Ask Fatima: What Are WIDA Can Do Student Portraits?
This month Fatima answers questions about WIDA Can Do Student Portraits. A WIDA Can Do Student Portrait is a written or electronic document that focuses on a student’s strengths with specific information about the learner’s educational background, languages, family, interests – in addition to what the student can do in English with information from the WIDA Can Do Descriptors and Proficiency Level Descriptors.
Can Do Student Portraits build on WIDA Guiding Principle #1: Multilingual learners’ languages and cultures are valuable resources to be leveraged for schooling and classroom life; leveraging these assets and challenging biases help develop learners’ independence and encourage their agency in learning (Little, Dam, & Legenhausen, 2017; Moll, Amanti, Neff, & González, 1992; Nieto & Bode, 2018; Perley, 2011).
- A portrait should be
- Easy to update
- Easy to share
- Easy to keep confidential
- You might use information from:
- Classroom observations
- Home language surveys
- Formative language assessments
- School Assessment data (WIDA, MAP, KET, PET, etc.)
- Student surveys or interviews
- Parent-teacher meetings
- Teacher feedback
- Examples of asset-based sentence starters:
- NAME enjoys...
- NAME can...
- NAME is passionate about...
- NAME is interested in...
- NAME is aspiring to...
- NAME is determined to...
See the sample student portrait including key elements: student photo, WIDA scores, student background and interests.
When can I use Student Portraits?
Beginning of the year: Meet with colleagues to share what multilingual learners can do.
Beginning of a new unit: Review student interests, abilities and experience to scaffold learning and build on student backgrounds.
End of the year: Share student assets with colleagues in the next grade level to facilitate class placement and a smooth transition.
How can learn more about WIDA Can Do Student Portraits?
- Explore the eLearning module: “Engaging ELLs: Teaching to Student Strengths” on the WIDA International Secure Portal.
- Participate in a WIDA Institute or WIDA Virtual Institute (available winter 2020).