Pack the Sack: A Year Long Writing Portfolio & Writing Awards

Do you love teaching writing as much as I do? It has always been one of my favorite instructional blocks in my day. I really think the reason I love it so much is that I am always amazed (no matter what grade level) at the amount of growth I see over the year. If you do not do some type of writing portfolio in your room, you should really consider it and now is the perfect time to plan your portfolio! 

Before I show you how I use writing portfolios in my classroom, I did want to share that I uploaded my newest portfolio to TPT. This is also part of my Ultimate Back to School Writing Bundle, but I had many requests for this to be a separate here she is!

This pack contains everything you need to create and establish a year long writing portfolio in your classroom. Plus, it has a little twist with writing award keychains that your kiddos will adore! You can read more about this below...

 If you have already purchased my writing bundle, please do not purchase this separately! 

You can pick this up in my TPT shop by clicking {HERE} or it is also part of my Ultimate Back to School Writing Bundle. Check that out {HERE}. are a few tips for establishing portfolios in your classroom. 

Since my very first year, I have always kept student writing samples and compiled them together at the end of the year to create a portfolio. It always amazes me how much their writing has improved over the course of a year. I love the look on their faces as they look back over a year's worth of writing. You can do this many different ways, but here is how I keep track/organize/celebrate our writing throughout the year! 

1. You just can't keep it ALL! 

We do a tremendous amount of writing and projects throughout the year. Literally, I am pretty sure that we are writing {in some way} at least 90% of our day. There is NO WAY that I could keep every single writing sample. Usually, we always do one big writing piece and project per month {sometimes more}. These are a *big deal* in our classroom. You know, the writings that you pour your blood, sweat, and tears into. I will usually keep one of these writings and send the rest home. I keep a large Rubbermaid container in my closet and literally chunk  them in here when I take them down from our hallway display {no rhyme or reason...there is really not a need for organization here}

My container looks a little something like this! 

Here is a look at some of our "bigger" writing projects that I kept from last year. 

12 Days of an SC Christmas get the idea! ;) 

2. End of Year Organization 

So all of that writing stays in the Rubbermaid until the last two{ish} weeks of school, or whenever you decide to assemble your portfolios. Then, the students lay out their portfolios and I distribute the writings. This time is always filled with "ooohs and ahhs" as they look back over their writings and see huge improvements. {I love when students are proud and even more when they take pride in their writing.} Then they place them into the portfolio. 

Some teachers decide to have students place the sample in at the end of each month so you don't have to organize at the end. Really, it is all about what works for you. 

3. Student Portfolios

Looking back over my last three years, I have had many different styles of writing portfolios. Since I had the same group for three years, I always wanted to change it up and do something a bit different. Here are a few ideas {if you are needing some} for a year long portfolio. 



Pizza Boxes

4. Celebrate

Once everything is said and done, it is time to celebrate all of the writing that your students have accomplished during the year. I always hold a huge writing celebration...pancake breakfast style. The parents come in, eat breakfast with their child, and dig through their writing portfolio. We do not reveal these writings, or send them home throughout the year, so they are a complete surprise to our parents. They are equally amazed! This is probably one of our best days of the year and parents always adore having their child's writings in one place to save!  

That's it! I promise you will not be disappointed with any way that you choose to do writing portfolios in your room. They are well worth the time and effort. This is always such a great way to wrap up the year! 


speaking of writing, I can hardly wait to show you my newest series that I am working on! Love, love, LOVE me some writer's workshop, and I can't wait to share lots of engaging strategies with you to build our future authors! 

Be sure and link up with Blog Hoppin' for the final day of Teacher Week 2013 and share you teacher tips and tricks! 

TGIF bloggy friends! Have a great weekend!


  1. ooooh...can't wait for the writer's workshop stuff!!!

  2. I just love this idea! It's so cute and not your typical portfolio.
    Hangin' with Mrs. Cooper

  3. I LOVE this! I teach K-2 kids with emotional/behavior disorders. We have not spent a lot of time writing the past two years because it is such a frustrating thing for them and they were not ready--skill-wise. But this year, I am starting with 5 2nd graders (most of whom I've had for two years already) and we are ready to write! This will be very motivating for them! Thank you for the great ideas. I'm off to your TPT store. again. ;)

  4. Hope, you never cease to amaze me with your fun and creative ideas! I can't wait to read about you new Writers' Workshop series!