The beginning of the school year is a great time to start your child’s educational portfolio or time capsule. The beginning of the school year self portrait is a MUST DO for all parents and teachers.
Reasons Why Teachers and Parents Should Use a Self Portrait for Student Assessment
Reason #1 Time to Value Ratio
This activity takes little to no preparation time, but provides a strong assessment of where the child is at in many areas of learning and social development. Sure you can print a cute page like this one, but you can also hand your child a blank piece of paper.
In totality, this assessment takes no more than 20 minutes.
Reason #2 Self Portraits are Child Led
Ask them to draw a picture of themselves. DO NOT tell them WHAT to draw or how to draw it. This activity is not for instruction time, it is a chance for your child to demonstrate what they know and can do. It is a child led activity, you just provide the materials. I do not give any prompting such as, does your picture have a nose or make sure to have a neck and body. At the end, I ask, “Is there anything else you would like to add?” Then I take the portrait, smile at them, and ask them to tell me about it. DON’T FORGET TO DATE IT!
Reason #3 With Self Portrait Assessments Everyone is Right
Using the self portrait is an everyone wins assessment. There is absolutely NO wrong way to draw who you are. You will not get a “wrong” answer for this test. If your child draws something you cannot recognize, just ask them to tell you about it with their words (write those words on the bottom, because you will not remember exactly what they said.)
Reason #4 Self Portraits Work for ALL Ages
As you can see by the pictures, this assessment works for a preschooler and a 3rd grader. I have tried to have my children draw a picture of them each year, starting at age 2. We file these in our educational portfolio. It was a TON of fun going back with my 3rd grader this year and looking at how she used to draw herself as a preschooler and how her drawing and writing has changed over the years.
Reason #5 Kids Want to Share About Themselves
Self Portraits are a great springboard to starting a conference with your child about their hopes and dreams for the year. Most children LOVE and WANT to talk about what is important to them. Using a self-portrait to see where children are academically also giving you a glimpse into who they are as individuals.
Reason #6 Time for Observation
While they are drawing, parents and teachers have a good 10 minutes to make observations on how they are working.
- Are they holding the pencil in the correct way? (note that we need to work on fine motor strength and pencil grip)
- Are the leaning super close to the paper and squinting (yes? our glasses prescription may be off and we need to schedule an eye doctor appointment)
- Are they sitting, standing, or wiggling while they write (maybe they might need more movement and learning together)
- Are they struggling with drawing or writing? (think about what kind of encouragement they may need more of this year)
- Do they try or do they stare at the paper not knowing where to start (maybe they may need more support or prompts during the learning year)
Reason #8 Works for Homeschool, School, and Home
This assessment is great for homeschooling. It is also great for the classroom environment. And yes, self portraits are a good assessment for parents to use to see where there child is at and how they view themselves.
Reason #9 Parents NEVER Get Tired of Kid Made Self Portraits
Ok, so I speak for myself in this statement. I never get tired of seeing my kids draw themselves and tell me what is important to them. This year, my daughter is going into 3rd grade. I thought she may feel too big of a kid to want to make one this year.
She surprised me with her enthusiasm and asked if I could help her come up with a list of description words, because she was having trouble. (I added a list of words to the teachers pay teachers packet in case your kid wanted/ needed help too) We ended up having a great discussion on positive adjectives to describe people and my heart warmed when I saw how positive she saw herself.
So what are you waiting for????
Hand your child a paper (or a premade back to school printable) and some writing utensils and see how they draw themselves! Date it and file it in their school portfolio!
You may also find these First Day of School Resources Helpful…