The Bridge School

Self-Determination Program

Activity 2: Things I Know Portfolio

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Things I Can Read with My Eyes Shut – Dr. Seuss

Developing a Personal Goal: Students collect, review and discuss information from their Self-Knowledge activities and use this to identify a personal goal.


Mentees review information from their Self-Knowledge activities.

Mentees learn to evaluate what’s important to them.

Mentees review the concept of a goal.

Mentees discuss potential personal goals, prioritize and select a single goal to work towards.


  • Things I Know Portfolio Sample PowerPoint [PDF, 3MB]
    • Development of PowerPoint: During each Self-Knowledge activity, if a student expressed interest in a particular area, Self-Determination Program staff identified these as potential goals for the student to revisit in the Plan & Act Unit.
  • Things I Know Portfolio PowerPoint includes summaries from the:
    • Time Capsule Activity
    • Silhouette Activity
    • Snapshot of Me Activity
    • Personal Inventory – Preferences, Strengths & Challenges
    • Personal Flag Activity
    • Rights & Responsibilities Activity
    • Framing A Future Activity

Mentor Preparation


  • review PDF versions of their mentees’ Things I Know Portfolio
  • prepare an introduction to the activity
  • prepare introductions for individual Portfolio slides


Self-Determination Program (SDP) staff look over student summaries from all Self-Knowledge activities and compile the information within a PowerPoint presentation for each mentee to review.

Mentors introduce the Things I Know Portfolio activity. For example:

  • “Job and Collin, today we’ll be reviewing and talking about all of the things that you’ve worked on so far in our Self-Determination Program class. When teachers want to keep student information in one place, we call it a Portfolio.”
  • “A Portfolio is like a book that you can take with you wherever you go. Your Portfolio is a place for you to keep important information that you know about yourself to share with others.”

SDP staff explain the purpose of the activity. For example:

  • “So, you guys have this really cool Portfolio with lots of important information about you. As Tyson and Thanh said, you’ll review all of this information and then you’ll choose a goal you would like to work on this year.”

Students take turns and review each page of their Portfolio. Mentors provide a short description of each page. Self-Determination Program staff highlight the pieces of information students identified as something they may want to explore, change or achieve.

Mentees review all of the potential goals and determine which goal is most important to them at this time. Students post their goal in the classroom as a reminder and to share with others.

Take a look at Collin’s portfolio below.

Text over image: Things I Know Portfolio. Collin

Collin’s PowerPoint slides represent personal summaries of each Self-Knowledge activity.

Text over image: Snapshot of Me - Wordle. good-looking, passion-for-fashion, thoughtful, likes-movies, happy, loves-jokes, loves-family, kind, caring, funny, good-in-school, smart, likes-music.

Snapshot of Me

Text over image: Time Capsule - Beginning of the School Year! Collin, October 4th, 2013. Animal: CAT, School subject: MATH, Color: FLOURESCENT PINK, Television Show: HOUSE HUNTERS, Room in my house: LIVING ROOM, Music: TAYLOR SWIFT, Holiday: CHRISTMAS, Smell: SWIMMING POOL, Clothing: COOL SHOES

Time Capsule

Text over image: Things I Shared from My Personal Flag. (possible student goals in yellow). My goals: Make new friends, find more ways to chill and relax. Things that are hard for me: meeting new people. My Feelings: I get upset when my friends or family have to leave to go home. Favorite things I own: My Sponge Bob bank and clock. Things I like to watch: television in the living room. Things I'm good at: being a good brother. People who are important to me: my mom.

Personal Flag

Text over image: Rights and Responsibilities - You have the responsibility to... (possible student goals in red). Get yourself ready for the school day by telling the teacher what equipment and tools you need and want. Communicate with staff what you need and how to get ready for class and pack-up at the end of the school day. Shut down your device. Check the power level of your device. Tell someone "Can you turn on my talker?"

Rights and Responsibilities

Text over image: Framing a Future (possible student goals in red). Community Membership - I would like to make more friends and do more activities with friends. - I would like to have more choice as to where I go and who I go with. Developing Talents and Interests - I would like to do more fun things. Self Reliance - I would like to help make plans for going places and doing things.

Framing a Future

Text over image: Goals I Can Work Towards (potential goals chosen by student came from the following activities) Rights and Responsibilities: I would like to shut down my device, check the power level and tell someone "Can you turn on my talker?" Transitioning to a New School: I would like to find out more about yearbook club at my new school. Personal Inventory: I would like to be able to read a book by myself. Snapshot of Me: I would like to make more friends and do more activities with friends. Framing a Future: I would like to help make plans for going places and doing things. Snapshot of Me: I would like to find more ways to chill and relax


Mentor Strategies and Tips

Quickfires are phrases that can be pre-programmed into the mentor’s device and can be used with efficiency to maintain the momentum of the activity.

  • Engage, listen and provide feedback
  • Use Quickfires
  • If mentees do not answer, lose focus or start talking about something off topic, repeat the question
  • Clarify a mentee response if it is not understood
  • Find opportunities to comment on the mentee’s choice (e.g., cool, I like that too, etc.)
  • Use complete sentences when providing mentor examples to share during an activity[/column]
Text over image: AAAidan, Arjun, ABigail, Fletcher, JJackie, Jet, Savannah. WW = What's Up? RR = How are you? SS = can you see? COMMENTS AA = awesome! SB = please be a good listener. GG = good job it looks like you worked hard. LL = I really liked what you said. 123 WWW = who wants to go FIRST! NN = who wants to go next? HHH = Hang on a minute. I NEED MORE INFO... QQ = I have a question. CC = Can you give me a clue? YYY = Can you tell me more? TT = do you have something in your talker about that? SSS = say it again. Y = Yeah. NNN = looks like you are saying NO. YY = looks like you are saying YES. BYE - EEE = Hey Guys, we are finished with our activity today. TTT = today was awesome! L = See you later!


  • Adapt the activity – PPT slides with audio recordings to access content independently
  • Adapt the environment for visual accessibility (e.g., consider visual needs of participants – background display color, font size, etc.)
  • Adapt the language – Use age-appropriate language and provide definitions/explanation for unfamiliar vocabulary
  • Adapt the speech-generating device – Appropriate device volume level
  • Read worksheet aloud to student
  • Elaborate and give examples where appropriate
  • Shorten number of questions
  • Offer multiple choice answers, allow student to select a choice from 3-4 options within a set of plausible options.
  • Use partner-assisted auditory-scanning or computer assisted scanning as needed.
  • Offer dictated writing strategy for students who do not have access to independent writing tools, in which the student communicates a response to someone, who then writes it down for them
  • Break down activity into multiple sessions
  • Encourage students to work in pairs or small groups to assist one another