Journal Portfolio
Materials: Each learner will need an 8.5 x 11 Manilla Folder to begin collection of journal/portfolio.

Art materials such as colored pencils, markers, crayons, glue, scissors, should be available to students.

Vocabulary worksheet

Duration: 55 minute class period

  1. Introduce the journal/portfolio and advise learners that this will become the place of safe keeping for all materials associated with this unit.
  • The journal will remain in the classroom. Students should not remove it from the room.
  • No one should be allowed access to any journal other than their own except the teacher.
  • Allow students time to personalize the front of their journals with their names and images related to the
  • vocabulary list provided of light and color terms.
  • Establish any ground rules for how the front cover of the folder should present.
2. Learners will place at least 15 pieces of notebook paper and 5 pieces of unlined paper inside the journal/portfolio. This will save a lot of time each day if the paper is already in place.

3. Establish the expectation that each page or entry on a page must include the date that the entry was made. This become good science process for data collection skills.

4. Begin each lesson with a prompt or quote written on the board. Avoid questions that require yes / no or right / wrong response. Learners are expected to copy the prompt or quote and respond to it. For example:

09 Se 10

"You can't have a light without a dark to stick it in" Arlo Guthrie (1947 - )

I think Arlo was saying .....


06 Oc 10

"We burn daylight." Wm Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

I don't get why we are talking about Shakespeare in science class.


23 Nov 10

It seems to me that light....(student then finished the statement)

The comments or responses to the prompts or quotes gives the teacher a chance to garner insight to the student's thinking process. It is appropriate to respond to their comments in the journals. Ideally and if time allowed the journal would become an actual dialogue between the teacher and learner.

So, perhaps one of the first journal entries could be around the journal itself. For example:

10 Oct 10

I think making entries into this journal/portfolio may be helpful because ....

At the end of class, I found it helpful to collect the journals in a systematic way. For example collecting them in the same order that students will pick them up the next row, with the last person's folder on top. Then the folders can be returned the same way, row one - first student takes theirs, passes the rest of the folders back, then second student's should be on top and so on. Whatever the system, just have one. Collection and distribution of the folders should not take more than 2 minutes of class time. It was also helpful in taking attendance and putting missed work or assignments during absence into the individual's folder.

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