In my school, there is a “Portfolio” that students need to graduate. I don’t really know much about what it was before, but this year was the first year that students had 5% of their class grade based on a “Portfolio Reflection”. Students were to reflect on their progress in class and pick at least one item each semester that demonstrates their growth in that class.

First semester, pretty much every teacher had students do this at the end of the semester on top of all their studying for finals and it was a bit of a mess. I had already been doing a unit reflection and got comments from students like, “We do a lot of reflections in this class!” and “Which reflection do I have to do?” So I asked my principal and he agreed that my unit reflections satisfied the Portfolio Reflection piece as long as I make some modifications.

So, for second semester I changed up a few questions to make them more aligned with the portfolio requirement and also made them each worth 5% of the points in the unit (next year: grade setup with categories instead of total points). Occasionally, I would ask additional questions specific to the unit. One time I asked Kate Nowak’s “What is 1 radian?” and “What is 1 degree?” and that was real fun watching them squirm 🙂 I asked another time “What would you tell a new student to help them remember the quadratic formula?” I didn’t grade these very hard – students pretty much got full credit if they answered all the questions in complete sentences.

Here’s an example of one of my reflections: Algebra II Trig Unit Reflection

I do like having a reflection piece and have especially liked having students write about math in complete sentences. Because it’s hard for them. But it’s good for them. I plan to continue this next year.

C’est important de réfléchir dans chaque classe, à mon avis.