Alrighty! Here comes one of my favorite things to talk about!!!
I started documenting with the understanding that I’m not taking pretty pictures of my kids hold up their artwork or standing next to something they built.I want REAL pictures of them in action, exploring things, making discoveries, trying things out. I want to document the process of their thinking. Most of the time I have to be sneaky with my picture taking because once the kids see the camera they either want to pose or go into hiding. Again I got a lot of help from looking on pinterest boards and at other teacher’s blogs. Plus, in the beginning I ran all my documentation by my director and Mrs. Mary (my work best friend) before I posted it.
Documentation is not just pictures of the kids engaged in learning. It’s also writing down the what they are saying. This can be tricky some of the time because you are so in the moment that you forget your camera, you don’t write down what they say and then you forget later (happens to me all the time!). I don’t want to write down what they MEANT to say either. I want their real, authentic words. I have gotten permission from my director to record what the kids are saying so I can go back to it later and make sure I document it correctly. Here are a few examples of some of my documentation.
This is from our Beautiful Stuff Project at the beginning of the year.The picture below is on a bulletin board and is a documentation panel.
The next set of documentation is individual documentation. Our letter for this past week was the letter R so we made Rectangle Robots. After each child made their robot I asked them to tell me about their robot. Some of them went right off telling me their name, special powers, what they like to do, etc. Others needed a little more prodding with questions as you can see below. We have a very spacious wall above our cubbies outside so we put some of our documentation in the hallway to entice the parents. 🙂
In my next post I’ll show you how I include my documentation in the kid’s portfolios and in our class history portfolio!