Series Envision Education Deeper Learning: Student Profile: Portfolio Defense

Student Profile: Portfolio Defense

Lesson Objective: Understand the structure of a College Success Portfolio Defense
Grades 9-12 / Performance Assessment


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. What structures are in place to support students in being successful in their defense?
  2. What can be demonstrated the defense that is not demonstrated in other work?
  3. How does Yvonne reflect on her growth as a learner?


  • Private message to Michella Maiorana-Basas

Can you please caption this video so that it is accessible? Thanks!

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  • Private message to Mary Lou Piccola
I like this format for seniors as they learn to practice introducing a viewpoint and a direction and then follow up with support; the questions challenge them to make a deeper connection to their claims and allow them to persuade the audience.
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  • Private message to nora krieger
How is the assessment of the strength of the Portfolio determined? Are students using a template or a rubric to guide them? What standards are set for the Portfolios?
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  • Private message to Barbara Lazcano
The defense is the culminating assessment that is then planned backwards to ensure that all steps have been met to accomplish the cumulating assessment. Great preparation for college. Everything has a purpose. Students have to pass a presentation in order to graduate. Requirements: Argument Metaphor 3 Artifacts they are presenting. I love how her presentation starts with an essential area and how she chose a current issue. It's very intimidating having the panels of teachers, however, if the student can do it, it's amazing preparation for college. I'm a language teacher and seeing her create a brochure for a target audience was amazing. I think I can do this with our ELL population and create informative brochures for the parents. Teachers pose critical questions. The presentation lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes which is amazing. The teachers deliberated for 30 minutes. This is really incredible. It takes a tremendous amount of collaboration from the school's end. Questions: What is this class called? Is it an independent study? I noticed many discipline areas were part of her presentation so I'm assuming she takes what she learns from many content areas and applies it to her research and presentation. I think education wants to move to that direction but there is still a lot of lack of training for teachers and support to accomplish such an incredible task. This is a model school and it would be incredible to observe this process.
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  • Private message to Beth Gaffney
Thanks Gretchen! This helps. :-)
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  • Student Profile: Portfolio Defense Transcript

    +++ 01:00:00 +++
    A deeper learner from:
    Envision Education
    Yvonne: Hello everyone. Welcome to

    Student Profile: Portfolio Defense Transcript

    +++ 01:00:00 +++
    A deeper learner from:
    Envision Education
    Yvonne: Hello everyone. Welcome to my College Success Portfolio Defense. I would like to start off by...
    Lower Third:
    12th Grade Student
    Metropolitan Arts & Tech High School
    San Francisco, CA
    Yvonne: My name is Yvonne Hermensa [ph?]. I'm a senior at Metropolitan Arts & Tech High School.
    Lower Third:
    12th Grade Student Advisory
    Portfolio Defense Prep
    Yvonne: I was going to do it just based on the actual content of each artifact, so for my project truth it would be history and women's rights.
    Abby Benedetto: Mm-hm.
    Lower Third:
    Abby Benedetto
    12th Grade Advisor
    Metropolitan Arts & Tech High School
    San Francisco, CA

    +++ 01:00:27 +++
    Abby Benedetto: The defense is it. I mean everything leads up to the defense. So all of the work that we do is mapping backwards from the final moment which is when a student stands up in front of a panel of assessors to say "I am ready for college."
    Abby Benedetto: In your groups, now what you're going to do is each person is going to read his or her answer.
    Yvonne: Can be a simple or complex question because the answer is most likely going to be one that requires a lot of thinking.

    +++ 01:00:55 +++
    Yvonne: Metro just really- it actually does prepare you for college and they don't just make you do work just to do it. Everything that you do has a purpose.
    Lower Third:
    Yvonne's Portfolio Defense
    Teacher 1: I want to welcome you all to the first of 2013 College Success Portfolio Defenses!
    Abby Benedetto: We have a day that usually comes anywhere from a few weeks to a month before we actually start the real defenses where staff spends an entire day on how to use the assessment tool.
    Abby Benedetto: If this happens in the moment, just roll with it.
    Yvonne: Alright.
    Abby Benedetto: Do what you, you know, you've been doing this for four years. You know how to manage it.
    Yvonne: Yeah.

    +++ 01:01:29 +++
    Abby Benedetto: So a student chooses to defend early, it's usually an honor.
    Lower Third:
    Yvonne Defense Presentation:
    T minus 7 minutes
    Yvonne: I am really nervous. I hope this doesn't happen.
    Abby Benedetto: Yvonne is a remarkable young woman. She came in as a 9th grader with a strong academic identity. She knows that she is a student. She loves being a student.
    Teacher: Yvonne has been with us all four years of high school. We know her, we love her, without further ado let's give it up for Yvonne Hermensa.

    +++ 01:01:57 +++
    Yvonne: You have to pass your presentation in order to graduate on stage with the rest of your class and that's a big deal for everyone, you know?
    Yvonne: Hello everyone, my name is Yvonne Hermensa. Welcome to my College Success Portfolio Defense.
    Yvonne: I know that I have to have my argument, my metaphor and my act-- the three artifacts that I'm going to be presenting.

    +++ 01:02:14 +++
    Yvonne: "I am the process of an Aztec warrior using the sling shot as a weapon. The sling shot may not seem like the most obvious or even best way of winning the battle, but if the right stones are chosen, you are well-prepared, and are thoughtful, victory is guaranteed." My first artifact is Project truth. The essential question for this artifact was "How do you find the truth and how do you get people to listen?" The task was to focus on an issue in the Bay Area and compare it to a movement from the past. I chose prostitution and women's rights. Through my essay I was able to provide with evidence that was concrete because
    +++ 01:02:48 +++
    it came from someone who actually experienced what I was talking about and not only that but I was able to analyze that evidence and really prove to people why it was correct.
    Teacher: In your metaphor, what is the battle?

    +++ 01:03:02 +++
    Yvonne: The battle is fighting those statistics, those okay you come from a low-income, single-ran household. There's not a huge chance of you going to college because your mom didn't go to college. For me that battle is saying oh, I'm going to college and I'm getting my degree and my mom is going to be super proud of me.
    Teacher: Can you talk about how this artifact shows your success and your growth?
    Yvonne: I grew as a person because I always get frustrated with research but I learned to keep going and to keep trying.

    +++ 01:03:38 +++
    Yvonne: My second artifact is the election Spanish brochure. This was assigned in Spanish class. We were learning the Spanish language on PowerSpeed. It's an online website. While this was happening at the same time, in history class we were also learning about the propositions on the 2012 California ballot. Our task was to translate our team platform paper to Spanish and create a visually appealing brochure to pass out at our exhibition. I think it was the first time that I ever talked in Spanish to someone in a professional way. I talk at home all the time, but it was very different to
    +++ 01:04:13 +++
    see how I talk in Spanish with my mom, with my brother and how I would relate this type of important information to people that are actually about to go vote because that's such a serious thing.
    Abby Benedetto: What do you see as the connection between knowing and doing?
    Yvonne: I feel that knowing when you know like I said you're educated and through education comes empowerment.

    +++ 01:04:33 +++
    Yvonne: The questions were pretty tough. I mean they are the teachers and they cause you to think deeper about everything that you're learning so of course they're going to ask you tough questions.
    Yvonne: My third artifact is my literary lens analysis essay. The task for this artifact is to read The Stranger by Albert Camus and analyze it through a literary lens. I chose the psychoanalytic lens.
    Teacher: Where specifically were you asked to think critically in this project not based in the sort of characters on development?

    +++ 01:05:06 +++
    Yvonne: What would actually convince people that my theme was correct and it was important to not only choose the right evidence but know how to explain that evidence and how that evidence related to your claim.
    Yvonne: I am ready for college. I have a clear goal in mind. I'm willing to accomplish that goal. Helping people is my passion and the communication skills and thinking critically skills I have gained throughout high school have prepared me for this part of my journey. I'm ready for college. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to go past high school, go past college, go beyond and just do things that interest me and that I have a passion for.

    +++ 01:05:41 +++
    Abby Benedetto: Yvonne has currently been on stage for an hour and twenty minutes. So let's give Yvonne a huge round of applause.
    Abby Benedetto: Okay if you guys could now step outside we'll now go into deliberation and we'll call you back in when we've made the decision.
    Lower Third:
    30 minutes later…

    +++ 01:06:03 +++
    Abby Benedetto: Yvonne, we would like to give you first off congratulations on delivering an excellent defense and being here today early. We're going to give you some feedback and then ultimately let your know our decision.
    Teacher: We were incredibly impressed by your sense of leadership and your commitment to empowering your community.
    Teacher: We think that you could have been a little bit more specific for some of your evidence so for example in your second artifact when you talked about how you learned about all these different ways of communicating and how you could use those, maybe having an example of what that would look like.

    +++ 01:06:39 +++
    Teacher: On the plus side, Yvonne, I thought that you talked about lenses in a really sophisticated way.
    Teacher: Yvonne, I think that it would be really helpful for you to be pretty explicit about where you've seen your growth within each artifact.
    Abby Benedetto: I just hope you know how much admiration I have for you and I think I can speak for the panel. With that being said we are ecstatic to pass you on this defense.
    Yvonne: It is awesome! I was so happy.
    Abby Benedetto: I am so proud of you.
    Yvonne: Thank you so much.
    Abby Benedetto: I'm so proud of you. Oh, I bet that feels so good.
    Yvonne: Literally everything that I had been working so hard towards, you know maintaining good grades, being as good of a student as I could, it really just all paid off in that one moment when they told me I passed.
    Yvonne: Thank you.
    #### End of Envisions_Profile

School Details

Metropolitan Arts & Technology High School
1195 Hudson Avenue
San Francisco CA 94124
Population: 130

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Abby (Abigail) Benedetto


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