Portfolios can be used to house and organize progress monitoring notes, assessments, and student selected pieces that show the work they’re most proud of 🙂 What a great tool for student lead conferences! This link shows how to put it all together:
Helping teachers match students to “just right books” that appeal to their interests I happened to come across Spirit Animals from Scholastic. My daughter’s oldest brother died a year ago and her dad (my ex) began representing his three children with crows because he saw some in his yard sometime between the discovery of his son’s overdose and the funeral. Since then he has drawn crows and posted things on face book about them. I understand the idea of spirit animals. I once had a spirit animal…I wanted it to be a Lion, but my priestess (whose name was Lion) said my spirit animal was definitely a Frog. Maybe she could tell I was still in the tadpole stage, spiritually, at that time. When I grew legs I hopped away. But I found another bog to hop around in until the misfortune and foolishness of a pretty twisted custody battle over my daughter. It was in cell, pondering the words of an unlikely prophet that I finally found my Lion and realized the difference between a spirit animal and a savior. Abandoning the idea of a spirit animal and leaning on Biblical truths rather than my own understanding has led me out of the bog, past the swamps, and up a mountain of hope and joy. As we help students choose texts to read, I hope we are also mindful of the worldview texts have a tendency to shape and shift. I’m not an advocate of censorship but I am a firm believer in reflective discussion. If your students or children like to read books of fantasy like this, challenge them to talk about the connections they make.