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On the Internet one can find many examples of folders used to contain student work. I’ve seen them called shutter fold books, lapbooks and desktop projects, to name a few. To avoid confusion, we call our books "Portfolders." They can be identified by the following characteristics:

  • made from poster board
  • show student thinking from beginning (What do I know about my subject? What do I want to know about my subject?) to end (What have I learned?) of any given unit of study
  • filled with students’ comments and reflections about what they’ve learned
  • photos show children actively learning
  • include book/materials list of resources used during the unit
  • cover reflects original student artwork
  • charts, graphs, timelines and other graphic organizers are kid-generated (worksheets are not included)
  • layout is determined by the child


Here are some of the resources I have created:

Why Do We Do Portfolders?
Sample Portfolders
Creating Your Own Portfolder
Mini-Books, Flaps, and Student Folders
Portfolder-Friendly Curriculum

If you would like to be informed of new information regarding portfolders and our latest curricular adventures, please join our webgroup, Candle in the Window.

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