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Five Ideas to Jumpstart Your Portrait of a Graduate Class Space

Kristian Fernandez-Brown
May 29, 2023

Are you ready to take your Portrait of a Graduate class space to the next level?  Whether you're a seasoned educator or a new teacher just starting out, we've got you covered with five templated ideas that are sure to inspire and engage your learners. At its core, the Portrait of a Graduate initiative seeks to equip students with the skills and competencies they need to succeed in the 21st-century workforce.  Each of these ideas is designed to promote the competencies outlined in the Portrait of a Graduate initiative, including critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and more.  Let’s get started on transforming your class space and empowering your students to succeed!

Activity #1 Goal Setting Space (Self-Directed Learning)

Are you looking for a fun and interactive way to help your students develop their self-directed learning and communication skills? Look no further! Our first activity, the Goal Setting Space, is the perfect way to jumpstart your Portrait of a Graduate class space. This activity encourages students to set realistic goals for themselves and communicate those goals with their classmates.

Setting goals is an essential part of self-directed learning, and effective communication is key to achieving those goals. By completing this activity, your students will not only develop their goal-setting and communication skills, but they'll also gain a deeper understanding of the importance of these competencies.

Just copy and paste the instructions below and assign the activity to your students! (Note: we recommend adding both audio and written instructions)

Activity instructions to copy and paste

Title: My Goal-Setting Journal

Space: Individual

Instructions: In this private space, you will record your goals related to your learning and development for the school year.  Goal setting should begin as early in the year as possible and is usually a year-long process. Use the SMART system to develop your goals.  

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Students can use the following structure for their goal-setting post.

  • My Goal:
  • Steps to attain my goal:
  • Timeline for achieving my goal:
  • People and resources that I might need to achieve my goal:
  • How I will know when my goal is achieved:
  • How I will celebrate achieving my goal:

Activity #2 Student Led-Conferences Space (Communication / Self-Directed Learning)

Presenting the Student Led Conferences Space, a powerful tool to help your students develop their communication and self-directed learning skills. This activity puts students in the driver's seat, allowing them to take ownership of their learning and communicate their progress with their parents or guardians.  

Effective communication and self-directed learning are two of the key competencies outlined in the Portrait of a Graduate initiative, and this activity is a great way to help your students develop those skills. By taking an active role in their own learning and communicating their progress with others, students will gain a deeper understanding of their strengths and areas for improvement.

Just copy and paste the instructions below and assign the activity to your students! (Note: we recommend adding both audio and written instructions)

Activity instructions to copy and paste

Title: Student Led-Conferences Space

Space: Individual

Instructions: This space will be used to gather evidence to present your very own Student-Led Conference.  There are two components:

  1. Source of Pride - In this Space, you will compile your best work from the school year (a specific assignment, a specific success story, a core competency you have improved upon).  Post content that you think best showcases how you've put your knowledge and learning to good use.  You will be copying posts here from previously published posts across your Spaces:
    • Identify a post you want to copy from any space
    • Click on the 3 dots at the bottom right of the post.  Click Copy Post
    • Click Next
    • Select your ‘Student-Led Conference Individual Space.’  Click Post.
    • Once published, use the comment field to add your reflection with “I can” statements.
  2. Two Goals / Areas for Growth - Identify 2 goals or areas where you’d like to improve.  During your meeting, you will explain these items in detail and then ask parents/teachers if they’d like to suggest solutions.  Choose from the list below or create your own:
    • Homework completion
    • Limiting disruptions in class
    • Impulse control
    • Balancing professionalism with personality/playfulness
    • Asking for help when I don’t understand something
    • Resolving conflicts with a peer or peers
    • Putting less pressure on myself
    • Finding ways to stay motivated

Activity #3 My Growth Portfolio (Communication / Self-Directed Learning / Social Emotional Learning)

Looking for a way to allow students to demonstrate their understanding and growth in each Portrait of a Graduate Core Competencies, well look no further as we present to you, “My Growth Portfolio.”  

By uploading written work, photos, videos, or audio recordings that demonstrate their learning, students can showcase their achievements and progress over time, providing evidence of their development in each of the Portrait of a Graduate Core Competencies.

Through reflection prompts and questions provided within the space, students will be encouraged to regularly engage with their portfolios, fostering a deeper understanding of themselves and their strengths and areas for improvement.

Just copy and paste the instructions below and assign the activity to your students!  (Note: we recommend adding both audio and written instructions) 

Activity instructions to copy and paste

Title: My Growth Portfolio

Space: Individual

Instructions: Instructions: This space is set up to allow you to reflect on the Portrait of a Graduate Core Competencies.  

  1. Use this Space to demonstrate your understanding and growth in each particular competency.  
  2. Upload written work, photos, videos, or audio recordings that showcase your learning, such as a video of a presentation you have demonstrating your communication skills or a written reflection on a group project showcasing your collaboration skills. 
  3. To encourage students to regularly engage with their portfolios, reflection prompts and questions will be provided that relate to each Core Competency.
  4. Over time you will have a collection of evidence, which you can use to showcase your achievements and progress over time. 

Activity #4 Reflecting on Community Service Initiative (Global Competency / Social-Emotional Learning)

Get ready to ignite your students' passion for community service while developing their global competency and social-emotional learning skills! The Community Service Reflection activity provides a unique opportunity for students to reflect on their recent service initiatives and identify personal growth and development from the experience.

By thoughtfully considering the prompts provided, students will engage in a deep reflection, gaining valuable skills that will be useful in both their personal and academic lives. This activity encourages students to make a positive impact in their community while also developing essential skills.

Just copy and paste the instructions below and assign the activity to your students! (Note: we recommend adding both audio and written instructions) The Community Service Reflection activity is a win-win for students, providing a meaningful learning experience and an opportunity to make a difference.

Activity instructions to copy and paste

Title: Reflecting on Community Service Initiative

Space: Individual

Instructions: Students will reflect on a recent community service initiative they participated in and identify their personal growth and development from the experience.  Use the following prompts to form the basis of your reflection piece.  Take your time and reflect on your experience thoughtfully.  This reflection is for your personal growth and development.  

  • What was your role in the community service initiative?
  • What did you learn from this experience?
  • How did you feel before, during, and after the service initiative?
  • Did your perception of the community or social issue change as a result of the initiative?
  • Did this experience inspire you to continue to serve the community or to become more involved in social issues?
  • What challenges did you face during the initiative and how did you overcome them?
  • What impact did your service have on the community or those you served?

Activity #5 Student Self-Assessment of Learning  (Self-Regulation / Communication)

Get your students engaged in their own learning with the Self-Assessment Activity! This activity focuses on self-regulation and communication by encouraging students to evaluate their own learning experiences.

Supply your students with a self-assessment rubric.  Students learn how to grade themselves and identify areas where they could improve. By providing examples to support their self-assessment, students will develop communication skills as they clearly articulate their strengths and areas for improvement.  

This activity will give your students the tools they need to become independent learners who take ownership of their education. So, what are you waiting for? Just copy and paste the instructions below and assign the activity to your students! (Note: we recommend adding both audio and written instructions)

Activity instructions to copy and paste

Title: Student Self-Assessment of Learning

Space: Individual

Instructions: Students will use self-assessment to evaluate a recent learning experience (a test or final project) and identify areas for improvement.

  1. Students must use the attached rubric to guide their grading criteria
  2. Students must read through the rubric carefully and identify areas where they believe they did well, and areas where they could improve.
  3. Students must provide examples to support their self-assessment
Kristian Fernandez-Brown

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