The purpose of this assignment is for you to gather, compile, and organize documentation of children’s work and then help the children to select and showcase these artifacts in individualized or whole class portfolios. You should begin this project at the very beginning of the term, as helping the children to collect, store, and organize their work over a long period of time will provide you with more artifacts to choose from when building the children’s portfolios. As with all of our assignments in this class, please consider using your work here in your own professional career portfolio.Gathering Children’s ArtifactsMany of the activities that the children engage in at the center will produce observable artifacts that chart their growth, creativity, development, curiosity, play, and learning experiences. Some of the artifacts, like hand drawn or written work on paper, will exist in a more permanent form. Save everything and encourage the children to help you. Other artifacts, such as creations made of blocks, sand, water, or clay, or produced by dancing, singing, or dramatic play, may be less permanent or difficult to capture on paper, so you will need to document these artifacts with a digital camera or video recorder.Your first goal in this assignment is to serve as a collector of children’s work in every possible way you can imagine. Remember that collaborative work and whole class activities, adventures, projects, and field trips are also artifacts of individual child growth and development. Be creative in thinking about different ways to collect observable documentation of all of the wonderful things that the children do.Compiling and Organizing Children’s ArtifactsAs you gather observable artifacts of children’s work at the center in multiple forms, begin organizing the artifacts for the children in individualized folders. You will likely need both a hard copy and digital folders for each child in order to keep all of the artifacts organized and accessible for children, parents, and your colleagues at the center to see and enjoy.At the beginning of the term, create a folder for each child and label it with his/her name. Consider allowing children to decorate their own portfolio folders. Folders provide just one way to store hard copies of children’s work. Feel free to come up with your own organizational system. You should also consider creating a series of folders on your computer and labeling them with the children’s names. You can then organize photographs, video artifacts, and any other digital files according to the children that these portfolio pieces apply to.Your goal in compiling and organizing children’s artifacts is to create individualized hard copy and digital folders for each child.Showcasing and Selecting Artifacts with the ChildrenAt some point in the last three weeks of the term, hold a portfolio meeting with the children. This is an opportunity for you to show the children all of the work you have collected about each of them over the course of the term. Prepare for this meeting by ensuring that all children’s folders are filled with hard copies of their work. Also, think of a novel way to showcase all of the digital files you have collected. You might consider creating a digital slideshow or a short movie. Be creative. This is a time of celebration for the children. It is also a time for everyone to reflect on all of the things you have learned and done together.After the children have a chance to see all of their work, help them to select their favorite parts. Work with the children to create a special project featuring their favorite pieces of work. You may choose to create individualized projects or a whole class project. Depending on your resources and the desires of the children, you all may decide to make special books, a class bulletin board, or a digital project that they can view and share with family members online. As you work with the children to select their favorite pieces of work and decide how to showcase them, ask them about their choices and help them to reflect on what they have learned.To successfully complete the Child Portfolio Project:
- Collect artifacts (hard copy and digital) of children’s work.
- Organize all of the children’s work in individualized folders.
- Work with the children to select their favorite pieces of work and decide how they would like to showcase the work.
- Work with the children to create their portfolio project(s).
The purpose of this assignment is for you to use the child portfolio project(s) that you compiled and designed with the children throughout the term to hold a conference with the parents of at least two of the children served by the child care center. As with all of our assignments in this class, please consider using your work here in your professional career portfolio.Selecting Parents and Obtaining Consent to Video RecordFirst, after you and the children have finished the child portfolio project, select a few parents who are willing to participate in a portfolio conference that you will record on videotape for instructional and educational purposes. Inform the parents that the purpose of the conference is to discuss their child’s progress and the portfolio(s) that the children worked to create throughout the term. As with all video documentation, please get signed consent from parent participants before you begin each conference.Scheduling Conference MeetingsOnce you have parent volunteers and signed consents to video record, arrange 30-minute conferences with the parents. Parents may decide whether or not they would like their children to be present during the conference, and you should schedule the conferences according to their choices. You should plan to hold conferences with the parents of at least two children.Planning for Parent ConferencesBefore each parent conference, take some time to prepare. Follow the steps below:
- Have the child’s portfolio ready for viewing.
- Brainstorm a few key points that you would like to raise in the conference. These may include:
- Praise for the child’s specific accomplishments
- Details about the processes that went into individual assignments and portfolio production
- Insight into the choices the child made when designing the portfolio
- Ways that the portfolio reflects the center’s curriculum and mission statement
- Prepare to answer parent questions about their child’s work and progress at the center.
Conducting and Recording the Parent ConferencesWhen parents arrive for their child portfolio conferences, you should be prepared to greet them and begin the discussion. You should secure a clean and quiet space to talk with parents. Your materials and recording device should be set up and ready to go. Remember to press record on your device before the conference begins.Your goal in the conference is to discuss the child’s work, achievements, and progress over the course of the whole term, as demonstrated by the portfolio. You should also be willing and ready to answer parent questions, as they relate to the portfolio work you have collected with the child.Reporting the Parent ConferencesAfter you have completed child portfolio conferences with the parents of at least two children at the center, prepare digital files of the conferences to submit to your instructor. The most accessible video files are .avi, .mov, .mpg, .mp4 and .wmv. Please ensure that your instructor can open and view the video file type that you have chosen to send.With your video files, you also need to submit your planning notes and a 250-500 word report of each conference that you held. Your report, for each conference, should answer the following questions:What is your overall evaluation of the conference?
- What parts of the conference do you think were most successful, and why?
- What parts of the conference do you wish were different, and why?
- What did you learn from the experience of creating child portfolio projects and conferencing with parents?
To successfully complete the Parent Conference with Child Portfolio:
- Help the children prepare portfolios of their work.
- Recruit parents of at least two children at the center who are willing to participate in video-recorded conferences.
- Obtain consent to conduct video recordings.
- Schedule and plan for the conferences.
- Conduct and video-record the conferences.
- Write a 250-500 word report of each conference.
- Submit your video files with conference notes and 250-500 word reports. Please submit all required files in one folder.
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