Claiming Back the Play – Developmentally Appropriate Evidence Gathering
These are jot notes from an ECOO breakout; apologies if they seem disjointed.
Free play: The child chooses, and the teacher takes no direct role. Every teacher has a camera to capture the evidence. iPhoto as markbook, capturing anecdotal thinking as it appears.
Assess whether students are learning, not from worksheets, but by leading questions, and taking pictures to record the learning. Does it need to go to paper? Does it need to be coloured? The student has shown that they now understand AB patterning by sorting trains at the train table, and you caught it as a photograph, and you asked leading questions to help them understand what learning has been displayed. When the worksheet appears afterwards, does it show that they further understand, or does it show that they can colour in the lines. What does the child focus on? (probably the colouring)
Are we listening to the children, or are we listening for the answer?
When you see things happening in the classroom, how can you “label” the learning, to get to know the student, and move them forward. What does that look like: describe what they have learned, and give them the next step. Get them to describe EVERYTHING. Don’t tell them they are wrong; find the learning taking place, label the learning so the students recognize what you think they have accomplished, and lead them towards a next step; nudge them further to where you want them to be.
I don’t think that worksheets respond to children. They respond to product, not to process.
When we see the frustration — and every student, everyday, has the right to be frustrated — we need to give them the ability to play through the process, to step back and meet the task where they are, and make incremental steps forward.
We create reluctant writers — who are otherwise voracious communicators — by forcing them to use muscles in their hands that have not yet developed the strength to keep up with what they want to share, and don’t have the ability to properly formulate the vocabulary in their heads onto paper.
Young students should be able to work on their interests, and it’s our job to seek out the learning that is happening, and knit in the curriculum.
- What does Taking Turns look like?
- What does Sharing look like?
- What does Talking and Listening look like?
If I want them to develop these self-regulation skills, they need concrete examples of what it looks like, so they recognize it when they see it, and when they do it. Pictures that explicitly show what the behaviour looks like are key.