Eighth-grade students recently collaborated with members of the high school WISE program to further develop and enhance their digital portfolios, which track their accomplishments throughout their academic careers.
The idea behind the project, which was first introduced to the high school freshmen in 2016 and launched at the elementary and middle schools at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, is to guide students in their awareness of the Bronxville Promise and development in each of the four dispositions: leadership, critical thinking, innovation and engaged citizenship.
Jean Windels, a science teacher and eighth-grade team leader, collaborated with her fellow educators to build a template, introduce the project to the students and show them how to edit and make entries into their portfolios. The students began by filling out an “about me” section in October and continued developing their portfolios in November.
“The Bronxville Promise is so important to the Bronxville School, and it’s really our goal to have students experience all four dispositions,” Windels said. “We may realize what they’re doing and what our goals are for lessons or projects, but we want to make sure that they realize how they lead, think critically, innovate and engage the world.”
When the high school seniors – who were the first ones to take on this innovative approach at the high school – visited several middle school classrooms on Nov. 19, they guided the eighth-graders in the selection of their first portfolio submissions. They also shared best practices and suggestions on how to effectively build a digital portfolio. Throughout the year, the eighth-graders will be able to enhance their portfolios by adding pictures and videos and upload works that show their progress within the dispositions of the Bronxville Promise. Since each student’s portfolio will be expanded upon over the years, they will also be able to identify how they’ve improved over time and reflect on each entry as they grow as students and individuals within the school community.
As a result of the students’ reflections, Windels said she hopes the project empowers them and instills confidence and a sense of accomplishment in them. At the end of the school year, the eighth-graders will present their portfolios in class and will continue to reflect on their accomplishments.