by Tziona Levi, ORT Religious High School, Beth She’an (adapted from Baack, 1997)
Number of pupils
Dear pupil, This portfolio is slightly different from previous ones. Please read the instructions carefully. What should I include in the portfolio? Four pieces of writing, with five components: original outline or semantic map/flow chart of ideas for brainstorming rough draft, second draft self-evaluation (to be given) peer evaluation (to be given) comment card (what I have learned from this piece of writing; what has changed in the drafts; what advice my peers offered; what I did differently in the following piece of writing) Each entry will include dates for original and draft copies. The portfolio will open with a short introductory page about the writer (name, grade, date of submission) and table of contents. It must be typed. Writing tasks: Two pieces of writing will be composed in class: cover letter and book project. Two pieces will be written as part of the homework assignments. Select from all assignments which two to include in the portfolio. A list of sample writing assignments will be given.
The cover letter will be written in class as one of the four pieces of writing. This will help you determine your writing strengths and weaknesses, where you have made progress and where you still need work.
How will I arrange the portfolio? Organizing the four pieces of writing within the completed portfolio is important for self-evaluation. You will be able to see your progress and how this portfolio has helped you improve as a writer. The following illustration explains the order of the four entries. The list accompanying the illustration can serve as the table of contents.
Best piece of writing
1.Cover letter 2.Best piece 3.Second best piece 4.First-in-class piece
Select the best piece of writing. A good piece of writing has: an introduction; a body; a conclusion; a main idea and supporting details. Ensure all your writing genres have been incorporated and that the purpose for writing was achieved (paragraph, formal/informal letter, letter to the editor, giving advice, stating opinions, and complaining). Notice: You are making two choices; first, which four pieces should be included, and second, how to organize these pieces. How will the portfolio be assessed? The pieces of writing will be assessed twice. The quality of each piece of writing will be graded according to the new Bagrut format. For any improvement in your writing (based on the comment cards, cover letter and comparing the outline with the first and second drafts), you will be graded with a rating scale. The portfolio will be assessed during a teacher-pupil conference. I hope this attempt to improve your writing will be successful. Focus on the details and good luck!
Self-check your writing
To complete your work, tick the points that are relevant to your writing. For those that are not relevant, consider the suggestions for possible improvement. Subject Self-check Improvements All my ideas are relevant to the topic. Content My ideas are presented clearly and logically. Rearrange any misplaced paragraphs. Delete any irrelevant information or ideas which repeat themselves. Add connectors between paragraphs.
I didn’t use the same words or phrases more than once.
Find repeated words/phrases in the dictionary and replace them with a synonym or rephrase the sentence. If not, check your notebook to include some in your piece of writing. If there is more than one idea in a paragraph, separate into two paragraphs Build each paragraph around a theme/key sentence. Add an explanation, example(s) and a conclusion. Add connectors/linking words where possible, from the list studied.
I used words that we have studied recently.
My paragraphs deal with only one aspect of the subject. There is logical development within the paragraph. Connectors connect between sentences and paragraphs to create a logical flow.
The verbs agree with their subjects and the nouns match.
If third person is used, make sure you added an /s/ to the verb. Make sure that you have the nouns coordinated with regards to singular/plural. Pay attention to the time expressions you used and match the verbs accordingly.
The verbs are in the correct tense (present, past, irregular verbs in the past, etc.).
Self-check The punctuation is accurate. The spelling is accurate. Word order is correct Paragraphs are separated with a line space. There are margins and paragraphs are indented. There are opening and closing salutations for a letter or speech. The tone is appropriate for the subject.
Improvements Check by reading aloud and see where the pauses fit. Use the dictionary or the computer spell-checker. Check the sentence order (subject, verb, object). Insert an empty line between paragraphs.
If it’s a letter don’t forget to begin with: “Dear ___,” and end with “Sincerely,” etc. Check what kind of language is necessary for the audience of this piece of writing: formal, informal, humorous, etc. Check what words are necessary for the audience of this piece of writing: simple or sophisticated. When reading the piece out loud, do I want to continue reading; does it grab attention? How did I end my writing? Is the reader left with a question or an answer?
Style The level of the vocabulary fits the topic and genre. There is a clear and interesting introduction. Organization There is a sound conclusion.
Keep this page and use it before you hand anything in.
Peer review: writing a paragraph or an essay
Reader’s name: ______________________
Writer’s name: ______________________
Title of piece: _______________________ Date: ______________________________ This piece of writing is ________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ The part I liked best is _________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ because ____________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________
I think the writer should improve ________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Please circle any language errors you found in the writing piece.
Suggest how you would correct these errors. _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ Please make a final thoughtful comment for the writer: ________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________ ________________________________________________
Rubric for assessing the writing portfolio
Criteria Development and Process 20-25 The portfolio indicates progress or effort over time. The portfolio reflects a high level of awareness of the process involved in writing: (planning notes, proper outline, implementation of plan, relation to peer feedback, relation to teacher's comments, improvement after revision). 30-35 The cover letter demonstrates how aware the pupil has become of her/his writing, what has improved and what still requires work by comparing the first and best essays. Cover letter and comment cards show how much the pupil has developed as a writer and how aware s/he is of her/his strengths and weaknesses. Portfolio presents an effort to improve writing by relating to self, peer and teacher evaluations and reflecting on the differences between the drafts. In pupil/teacher conference, pupil can answer questions about her/his portfolio and process s/he has gone through. 12-15 Pupil can justify her/his choice of entries and how these choices have contributed to her/his writing. 20-25 The portfolio is well-organized, aesthetic and contains: cover letter, table of contents, numbered and dated entries, self and peer evaluations and reflections. Entries include: an introduction; a body; a main idea and supporting details. The portfolio is typed and submitted on time. Quality 15-19 The portfolio shows some development over time. The portfolio reflects some understanding of the process involved in writing/ only some of the following are included: planning notes, proper outline, implementation of plan, relation to peer feedback, relation to teacher's comments, improvement after revision. 20-29 The cover letter partially demonstrates pupil’s awareness of her/his writing improvements; what still needs work and comparison between first and best essay. Cover letter and comment cards show partially that the pupil has developed as a writer, and her/his awareness of her/his strengths and weaknesses. Portfolio presents a limited effort to improve writing by relating to self, peer and teacher evaluations and reflecting on the differences between the drafts. In pupil/teacher conference, pupil can partially answer questions about her/his portfolio and process s/he has gone through. 8-11 Pupil can partially justify her/his entry choices and how these choices have contributed to her/his writing. 15-19 The portfolio is quite well-organized, coherent, contains most of the required items and is typed and is submitted on time. 10-14 The portfolio indicates no effort to develop writing skills. Entries are incomplete, lacking many of the requested features. The process is hardly reflected. Many of the components are missing.
Reflection and Growth
Quality of Choice
Written Presentation Final product
10-19 The cover letter fails to/minimally demonstrates how much the pupil has become aware of her/his writing, what has been improved and what still requires improvement. The pupil did not compare between essays. Pupil neither compared drafts nor related to self and peer evaluations. In pupil/teacher conference, pupil cannot answer questions about her/his portfolio or process s/he has gone through. 5-7 Pupil cannot explain her/his choices or how these choices have contributed to her/his writing. 10-14 The portfolio lacks clear organization and aesthetics; does not contain all the required items.