Portfolios have been one of those things that I have done for years and years but, continually add to or change things over time.
Years ago, I purchased large strong pizza boxes as portfolios. They stacked on top of each other (took a bit of room... but my room wasn't quite as full as it is now... after 20 years ;) The kids loved them... the parents loved them. I was told by a parent last year that her daughter (that I taught in 2nd grade) was graduating from high school and still had her pizza box portfolio under her bed!
Over the years, I changed to a 3 ring binder... maybe it was easier... less space... more organized... I'm not sure but the 3 ring binder has been the method in my room for about 7-8 years now. Each student brings a 1.5" white binder with view cover to school the first week of school. I tell parents it is for a portfolio that they will bring home at the end of the year. (I usually buy 3 or 4 at the BTS sales for children that never bring one) In the video, my portfolio shows sheet protectors (usually because the master copy is in the plastic with the example). I don't have my kids bring/used protectors. Just a 3 hole punch.
It stays in chronological order because when we add things we always add things to the back. The kids get good at this! Each month we do a WRITING activity. (I use my WRITE ON cards for this activity... but any chart would do. The kids have a topic and I challenge them to use 4 NUGGETS (vocabulary words) in Sept and maybe 9 NUGGETS in January and by May they use 12+ vocabulary words because they are more confident and comfortable readers. We also do a MATH review monthly. We highlight the standard we covered and mastered. We have a patterned ART piece to show fine motor, details and creativity.
Throughout the year whenever we complete a project or assignment we are proud of... we pop it in the back. You will notice many activities in my portfolio besides the writing, math and art. Some activities I just created, some I purchased from friends on TpT and some from my dear friends at Creekside.
This coming year, I decided to add their reading calendars to the portfolio along with their SEP self assessment. Portfolios are stored right in class so they are able to look through them whenever. My favorite is SEP Conferences... we just place them in the hall and they look through their work with their parents before their conference.
I just ordered this little corner shelf to house my portfolios this year... should be coming soon... (It's pink on one side and black on the other).
Another thing that is nice is to have the student information inside the portfolio. I used to keep a file for each student in my desk with this information... now it is just part of the portfolio. It's fun for them to see what mom or dad thought their strengths were in 2nd grade or what some of their "favorites" were when they were 8.
I'd love to hear what you put in your portfolio. I know I'm missing something that would be fun for the kiddos. Leave me your idea with your email. I'm giving away 3 portfolio sets (below) on Friday.