Quadratics Portfolio Day 2 of 3

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SWBAT explain key concepts and ideas from the Quadratics unit while reflecting on their own learning.

Big Idea

In this end of the unit alternative assessment, students create portfolios to demonstrate their understanding of key concepts and show their progress as math students.


10 minutes

Day 2 of this lesson plan mostly involves students getting right to work on their portfolios so they can maximize their time in class and make progress toward completion. It is up to each teacher to decide how much class time to dedicate to the portfolio versus out of class time.  I find students are most successful with portfolio assignments when they have a balance, completing some work in class and some work out of class. It is important to keep their momentum moving forward, as some students struggle with independent work completion.

The purpose of the opening of class today is to introduce students to the Portfolio Grading Rubric for the portfolios.  It is important that they know how the portfolios will be graded so they can plan their work accordingly.  If I have extra time, I ask students to brainstorm criteria they think would be important to have a high quality portfolio.  I can incorporate this feedback into my own rubric and explain why I have included the categories that are in the rubric.

Perhaps while students are brainstorming portfolio grading criteria (it could be done in a free-write form), I circulate and check portfolio homework from the night before.


40 minutes

Students will now continue working on their portfolios.  I like to help students stay on task by asking them to set a goal of what they would like to accomplish by the end of class.  I’ll make a list at the board with their names and what part of the portfolio they plan to work on right now.  

Things I'll watch for:

  • When writing the Introduction to the portfolio, students may struggle with how the unit developed.  I sometimes work with a small group to help outline the main themes of the unit.  
  • I try to use guiding questions to encourage understanding.  Some questions I might use are:
    • How did you solve this problem?
    • What strategy did you use? Why?
    • What does ______________ mean to you?
    • How does this problem relate to the unit we have been studying? Why do you think we did this problem as part of this unit?

Closing + Homework

5 minutes

Towards the end of today's class, I will ask Students respond to the following prompt:  

What were you thinking when you made decisions and selected work to include in your portfolio?

To keep the work moving on the portfolio and to keep students from getting overwhelmed, I like to assign a portfolio homework assignment at the end of each class that we are working on portfolios.  Again, I go around the room and let each students decide what s/he will complete by the start of tomorrow’s class. I keep a record of what’s students decide so I can check at the beginning of class tomorrow.


Note: This material is adapted from the IMP Teacher’s Guide, © 2010 Interactive Mathematics Program. Some rights reserved.