Raccoon Review

A Weekly Communication Tool for Rice Elementary Staff

Campus Goals

  1. Ensuring ALL students are in attendance.
  2. Cultivating a climate that welcomes students and parents.
  3. Creating opportunities for students to use and increase critical thinking and decision-making skills.
  4. Moving from Parent Involvement to Parent Engagement.

Staff Shout Outs

Thank you to Leonor, Sarah and Tanya for helping at the Early Childhood Resource Fair!!! You are amazing!!!

This Wednesday, be thinking and praying for Chelsea and Brad as they begin a new chapter of their life...as parents!!!

Week at a Glance: April 2nd-6th

Specials A Week

Pre-K & Kinder Round Up


2nd Grade PLC

Light it up Blue-You can wear Blue in support of Autism Awareness

8:30-4th Grade RtI

3:30-3rd Grade RtI


4th Grade PLC-STAAR Review

2nd grade Math CA #6

Angela @ Counselor's Meeting


Kinder PLC

Kona Ice Day

3:30-STAAR Training for 4th Grade


3rd Grade PLC-STAAR Review

7:00-Early Bird ELA Tracks

11:00-PTO Meeting (Library)

Kinder Gradation Pictures

Kinder Poison Control Presentation

PK/Kinder Round Up Late Night


1st Grade PLC-Dyslexia Presentation

Malinda @ CHS Feeder Meeting

3:30-Job Fair Meeting (Library)

Notes from Malinda

Asking Better Questions

By George on Mar 27, 2018 07:04 am

I have a passion for digital portfolios. I think that if we look at doing them in a way that is across grades, subjects, classrooms, and a shared platform in different teacher classes, they can be transformational to a school, district, and more importantly, to the learning of our students.

So I am often frustrated when the first question that I hear regarding digital portfolios is about the technology, not the learning. “What platform should we use?” is usually the main focus, instead of, “How will this shape learning in our classrooms in a way that we are not doing currently?”

The simple shift here is having the learning shape what technology a student uses, not the technology shaping what learning can be done by the student. Obviously, there is room for both as a “digital” portfolio can do many things that paper cannot (media, information over the years in one place and easily searchable, etc.).

For example, when I first looked at portfolios, I thought about “learning portfolios” versus “showcase portfolios.” From a previous post:

When I started to look at what was the best place to start a digital portfolio, we looked at two types of portfolios; a learning portfolio and a showcase portfolio. Here is the easiest way to differentiate the two in terms of student learning:

Learning portfolio – If a student were to take a video of them reading in four consecutive months, you would see all readings over time to see development and growth.

Showcase portfolio -If a student were to take a video of them reading in four consecutive months, they would pick the best one from the four samples.

Because of that, I focused on using blogs as a portfolio, even though blogs were not set up as a “portfolio.” The learning helped shaped the way we used the technology, and eventually, the technology can transform the learning to do something we couldn’t do before. The order here is imperative.

For example, here is an image regarding “8 Things to Look for In Today’s Classroom“:

If you took those 8 things, how could you bring those elements alive in a digital portfolio?

Here are two examples:


How do we create an opportunity to create a digital footprint, through different mediums (video, audio, written, visual, etc.) it allows them to share their voice in ways, and on topics, that are meaningful to the learner?


How will students share their work, both in and out of the curriculum, which allows them to take different pathways in their learning? This could range from how students share their learning (assessment as learning), or even, what students choose to learn.

Could you figure out elements of learning for the other six that could be exemplified by a digital portfolio? If you can, what platform would THEN best serve the learning?

As I write this, I struggle with a “chicken and egg” scenario. I know I am biased on what can be done with a digital portfolio because I have done it myself. I know the technology can shape what we do in learning. What I am trying to work through in my head is asking, “What platform should we use?” the equivalent of “What apps should I download on my iPad?” It limits a focus on a bigger picture and narrows in on the technology, not the learning.

I had the opportunity to listen to Will Richardson recently, and he said something that I will paraphrase (and maybe messing up) that stuck with me:

“I don’t know the answers; I am just trying to ask better questions.”

If we start with trying to ask better questions instead of immediate answers, we seem to be starting in a much better place.

Staff Birthdays

Kim Pullen-4/4