Explanation of Components
A.R.S. (Assignment Reflection Sheet): The first step in organizing portfolios is determining which assignments best reflect SLEs. To facilitate student selection, they will be required to attach these sheet to assignments.
Character Letters: Students will be required to gather three character letters that helps the reader understand the type of person the student has become. The letters should be from people who know the students the best outside of their family unit (parents can write a fourth letter if they choose). Coaches, teachers, priests, family friends, babysitters, neighbors are all great candidates for these character letters. Students will be required to write a letter to request the letter explaining what they are looking for in the letter. The students will read one of these letters out loud during the portfolio presentation to help establish the character of the presenter.
Definition page of SLE: Write a 2-3 page explanation defining each Student Learning Expectation (SLE). You should define the SLE using the evidence you choose as proof that you embody the SLE. You should also include what you learned about the SLE throughout your past school years. Include your struggles and goals for the future regarding each SLE.
Evidence: Students will be required to choose 5 pieces of work from their past school year(s) for each of the SLEs. Three of the five pieces of work must have a reflection page explaining the reason it is in your portfolio. The other two evidence pieces must have the reflection worksheet attached. The evidence in the portfolio must be in paper form and CANNOT be pictures (save those for your tri-fold)
Extracurricular Activity Write-Up: This is a one-page explanation sharing how the student is a well-rounded individual. What are the interests the student has outside of school? Do they play sports, are they part of any clubs? Dancing, musical instruments, drama, clubs, and any other activity the students participate in should be showcased here (in paper form). Any pictures taken during these events can be displayed on the trifold.
Message of Faith: The theme of the Message of Faith changes every year and will be given to students in the third quarter. They will have to write a page that shows how they interpret the theme. Students will also have to memorize their message of faith and then they will be recorded stating their message of faith. This will be added to the student’s’ portfolio video they will share as part of their presentation.
Personal SLE Definition: Write about which SLE embodies you the most. What about the SLE does your life represent? Why? How would others see this SLE in your life without you explaining it to them?
Personal Statement: Write a four-part paper explaining yourself. First explain your family. (Where you were born, who’s in your family what your family life is like, etc.) Next explain your experience at St. Mary School. (What grade you started attending the school, what your friendships have been like, how you learned about your faith, what you’ve learned about yourself, your favorite subjects, etc.) Then explain which of the SLEs best represents you. Why do you feel this way? What are some experiences to prove it? Last explain your future. (Where you plan on going to school, what interests you plan to pursue in high school and possibly college, how your faith will help support your future, etc.)
Portfolio Binder: The portfolio binder is a 2-3” three-ring binder that is decorated with a theme chosen by the student that best represents who they are. The binder will hold the majority of the work students will be creating throughout the year. Please see the portfolio theme examples for pictures of binders of other students.
Portfolio Presentation: At the end of the year students will give a presentation to our community showing how they have accomplished their goals based on the school’s Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs). Students will be given 15 minutes to share work in their portfolio binder, explain their trifold, and show the video they created. Adults in our community will be invited to this presentation such as the principals of the surrounding schools, the priests, deacons, and other religious groups of the school community, political figures, and parents. These adults are all invited to participate, ask questions, and give feedback to these students. 7th graders and siblings are also invited to attend, learn from, and support the 8th graders. 8th grade students are required to dress, and act professionally, but at the same time, let their individual personalities shine during this unique experience.
Reflection Page: You must write a full page analysis of the evidence that follows. What was the assignment? When did you complete the assignment (which grade and teacher). What was the learning outcome? Why did you choose the piece of work and how does it connect to the SLE? Identify if the work showed: Excellence, improvement, or a learning experience.
Service Hours Write-Up: This is a one-page explanation of the service hours students completed during their middle school time at St. Mary. Students should not only explain what types of community service they accomplished but also what they learned about themselves, and about their faith by serving others.
Theme: Students are to choose a theme that best represents who they are as an individual. This theme should be present throughout all components of their portfolio presentation. Examples of themes some students have used: “Never Hide Your Wings”, “Life’s a Game”, “Dancing My Way to the Top”, “Dream Big”, “The Art of Music”, “Going for the Goal”.
Trifold: This is a visual prop students will use the show how they embody the SLEs. The trifold should have the following components: Bible verse that best explains the student, each of the 5 SLEs labeled along with pictures as evidence. Students have used this platform to showcase their trophies, jerseys, uniforms, pins, pictures, instruments as well. The tri-fold should display their theme and be decorated to reflect and match it as well.
Video: Throughout the year students will be learning how to create and edit videos. Their portfolio presentation will include a video of how the students embody the SLEs. Students should be bringing in digital copies of pictures from their lives that show the SLEs. They should aim to have 5-8 pictures for each SLE.