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outskirtsofbs
10-29-2011, 10:33 AM
Do any of you use those practice tests to get ready for yearly S.T? For those that use the portfolio route, what are the pros/cons to choosing this option? And could you talk about the items you include in the portfolio? Thanks for any info.

dbmamaz
10-29-2011, 10:49 AM
Not sure what state you are in, often it's better to get this kind of info from ppl who are local to you.

In VA, you only have to be in the 24th percentile to be acceptable. I don't test prep much, tho I did go over capitalization w my younger last year. We use the CAT test, which is only math and English, and fairly easy. It's the most commonly used test around here, and the cheapest option at $25 per kid

In VA, schools are not required to accept a portfolio, and some won't, as it's a lot of work. The main other option is an evaluation by a liscenced teacher. There are several evaluators who are used widely, and people say they are great to work with. They seem to come in, look over the work, talk to the kids and the mom, and tell you you are doing a great job! I haven't gone that route because my kids generally test well, so the test seems simpler to me.

LovingMyChildren
10-29-2011, 11:17 PM
In FL, we have to keep a portfolio and have an "evaluation" from a licensed teacher. In essence, the evaluation is someone looking at your log of activities and talking to the kid to see if they can do anything related to the log (i.e., your log says you're reading books - can she actually read, your log says you did a study on sharks - can she tell you what she learned?). The portfolio on the other hand has to include a "sampling" of your work product. So, some people go so far as to do "scrapbooking" of their hs life particularly the unschooler types who do mostly field trips and may have few written products. Most though, save a page of their workbooks every few weeks to show progress over time. I'm saving everything and then will cull down to a reasonable size when the time comes. I'm also keeping "tickets" and handouts/pamphlets from fieldtrips as well as keeping clearly organized batches of photos from fieldtrips that I can then print out (a few from each field trip) and keep in the portfolio. I'm NOT doing a scrapbook though - really, who has time for that?

farrarwilliams
10-29-2011, 11:21 PM
We're required to do a portfolio (but no one actually looks at it from the "state"). I have a post (http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/the-nitty-gritty-portfolio-post/)about how we put ours together, if you're curious. But I agree with Cara - if you have the options, then ask people in your state. In some states, portfolio is really painless and simple - in others, not so much and a $25 standardized test you proctor at home is a much easier option.

Accidental Homeschooler
10-30-2011, 01:34 PM
Does your daughter test well? If I were choosing between testing and portfolio and my kids weren't bothered by testing, I would go with the testing. But that is just me and I am sort of lazy. Do you have to pay a teacher to review the portfolio?

Shoe
10-30-2011, 03:13 PM
We're required, in NH, to either have a portfolio evaluated by a licensed teacher or do standardized testing. We did standardized testing (Iowa Tests of Basic Skills) last year, and a portfolio evaluation the year before. Both seemed okay to us, and I'm not sure which I'll choose this year. But yes, we do use the practice books for standardized testing, and have found them helpful.

hockeymom
10-31-2011, 02:22 PM
In Maine we also have a choice between standardized testing or keeping a portfolio. We'll definitely go the portfolio route. Any licensed teacher can do the evaluation and I understand they are quick, painless and often helpful. I personally think keeping a simple portfolio makes sense for the elementary years, but I may change my mind come middle school.

Jilly
10-31-2011, 03:14 PM
Does your daughter test well? If I were choosing between testing and portfolio and my kids weren't bothered by testing, I would go with the testing. But that is just me and I am sort of lazy.

That is what I would do as well. The though of putting together a portfolio overwhelms me, whereas having my kids take a test seems easy and painless.

theWeedyRoad
11-07-2011, 05:49 PM
I'm also in Maine, and we went the portfolio route last year.

It was pretty painless. I brought way too much paper LOL. I brought samples from each subject for the beginning, middle, and end of the year. I didn't bring my kids because it was my first one and I was incredibly nervous. The teacher was incredibly nice (nothing like the 'we know best' ps attitude I was used to), and told us we'd covered too many things and it was ok to slow down! rotfl!

Not sure what we'll do this year. My kids are sort of all over the place in some areas (dd is behind in reading, ds is behind in math. Just technically- I'm not worried). I'm not sure how they would test, and that gives me pause. I've also looked over some samples from past years and I don't like the way the questions are asked (math especially, ugh), and on the sample there were several mistakes- as in, the right answer to the problem wasn't one of the choices unless you were less-than-exact and did some crazy rounding. Testing seems more streamlined, but portfolios (imho) allow my kids to learn at their own pace much better.

We'll see :)