Junior Portfolio

Junior Portfolio Information for Students

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junior potfolio


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. What is the Junior Portfolio?

In the spring of your junior year, you will discuss a portfolio of your academic work over the past two-and-half years with a panel of adults.

2. Who has to participate in the Portfolio?

Every junior must make this presentation. You need to have made the presentation to graduate.

3. What will I be presenting, exactly?

You will present the contents of your portfolio. Your portfolio will be composed of graded rubrics that correspond to assignments you completed over the previous two-and-a half years.

4. What are these rubrics?

Your teachers designed what are known as "school-wide rubrics' to measure your achievement of certain academic expectations they have for you. These expectations involve skills at which your teachers hope you will have become proficient by the time you reach the middle of your junior year. There are seven skills that are measured by school-wide rubrics. These skills are reading, writing, speaking, listening/viewing, problem-solving, creative expression, and use of technology. Notice that these skills are abilities that are called upon in all your classes. For example, you need to problem-solve in math, obviously, but also in physical education when you devise a play in football or in social studies when you prepare your team for a debate. Thus all of your teachers are involved in gauging the level of your success in achieving these skills.

The Morgan School Rubrics

5. What do the rubrics look like?

Your teacher will give you copies of the rubrics for the seven skill areas. They all have several things in common.

  • Each one begins with Morgan School's mission statement.
  • Each one measures a single, specific academic expectation (one of the seven skill areas).
  • Each one describes four levels of achievement: insufficient, developing, proficient, and exemplary.
  • Each one of the four levels includes descriptors, called indicators, which help to define the nature of achievement at that level. For example, if I was "proficient' in reading, I would have shown that I could
  • Formulate a response that exhibits knowledge and understanding of the text (what I just read)
  • Demonstrate a thoughtful and plausible interpretation of the text
  • Make judgments about the text that are supported with examples and make appropriate connections between prior knowledge and the text
  • Demonstrate sufficient support
  • And, successfully apply new learning to other contexts/situations (such as using what I'd read to answer an essay question)
  • Each rubric offers an area at the bottom where the teacher or you can write notes or feedback.

6. Do I have to do anything with the rubrics besides collecting them?

Yes. The whole point of having your teachers fill out the rubrics is so that you can get an idea of how well you are doing in that particular skill area. Therefore, it is important for you to think about how well you did and why. This process is called "reflection.' Your teachers want you to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses - what you do well already and what you still need to work on. They want you to think about what kind of writer you are, or how well you can express yourself creatively, or how adeptly you use technology. It is actually your reflection that the members of the panel who will view your presentation will be focusing on.

7. Do I have to write down my reflections?

Most of the time when a teacher gives you a school-wide rubric, he or she will ask you to write down your reflection in some form or other. However, there may be times when the teacher has not asked you to reflect, but you believe the rubric and assignment demonstrate some area of skill development you want to talk about with the panel. In this case, you should write down your reflection and keep it with that rubric.

8. Speaking of. . .where will I be keeping these rubrics?

Your advisor will begin asking for scored rubrics in your freshman year. He or she will have a box in your advisory room that will house the scored rubrics and your accompanying reflections. You will have a checklist in your folder in that box that will allow you to keep track of which rubrics of the seven you have and which you still need to get.

If you feel comfortable enough with the technology, you may decide to store your scored rubrics electronically in your Google Drive.

You should keep the assignment that goes along with the rubric in order to facilitate your discussion of that rubric with the panel. For some assignments such as large or bulky projects, you may wish to take a photo of the project to preserve the project for the junior portfolio presentation. Since you need to describe the assignment and refer to specifics about the assignment along with specific indicators on the school wide rubric, you must preserve the assignments in some form.

9. Do I need to keep every single rubric I'm ever given?

No. For your presentation you will only need to discuss one rubric for each of the seven skill areas. You will want to talk about those rubrics which present the most revealing and honest picture of you as a learner. For example, you may have a rubric from freshman year that indicates that you're "developing' as a writer. By March of your junior year, you may have received a rubric that shows you've become proficient; therefore, you would replace the freshman rubric with the junior one to show where you are now as a writer. Nevertheless, you should make sure you have at least one rubric in each of the seven skill areas.

10. What if I'm not very organized?

You will have some help keeping organized, but ultimately it is up to you, the student, to make sure that you have all the rubrics you need in time for your panel presentation. You will get some help from your advisor, basically in the form of reminders, but if you're not very organized, you will need to learn to be organized - and after all, learning is what school is all about.

11. Do I need to be "exemplary' in every category in order to pass junior portfolio and graduate?

No. You don't even need to be proficient. What you need to show the panel is that you've thought about your abilities in each of the seven skill areas and understand your own strengths and weaknesses as a reader, speaker, problem-solver, etc. For whatever reason, you may never be a "proficient' reader, but as long as you can talk about the difficulties you experience when reading and what you do to try to overcome those difficulties, you will be able to pass your junior portfolio presentation.

12. What do I have to do to pass?

The panel members will have their own rubric which measures how well you reflected on your progress in each of the seven skill areas. You will need to convince them that you've thought about the kind of reader, writer, tech user, etc. that you are and can talk about it with understanding. The easiest way to do this would be to have at hand the reflections you've written for the scored rubrics you got back from your teachers. (If you have kept these electronically, you will need to be able to retrieve them for the panel presentation.) All you would have to do then is refer to the reflections and be prepared to answer questions from the panel. Most of the time those questions will have to do with the assignment for which the rubric was created. For example, the panel might ask you about the project you did for English that earned you a "proficient' on your creative expression rubric.

13. What does the CAPT Test have to do with the Junior Portfolio presentation?

If you scored at "Goal" or above on the Science portions of the CAPT, you will not need to discuss the problem-solving rubric with the panel. If you're particularly proud of an achievement in one of those areas, you can certainly talk about it with the panel, but you won't have to unless you want to.

14. How do I earn distinction on the Junior Portfolio?

To earn distinction, you need to come prepared to share a total of 14 graded rubrics and assignments, two for each of The Morgan School rubrics. When presenting your rubrics and assignments, you will explain your growth over time for each skill area. If you scored at "Goal" or above on the Science CAPT, you do not need to discuss the problem-solving rubric to the panel.

14. When will the presentation take place? How long will it take?

The presentations will take place here at The Morgan School in the spring, when we have a half-day. At your appointed time, you will report to your assigned room for your presentation. You should expect to spend about twenty to thirty minutes reporting to the panel.

15. Who will be on the panel?

The panel will be composed of adults who be Clinton Public School teachers, administrators, and/or paraprofessionals. In addition, parents or other community members (such as school board members) might serve on the panels. All of these adults are interested in knowing how much you've learned over the preceding eleven years - and even more so, they all want to celebrate your successes.

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