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7:6 Integrating Portfolio Assessment and Instruction

Integrating portfolio assessment and instruction requires planning goals and objectives, contents, organization, and a host of other decisions. This section addresses those decisions in a comprehensive manner. It also highlights the many ways that portfolio assessment can be linked to previously existing curricula, lessons, and activities. A sample unit and a practice unit are included. Student and teacher annotation worksheets for the artifacts are also included; these connect the task, artifact, and curriculum into a coherent assessment portfolio.

Theme: Exploring Culture Through Fairy Tales
Level: High Beginning-Intermediate
Language: Any

Unit objectives:

The students should be able to do the following in oral and written form:
1. identify the main characters, including physical description and role
2. identify and sequence the main events
3. use key vocabulary words accurately
4. identify set fairy tale phrases such as the equivalents of "once upon a time"

Students will meet the objectives through listening to, speaking, reading, and writing about the fairy tale. They will be exposed to and produce associated artistic creations, such as music and pictures.

Portfolio objectives:

1. Students communicate orally to express personal preferences and exchange information.
2. Students present ideas orally to their classmates on a variety of topics.

Sample unit narrative

Students enter the class as music from the fairy tale is played. Illustrated copies of the fairy tale are displayed for students to look through. The teacher explains the unit theme, objectives, and activities and then reads the fairy tale. The reading can be either preceded or followed by a vocabulary exercise which includes character roles, main verbs, key objects, and places. If this is done prior to reading, it can be done as a predicting exercise based on pictures, title, and background knowledge of fairy tales. Next, students re-read the fairy tale in pairs. Then, students and teacher work together to re-tell the fairy tale, focusing on characters and plot. This information is written on a large piece of paper and displayed. Students then work in teams of 3-4 to present the information pictorially. Students present their poster boards to the class, re-telling the story. Each group is evaluated by itself, peers, and the teacher, using set criteria and the following scale: accurate, somewhat accurate, and not accurate at all on each description, setting, and event. Students re-tell the story in writing. Students work together to peer edit their work according to pre-determined criteria for the work which are: accurate use of key vocabulary words, correct sequencing, and accurate descriptions of place and people. Peer editing and re-writing continues until the work is deemed acceptable by writer, peer, and teacher. Possible extension activities are: having students write a modern-day version of the fairy tale, watch a movie, play, or musical of the fairy tale, or write and perform a skit based on the fairy tale.

Possible artifacts and attestations for the oral portfolio:

videotape of poster board presentation or retelling, videotape of skit, self-evaluation for oral language activities, Student's Foreign Language Standards Checklist, teacher observation checklist on small group practice/discussion, Cooperative Group Work, peer and teacher assessment of poster board presentation, parent response to videotaped presentation, Teacher's Foreign Language Standards Checklist.

Possible artifacts and attestations that could be included in other portfolios are: learning strategies worksheet based on prediction exercise, re-written fairy tale, photograph of poster board, modern-day fairy tale, review of movie, play or musical, written script for skit, Student's Annotation for Artifacts, parent reaction to written story, peer evaluation of written re-telling of fairy tale.

National Standards addressed:

1.1 Demonstrate Interpersonal Communication: Students discuss meaning of the fairy tales in small groups and as a class.
1.2 Demonstrate Interpretive Communication: Students read and listen to fairy tale.
1.3 Demonstrate Presentational Communication: Students present poster board pictorial representation of story.
2.2 Demonstrate Familiarity with Cultural Products: Students become familiar with fairy tales in the target culture.
3.1 Make Connections with Other Disciplines: Students learn about the literature of the target culture through the fairy tale.
3.2 Acquire New Information: Students learn about viewpoints distinctive to the target culture.
4.1 Make Comparisons Between Languages: Students compare phrases with ones used in their native language (e.g., "once upon a time").
5.2 Become a Lifelong Learner: Students learn the strategy of using their background knowledge to make predictions and inferences. Students learn critical thinking skills necessary for analyzing written literary works.

A checklist can be useful in helping to expand lessons so that they are more responsive to the Standards and to ensure that students are acquiring a variety of skills. (See Teacher's Foreign Language Standards Checklist)

Sample Unit: Portfolio Organization

Unit Theme: Exploring Culture Through Fairy Tales
Portfolio Purpose: Assessing communicative oral language abilities

Student Goal 1: Students communicate orally to express personal preferences and exchange information Goal 2: Students present ideas orally to their classmates on a variety of topics.
Anne's portfolio entriesVideo tape of poster board fairy tale retelling

Self-assessment of oral retelling

Paul's portfolio entries

Teacher observation checklist on small group practice/discussion of fairy tale Group work self-assessment form

Fran's portfolio entriesPoster board retelling practice audio tape

Video tape of poster board fairy tale retelling

The portfolio entries, based on the fairy tale unit, illustrate how different students choose to document their learning toward the goals in a variety of ways. The students show why they chose the evidence and how it shows progress by filling out student annotation forms. (See Student's Annotation for Artifacts and Student's Foreign Language Standards Checklist.)

Practice Unit

This unit on the weather is closely related in format to the preceding sample unit. It is included for teachers to practice integrating curriculum, language learning activities, and portfolio assessment. Read the unit and select and organize contents using the practice unit portfolio organization worksheet on page.

Theme: Changing weather
Level: Beginning
Language: Any

Unit Objectives:
1. Recognize and use weather vocabulary
2. Initiate and participate in a conversation about the weather
3. Describe orally and in writing different types of weather conditions

Oral Language Portfolio Objectives:
1. Express personal preferences and exchange information with their classmates.
2. Present ideas orally to their classmates on a variety of topics.

Unit Overview of Procedures:
Lesson 1: Students activate background knowledge about weather conditions by viewing a video about weather in the target language and taking notes. Teacher explains objectives of the unit and introduces key vocabulary. Students practice vocabulary by acting out weather conditions.

Lesson 2: Teacher introduces a dialogue about weather using new vocabulary. Students work in pairs to read and practice the dialogue. Students develop their own dialogue. Teacher uses check list to monitor pair practice.

Lesson 3: Students present dialogues in small groups. Students are assessed with peer and teacher rubrics based on unit objectives.

Lesson 4: Students read weather reports in the newspaper and watch a video of a news weather show. Students analyze and practice new grammar structure or vocabulary.

Lesson 5: Students develop their own written or oral weather report using the learned vocabulary and grammar structures.

Lesson 6: Students present their reports to the class in small groups. Students are assessed by teacher and peers using a rubric based on unit objectives.

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