Monday, January 12, 2015

Documentation in the Preschool Classroom


I love documentation! It's kind of a silly thing to say, but as a teacher documentation is something that I will always and forever include in all of my classrooms.  There are a few different reasons for this;

  • Documentation shares the story of the work that children are doing in the classroom. How often do you hear a parents remark that their children claim that they do nothing at school all day? The documentation that I have hanging in my classroom shows parents exactly what we've been working on, so that they can be sure that they're children are doing a lot more than "nothing" all day.  
  • Documentation gives me another opportunity to show how classroom activities are aligned with early learning standards.  When parents stop to look at the photos and read the description of the activity and the outcomes, they also note the standards listed.
  • Documentation serves as a reminder to children of previous investigation.  Children are constantly making new connections between concepts and ideas, and the opportunity to revisit previous experiences, even through photographs, can trigger new questions and ideas. 
  • Documentation gives me the opportunity to review the children's thoughts, questions, and ideas, and plan activities and investigations accordingly.  Seeing the evidence of the children's work all over the classroom helps keep me accountable and ensures that I am following the children's lead and planning investigations that are aligned with their interests. 
  • Posting documentation in the classroom lets my students know that I value their work enough to make it available for all to see.
I see so much value in classroom documentation that I'm planning on spending the next two weeks covering the ins and outs of documentation here on the blog.  I'll still have my Focus on the Standards and Freebie Friday posts, but I'll also be covering different kinds of documentation, creating documentation for specific audiences, how to create panels, ideas for displaying documentation, and different ways to use photographs in the classroom. Check back often, and please share your thoughts in the comments!

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