Anecdotal Records An anecdotal record is a brief description of an observed event. It typically includes the observed behavior or action, the setting in which it occurred and a separate interpretation of the event. These records provide useful data, particularly as they accumulate over time and indicate individual learning patterns and group trends. Checklists Record keeping checklists are useful in combination with authentic assessment practices. At Mountaintop the web-based Montessori Records Express incorporates a great number of different items, from skills and concepts to behaviors and attitude. Such listings provide guides with necessary and substantial information about student development in relation to lessons and planned curriculum or contributions to and detractions from the community. Guides use these records to keep track of lessons presented and they help to assess where individual students are on the academic continuum. The records track the amount of and type of work a child is accomplishing. Trends regarding the interests and needs of the whole group emerge from carefully kept individual records and can be used to assess the effectiveness of the overall classroom learning environment. Portfolios Mountaintop students in the upper elementary keep general portfolios and Middle School students keep writing portfolios. A portfolio is a systematic collection of a student's work. A portfolio updates automatically as the skills of the child grow. Portfolios emphasize discovering and learning as a process rather than just an end product. They provide guides, students and parents with documentation of learning and development over time that is inherently chronological and build in a natural progression. There are five fundamental purposes to utilizing portfolios: • • • • • Celebration - acknowledge and validate student accomplishment Cognition - to encourage students to reflect on their own work Communication - to let those constituents not involved in the daily life of the classroom see the student's progress Cooperation - to provide a means for groups of students to collectively evaluate their own work Competency - to establish criteria by which current student work can be compared to that of their own past, as well as to that of other students or to standards and benchmarks. Showcase portfolios are created with the intention of displaying the child's best work over a period of time. Showcase portfolios enable students to take ownership of the assessment process. Through the selection process, they come to realize their own definitions of their best work and then form expectations for themselves for future work. Demonstration portfolios include multiple levels of a student's work from initiation and brainstorming through first drafts and process components to final pieces. This type of portfolio demonstrates progress over time and honors the process by which mastery comes about. Documentation portfolios make it 109