fourth grade curriculum. There is room for flexibility and it is possible to put more than two pages for a letter. I've had them do a research author study on Dr. Seuss. The page was T=Theodor Seuss Giesel, but they had to figure out why I was calling it the T page. They also did a math poem on being Ten Centimeters Tall, which was also a T page, T=Ten Centimeters Tall.

At the end of the year, invite parents, other classes, administration or anyone to your room to have a Portfolio Sharing presentation. This activity easily creates student achievement with so many different areas for student interest, student ability and student readiness.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Most of the portfolio is cross curricular.
Presenting the portfolio, or just favorite portions of the portfolio will be the follow-up.
Materials: Digital Cameras, Printers, Flash/USB Drives, Word Processor, Art Tools, Spreadsheet, Database
Other Items: 1 Tool Factory Workshop, $1999.95 each, total of $1999.95
1 Olympus SP-600 UZ Educator Kit, $399.95 each, total of $399.95
22 Flash Drive, $25.00 each, total of $550.00