Documentation and Reflection
"Documentation is about what children are doing, learning and grasping, and the product of documentation is a reflection of interactions between teachers and children and among children."
- Seong Bock Hong
- Seong Bock Hong
As I understand it, documenting children’s daily experiences and ongoing projects gives meaning and identity to all that the children do. It is through the documentation that we teachers are able to gain insight into the thoughts of the children, determine further investigation for working on topics, create a history of the work and generate further interest.
On a daily basis, myself and my fellow colleagues collect data by taking notes, scribing student's thoughts, recordings of conversations between children, and through video taping of events and activities whether related to project work or just during classroom time. We collect this data and, as much as possible, display it for all members of our classroom to see - students, parents, and teachers.
The documentation is then used to analyze children’s understanding and thoughts - it is revisited by myself, our teaching assistant, my team, and the children of our class during our daily reflection times. This reflection process provides children with the opportunity to discover their own questions and problems and to determine, together, what the next steps could be. Sometimes we leave the documentation as an engagement on one of the classroom tables and small groups of children revisit their learning together. It is in the process of reflection, I believe, where children theories and understanding grows.
Examples of 'Learning Story' documentation:
The following learning story was used by the IB PYP as an exemplar for Teacher Support Material in the new enhancements. It will become live on the IBEN in February.