Remind you of anyone in your class?
Deciding to accept the discussion invitation, I responded, "Hmm, Math is a really large subject. Can you possibly narrow down what portion you find distasteful?"
"Fractions. I hate fractions...I just don't get it," she replied.
"Do you remember long division?" I pressed.
"I love long division. It's so easy," she responded.
"You love long division now...you didn't love it so much, when we first started doing it," I gently reminded the not-loving-fractions 5th grader.
"I didn't? Are you sure? I'm pretty sure I loved it as soon as I started doing it," she replied in a puzzled tone. "I'm really good at division," she continued.
"You're right, you are really good at division. And soon, you'll be great at fractions." I high-fived her as she headed to her seat.
Students often forget how they felt at the beginning of learning a new concept or subject area; focusing only on how they're doing in that moment. A portfolio illustrates early mistakes, the progress made, ultimately showing their overall grasp of the concepts, and in some cases, the time it took to fully grasp the concept.
For more on portfolios, check out: http://www.greymattersdocumentary.com/blog/grades-versus-growth