Portfolio Ready to Go!

Sending home artwork with Kindergarten students can be a challenge.  I assemble Kindergarten Portfolios myself, with help of my art volunteer. These are sent home during conferences with parents. It’s a great way to ensure the art gets home safely and gives parents an opportunity to see all of the student art in one place. My hope is this will facilitate rich conversations about art between students and parents.

I use Rubbermaid totes as holding areas for the portfolios. Then, I send the whole tub to the Kindergarten classroom teachers. When parents conference with the teacher, they just grab the student art as well.  Before, I would have parents come to the art room to pick up the artwork, however, I would miss a lot of parents, and with me traveling between two schools, I am not always in the room for all of the conference hours.

The paper bags were donated, so I used up what I had. Student pinch pots are inside each bag.

This is exactly how I send art home with all of my students, however, I have the kids help me in the older grades. Projects for the remainder of the year will be sent home on an individual basis. This will help me to keep my drawers cleared out and empty so at the end of the school year there isn’t a huge rush to send things home. I send home Kindergarten portfolios in February, 1-3rd Portfolios in March and 4-5th Portfolios in April.  Then, in May, all we need to worry about is to make art and take it home.

How do you send home student art?

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Jessica:

    You have such clever ideas! How would you like to write an article about this for SchoolArts Magazine? You can contact me directly at nwalkup@davisart.com. Thanks!

  • Kellie

    Jessica- I’m so glad you started this blog. Your suggestions and ideas are insightful and inspiring. I was just thinking about how I was going to send home work and have it make it there. I love the itty-bitty paper idea and shared it with my colleagues.
    Thanks a bunch!

  • angie

    I like the portfolio idea, but since sending art home is my main means of parent communication, I think I would miss that. I used to do the same small paper idea, telling about the project. Now, I attach a rubric that assesses both the child’s learning and participation. It also has the same information about what we studied at the bottom. I try to send art home fairly soon after completion, but sometimes it takes time to grade things.

  • Shari

    This is my first year teaching. I have 25 portfolios, one for each class. I wanted to have a portfolio for each student, but my school could not supply the paper for it. How do you organize your bins? Are they organized by the day of the week or by grade? What is your procedure for students getting the portfolios and for putting them away? Thanks so much, I wish I discovered you back in September!
    Shari (:

  • Erica Stinziani

    Do you empty out your portfolios a lot? I think mine would be stuffed to the brim for the little ones as they work quicker then the older students. I also have them for an hour sometimes hour and a half a week! I can’t imagine that it would be able to stay stuffed in there. Do you send home more then once a year?

    • Erica,
      Hey! for most of the students we make them and stuff them and take them home on the same day. It’s a big event! I’ll have to post about that soon. Just did it today. Exhausted! Jessica