What criteria will be used to assess binders?

Contents of Portfolio/History Binders

The binders will be assessed twice. A simpler review will be conducted by students at the Youth Heritage Festival. A more in-depth review of completed binders will be conducted by teachers at the Summer Institute.

Youth Heritage Festival: One binder containing all of the below should be brought to the Youth Heritage Festival. This will be placed on the student display table. After the YHF, you can take this binder home with you.

This is the criteria that will be used to assess binders at the Youth Heritage Festival:

Portfolio extends display panel message. Answers questions that a reader may have from panel info. Portfolio is well organized—with table of contents or section heads. Portfolio has ample student work, photography, publicity information. Portfolio graphics match panel. They appear to serve as package.

Summer Institute: You should bring a completed version of your binder to the summer institute, where as a group we will review them. These completed binders will be archived at the Montana Historical Society.

We will need also need digital copies of all materials in the binder. You can submit these on a cd, or you may post them using our online form. (Photographs and appendices materials should not be placed online, however. They should be submitted on cd.)

If you submit your binder materials on cd, the folders on the cd should use the same names as the sections below:

These are the criteria that you will apply to the binders at the Summer Institute:

1. Executive summary

a. Title: A History of the Montana Heritage Project in [your community].

b. Data: Name(s) of Classes Involved, Name(s) of teachers involved, Total number and names of students involved broken down class by class.

c. Team Members: Names (and titles of all community adults who helped)

d. Interviewees: Names, arranged alphabetically, of all individuals for whom an interview tape was made. Key this list to any other numbering system that you are using.

e. A list of products created, including but not limited to interviews with tapes, transcripts and/or tape logs; exhibits, essays, research papers (and the names of students who created them) during the Project for donation to the Montana Historical Society. This list serves as an index for future researchers, so they know what documents were created.

2. Interview transcripts, tape logs, indexes, and release forms

Complete documentation is needed for all tapes that will be achieved at the Montana Historical Society. The actual tapes should be delivered during the Summer Institute.

3. Teacher narrative with teacher and student evaluations

A description of what happened (including major activities, trips, events, speakers). The following items should be addressed in this narrative:

Ask: The questions posed by students

Listen: A description of the ways in which the historical record was explored

Explore: A description of what students added to the historical record

Reflect: Description of strategies used to engage students in reflection

Teach: A description of gifts of scholarship that resulted, including any public presentations or celebrations that were held

A personal evaluation of the Project by the teacher

Student evaluations: What did students say about the Project? Include a description of how students were asked to evaluate their project work and when that occurred during the year.

4. Photographs

Photographs that document activities with complete caption information or other documentation of the Project. Whenever possibile, photos should be at least 1200 pixels on the long dimension. Captions should identify all recognizable people, as well as date, location, and event.

5. Student writing

At least three samples of student writing need to be posted online before the Youth Heritage Festival. It will be evaluated separately from the binders. However, the binder should also include samples of nonfiction writing. Student work, in addition to being well-written and interesting, should demonstrate significant research into the community’s history and thoughtful conclusions about the meaning that history has for the student.

6. Appendices (optional materials)

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 02/01 at 12:16 PM
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How will writing, binders, displays, and presentations be assessed for Washington DC trip?


1. Emphasize writing and thinking, but recognize good presentations, both live and on display panels. That balance should ensure the selected team will represent the project well in Washington.
2. Allow all students a chance (not punish those from schools that have gone in past three years)
3. Assure that attention is paid to portfolios, which are full of good ideas, represent tremendous work, include the material that is archived, and often form the basis for gifts of scholarship to the community.
4. Involve all teachers and students in this process as a way to increase their awareness of work done by other students, teachers, and schools.
5. Make the selection process for LOC ambassadors as clear and transparent as possible.
6. This system requires focused and purposeful work by teachers and students during the YHF.
7. This system assumes a small number of official student representatives at the YHF.
8. This system lets us announce ambassadors during the YHF.

Weighting: Writing - 50 points; Presentations - 30 points; Displays - 20 points

1. Reviewing student writing:
Have each school digitally submit three essays based on Project work two weeks in advance of the Youth Heritage Festival. (March 17).

Staff will read and screen these against the writing checklist, and collectively select the top essays to be sent to an outside judge. We’ll do that within a week.

Our outside judge will use the same checklist to select a “distinguished” student writer from among the essays provided.

Using the ratings of staff and the outside judge, three student essays will be selected to be read during the Youth Heritage Festival.

The school which sends three essays that together best meet the highest standards on the rubric will receive 50 points; the runner-up school will receive 40, the next highest 30.

Student writing may be in the form of historical research essays, essays of place, or feature articles. They must be based on project work done during the current school year.

2. Reviewing student presentations:

As a group, teachers from each site will score each of the Monday afternoon presentations against a presentation checklist.

Each site’s group of teachers will turn in a single scoring sheet. Sites with multiple teachers will need to collaborate. Teachers will not judge their own students. Judging will not be anonymous.

Staff will add the points awarded on the scoring sheets provided. The school that scores the highest according to the checklist (based on total numerical score on scoring sheets) will receive 30 points, the next 20, and the third 10.

3. Reviewing displays and binders:

As a team, students from each school will complete a rating sheet for all the all the displays using a display and portfolio checklist provided for this. They will have time specifically to complete this task. Students will not judge their own work. Judging will not be anonymous. Each team of students (one team per school) will collaborate to turn in a single scoring sheet for each other school.

Staff will total the scores on the scoring sheets. The school that best meets the rubric (based on total numerical score from all scoring sheets) will receive 20 points and the next 10.

The school with the highest number of points will be this year’s “Ambassadors to the Library of Congress.” In the event of a tie, the school with the highest score in submitted essays will be selected.

Distinguished Student Writer

The writer of the essay that is scored highest by the outside judge will receive scholarship funds from the fund that Renee has started. This distinguished writer may or may not be a member of the ambassador team.


The binder will be reviewed twice--once by students at the Youth Heritage Festival then again by teachers at the Summer Institute.

Schools will be asked to bring portfolios with them to the YHF and place them with their displays as completed as they are to that point.

All teachers will participate in a full review of completed portfolios at the Summer Institute. Teachers who do not bring portfolios will not receive their Institute stipend until the material has been submitted. Teachers will also be asked to bring tapes, interviewee permissions, as well as any transcripts or indexes that were created. Teachers will be asked to rate the binders that they like best, using whatever criteria they feel is important, and the two highest rated binders will receive gift certificates at a bookstore. Since there are no published criteria, teachers are invited to express excellence in whatever way they feel matters. 

Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 02/01 at 12:05 PM
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