Documentation – Making Learning Visible

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How to make learning visible is something that I continue to struggle with. How to do it in such a way that it does not feel awkward, or create a huge extra workload for the teacher.

In England displays were of great importance in the classroom, so that is something that is within me.  I actually love to make displays!  But I have a relatively small (shared) space and I also want to ensure that it feels uncluttered.

So, what other forms of documentation truly make learning visible?

We have made books on a variety of topics.  We have made collaborative season books, books on emotions and also books to demonstrate a range of different ways to work with a material.  The one the kids love best is the book showing some different ways in which they work with clay.

I was reading this and it inspired me to really work on portfolios for the children.  So far they have a couple of pieces of work (chosen by the children) and I am excited to see them develop.

I am thrilled that so many of you are reading this and responding.  Isn’t it exciting to be creating a community of inspired educators!

Here’s another chance to take part…..tell us what ways you approach ‘making learning visible’.  What forms of documentation to you use?

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4 responses »

  1. I have also created books about various projects, group experiences and materials – using Snapfish and similar services. I have also used a Flip Camera to record moments of learning and discovery and used those in PowerPoint presentations – mostly for conference presentations but they could also be used to show on a laptop at the school front desk or by the classroom sign-in. I have colleagues who document using iMovie on Apple computers and create a “documentary” about how a project began, unfolded and ended. I also have used Snapfish and similar services to create photographic posters (with or without captions) about an experience or project. I am still actively experimenting with documentation and reading/studying about it. My hope is to find ways for my documentation efforts to be more interactive and alive (even works in progress) and not just static finished products. I also hope to experiment creating my own classroom version of Learning Stories.

  2. Blogging! Lots of working parents unfortunately can’t make it to school on a regular basis, so a blog is a great way for them to see what’s going on in the classroom. Even if it’s just a picture with a meaningful caption, my community’s parents really appreciate it.

  3. Hi Ruth,

    Check out these links for more info on “Learning Stories” inspired by work being done in New Zealand in ECE:

    http://ceparralibrary.blogspot.com/2009/09/learning-stories-narrative-assessment.html

    http://apollo.hutchins.tas.edu.au/community/asc/Resources%20for%20Parents/Family%20Fact%20Sheets/Learning%20Stories.pdf

    http://earlylearningstories.info/ (INFO ADAPTED BY TOM DRUMMOND, MARGIE CARTER & DEB CURTIS)

    THIS IS A LINK TO AN EXAMPLE OF A LEARNING STORY FROM AN AMERICAN ECE PROGRAM:

    http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/tta-system/teaching/eecd/Domains%20of%20Child%20Development/Science/Josie'sDrip.pdf

    Hope this helps!

    Mia Cavalca

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