Where to begin?
There are different ways to begin documenting observations: there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Trying a few different strategies may be helpful, especially if you are new to the process. The structure of a program and individual preferences of caregivers can influence which documentation strategy fits best.
Whether you are doing a planned or spontaneous observation, keeping essential tools nearby supports successful implementation.
When possible, keep the following items close at hand:
- Something to write on– paper, sticky notes, color-coded index cards, clipboard, notebook
- Something to write with – colored ink pens, sharpie markers
- Something to record with – photo camera, video camera, tape recorder
A caregiver must be poised to document as events occur. By carrying these items around in an apron pocket or placing them strategically around the room for quick access, a caregiver will always be within reach of useful tools for creating documentation.
 Office of Child Care: Child Care Technical Assistance Network, Infant/Toddler Resource Guide: Planning for Infants and Toddlers. Observation, Documentation, and Reflection