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Strategies & Tools
• Is the interpretation of keen observations
  and attentive listening, gathered with a
  variety of tools by teachers contributing
  their different points of view.

• Is the deliberate choice to observe and
  record what happens in the infant/toddler
  environment in order to reflect and
  communicate children’s discoveries.
      Steps of Documentation

• Teachers are
  while caregiving.

• The teacher watches,
  listens, and thinks
  about their
       Which Strategies????

The choice of observation and recording
 strategies must be carefully considered in
 the context of the setting, the questions
 that have been framed, and the goals.
        Tools for Recording
• Video cameras     • Notebooks

• Still cameras     • Post It notes

• Audio recorders   • Calendars
• Palm Pilots       • Scanners
• Computers         • Printers
  Recommended Types of Documentation for Infants and Toddlers

Areas of Development                   Types of Documentation
Interest in Others                     Photos with anecdotes (such as babies playing
                                       near one another; stand-alone anecdotes
Self-awareness                         Photos with anecdotes (such as touching body
                                       parts during songs); stand-alone anecdotes
Gross-motor milestones                 Photos with anecdotes (such as babies pulling to
                                       stand, video tape; stand-alone anecdotes
Fine-motor milestones                  Photos with anecdotes (such as babies playing
                                       with busy boxes, work samples such as
                                       scribbles, stand-alone anecdotes
Communication skills                   Direct quotes of children’s language or word
                                       lists, audio tapes, videotapes, photographs with
                                       anecdotes or stand-alone anecdotes
Acts with purpose and uses tools       Photographs with anecdotes (such as a infant
                                       using a spoon, toddler pushing a stool to a shelf
                                       to reach objects; stand-alone anecdotes, or work
Expresses feelings                     Photos with anecdotes (such as clapping hands
                                       to show delight; loudly saying NO! MINE!;
                                       audio tapes, or stand-alone anecdotes
      Bias, Potential, & Limits
• Each tool leaves out something or adds

• The way we use each tool is highly subjective.

• What we include or exclude in a photograph or
  videotape depends on our focus.

• Using more than one tool for gathering our
  observations makes a more complete record.
  Capturing Traces of Learning

• Teachers capture bits
  of evidence of a
  child’s interests,
  methods of
  exploration, ways of
  interacting with adults
  and peers, traits,
  styles, & preferences.
            Written Notes
• Anecdotes-- Short quick notes about a
  meaningful event need to be vivid to
  trigger memory during reflection.

• Notebook for two voices--in which
  parents and teachers record a child’s
  developmental progress.
             Anecdotes tell:
•   What the child did
•   What the child said
•   What you saw
•   What you heard

• Other kinds of anecdotes: language
  samples, word lists.
              Written Notes

• Written notes are
  essential, but they
  capture only what
  we are quick
  enough to write
          Audio Recordings

• Audio tapes carry
  the sounds of
  words, but also the
  noises of the
  environment, the
  pauses and silences
  and they require
  time to transcribe.
• Video cameras make
  a visual and auditory
  record of significant

• Still Cameras record
  a point in time from a
  single perspective.
    Tools for Keeping & Sharing
Files of photos, video tapes,
   developmental profiles.

Preparing diaries, panels,
  and other displays.

Making copies of

• Scanners can be
  used to make copies
  of photos and
  children’s art
           Tools for Observing
• Anecdotes: Short quick
  notes about a meaningful
  event need to be vivid to
  trigger memory during

• Notebook for two
  voices—in which parents
  and teachers record a
  child’s developmental
         Tools for Recording

Individual Child

Hand held
         Time is Needed for:
 Observing

 Recording

 Organizing notes,
  photos, recordings

 Reflecting

 Collaborating with

• Containers are needed to store each
  child’s notes, photos, observations,
  paintings, drawings, clay or other art work
  or photos of these.

• The containers need to be stored in a
  place that is readily accessible.
      Communication through

• When teachers work together to select,
  organize, arrange, and identify
  documentation, they give new meaning to
  the experience that first produced them.

• In producing documentation, teachers see
  more clearly what happened before
  thereby, gaining further understanding.
Storage for Documentation
 Presentation of Documentation

• Documentation can be presented in slide
  and video documentaries, panels, albums,
  books, notebooks, letters, flyers, and
  works of art.

• It should include the reflections of teachers
  and children’s dialogues or thoughts.

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