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1.5: The Role of Documentation
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- running records
- anecdotal notes
- frequency counts
- learning stories
- time or event samples
- work samples
- taking photos, videotaping, or audio recordings
To store your documentation
- Gross Motor: Take photographs of your child while they are engaged in outside activities like running, jumping, climbing, riding a bike or playing in the sandbox.
- Fine Motor: Keep a checklist of when your child learns to button, zip, and tie his shoes. Include work samples of their cutting, coloring, painting, and samples of emergent writing
- Social-Emotional: Write anecdotal notes when your child engages in open-ended, child-directed play. Take note of how they share and cooperate with others. Do a frequency count to see which centers your child chooses to spend their time in and tally their play patterns to see if they prefer to play alone or with others.
- Cognitive: Chart a science experiment and take photos. Photograph a completed puzzle. Use a video camera to record a child as she builds a block bridge. And, as she explains her process and she had to figure out all the steps to take so that the bridge wouldn’t fall down – be sure to record that too.
- Literacy and Oral language: Save writing examples to track how the child writes her name. Include illustrations of stories they love and the stories they write themselves. Write down quotes in your running record or make audiotapes of conversations during circle time.
- Creative expression: Videotape your child while playing in the dramatic play area or while performing a dance during music and movement. Photograph a clay creation, painting or block tower.
To document children’s learning
- rating scales and formal developmental assessments
- daily progress reports
- documentation boards
- Date – this is key in tracking development over time
- Time – start time and end time
- Setting – note the location (indoor or outdoor; center or play area)
- Purpose – what is the intended goal
- Note the child (or children) who are involved in the activity
- Record only the facts – Write down exactly what you see and hear
- Be as concise (to the point) as you can
- Record the facts in the order as they occur
- Be descriptive and provide vivid details -create a visual picture so others can “see” what is happening
- Be specific and avoid vague or general terms – this is helpful when you go back to review your dat