All That Matters by Maureen Barbieri, Linda Rief. What Is It We Value
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All That Matters

All That Matters

What Is It We Value in School and Beyond?

By Edited by Maureen Barbieri, Edited by Linda Rief

All That Matters examines learning, evaluation and the need to bring the two together in more relevant ways, inviting us to consider how we might best develop our students' strengths, presenting a collection of truly useful—and often novel—approaches.

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    Rief and Barbieri . . . examine aspects of portfolio assessment, professional development, and parental involvement. In the process, they provide an excellent picture of the many benefits of authentic assessment and the evaluation of students.

    —Educational Leadership

All That Matters examines learning and evaluation and the need to bring the two together in more relevant ways. Rief and Barbieri invite us to consider how we might best develop our students' strengths, presenting a collection of truly useful—and often novel—approaches.

The voices recorded in All That Matters are those of risk takers: teachers who seek greater insight into, and respect for, children; enthusiasts who incorporate the unexpected into their teaching—art, music, gardening, foreign languages, and more. Above all, they are the voices of lifelong learners who share their passion with students and colleagues, parents and family. These teachers are willing to chance failure because they understand that learning is as essential to our survival as breathing; learning is what keeps us alive. From them, we learn ways to:

  • examine the potential of portfolios to reflect different kinds of intelligence
  • balance individual needs with those of the entire class
  • discover ways to enhance professional development within school walls
  • involve parents in meaningful, ongoing evaluation
  • recognize and honor students' and teachers' passions in the classroom and beyond.

Woven in among their classroom stories are "Interludes," where teacher-writers reflect on what matters most in their lives. What makes a teacher write a poem honoring a town's courage in the face of bigotry? What makes another teacher reminisce about her mother's garden or a community's loyalty or a father's faith?

Rief and Barbieri believe that teachers like these, who know what they really cherish, can help us all better define what we value for our students. More important, they help us achieve it.


Minnie Mae Cooks a Poem, D. M. Murray 1. Staying Off-Balance and Alive: Learning from My Students, L. Rief 2. Dear John (Dewey, that is), J. A. Fueyo 3. Share What You Love: An Interview with Katherine Paterson, J. Wilde Interlude: Confessions of a Reader, C. Wilcox 4. "School's Cool When It Comes Real," M. M. Krogness 5. We Know Because We Asked, M. Milliken & S. Tullar 6. Postcard, K. J. Mahan Interlude: Believing Makes a Difference, J. Rains 7. Evaluation: Making Room for Robbie, C. Wilcox 8. The Value of Babbling It or How Students Can Become Their Own Go Yows, D. Kaufman Interlude: "Oh Come All Ye Faithful," B. Sprague 9. So, What Are These Portfolios for?, P. McLure IInterlude: Not in Our Town (in praise of Billings, Montana), S. Fleisher 10. Perceptions of Portfolios: What Parents and Fifth Graders Think, M. M. Voss 11. Process Folios in the General Music Class, R. O'Donnell 12. Celebrating Possibilities: A Valuable Experiment, M. Barbieri Interlude: A Simple Gift, H. Carney 13. Sharing the Best of What We Have, M. Horn 14. Children, Literature, Passion, K. Smith 15. Paired Learning: Toward a Culture of Collaboration, P. McDonald O'Brien with M. Klein 16. Teacher Portfolios: Improving the Teaching Climate, J. Kearns Interlude: In My Mother's Garden, E. H. Bryant 17. A Teacher's Journey Among Voices, M. J. Goodman Interlude: Teaching Time, J. Wilde

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PD Resources From Linda Rief