Goal: student portfolios

I haven’t seen much talk lately on twitter or in the blogosphere about portfolios. I want to deepen students’ understanding of concepts so I thought I’d steal/modify a portfolio idea that was shared at last week’s math curriculum meeting. If you can help me figure out a way to add more choice while still addressing the concepts, I’d love your input. As it stands right now choice is limited to product, and in a small way–process.

The original idea shared was too open ended for me, “Prove you have mastered the learning objective.” While I’m a free spirit in many ways I think the students need some focus so I came up with specific criteria for both the artifacts and written reflections, along with a rubric for each.

Subtracting Integers Criteria for Success


Submit three artifacts demonstrating conceptual understanding of subtracting integers. Record your thinking using Explain Everything, iMovie, or other format.

  • create visual models. Include the following scenarios:
    • x– y
    • x– y
    • x– (– y)
    • x– (– y)
  • create and solve an equation using a series of five different positive and negative integers on BOTH sides of the equation to make the statement true.
    • Example: –a – (– b) + c – d – (–e) = f + (– g) – (– h)  –  i + (– j)
  • create and solve an original, real-world integer problem where absolute value is applied.

Here’s the artifact rubric. It’s generic so it can be applied to any collection of artifacts. I didn’t include point equivalents or percentages because I want the students to focus on the “feedback”. They’ll be able to resubmit.



Submit a written reflection of your artifacts. Include:

  • an analysis of the artifacts
  • the math practices applied and how you have applied them
  • the modes of representation used
  • proper grammar, spelling, conventions

Here’s the reflection rubric. It’s also generic.


When I’m ready to grade I’ll translate the levels into percent equivalents. For example:

  • Level 4 = 100%
  • Level 3 = 90%
  • Level 2 = 70%
  • Level 1 = 60%
  • Level 0 = 50%

As the portfolios are turned in I’ll share student work and let you know how it goes.

Other bloggers sharing their goals can be found by clicking the link below.


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