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Learning journeys, observations, evidence etc..........

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by funny, May 30, 2010.

  1. As an experienced teacher of Reception I believe that children do not seperate their learning into areas and psychologists would support me on this! Each significant step forward a child makes often shows progress in many areas. Why should we, as teachers, observe children and file/stick etc observations/photos /work into six areas of learning. Surely it makes more sense to look at each achievement and marvel at how many different targets a child might be achieving in just one photo/activity. We should not be diasecting what children do and say to fit them into areas.
    Has anyone else an opinion on this?
    We have an Ofstead inspection next year and I'm wondering what they''ll make of my "higgledy piggledy'' learning jouneys that grow-just like children really! My photos and observations are put in chronological order and I link each one to many different areas of learning.
     
  2. As an experienced teacher of Reception I believe that children do not seperate their learning into areas and psychologists would support me on this! Each significant step forward a child makes often shows progress in many areas. Why should we, as teachers, observe children and file/stick etc observations/photos /work into six areas of learning. Surely it makes more sense to look at each achievement and marvel at how many different targets a child might be achieving in just one photo/activity. We should not be diasecting what children do and say to fit them into areas.
    Has anyone else an opinion on this?
    We have an Ofstead inspection next year and I'm wondering what they''ll make of my "higgledy piggledy'' learning jouneys that grow-just like children really! My photos and observations are put in chronological order and I link each one to many different areas of learning.
     
  3. colorado

    colorado New commenter

    Hi
    I agree with you 100%!!
    I also organise learning journeys chronologically, annotating obs/photos with the variety of aspects they cover (although I don't put specific scale points on)
    For Ofsted, I suppose as long as you also have some other official tracking system in place which does record against the 6 areas (eprofile/dev matters tracking sheets etc) then I presume they will be happy.
    I think what I'm trying to say is that our recording system depends on the audience it is designed for - I feel learning journeys are for the children and parents and as such should be a celebration of the growth of the child over the year.
    I could, however be completely wrong, that's just my opinion!
     
  4. JEH

    JEH New commenter

    I started a Learning Diary for each child in Nursery, that has continued as I moved up with my current Reception class. It has photos, post-its, work samples (child and adult initiated work) and achievement slips that parents have filled in to say what child did at home (not enough of these tho!). They are in chronolgical order, not by 'subject' but I have annotated to say which profile point they show 'progress towards'. We were moderated recently and Moderator was very happy with them, but we also use EYFS TargetTracker and keep separate notes for reading, SEN etc.
    However - it takes ages updating Diaries - sometimes wonder why we should be jumping through these hoops, but when I look at each one I have to admit it does give a very rounded 'picture of the child'.
    Completely agree that EYFS shouldn't be split into Literacy, Numeracy, PSE etc as separate strands of learning.
     
  5. Although this is straying from the original point of the OP I HATE these learning journeys. The reason for this is simple. They have only been at our school a year and we have no 'official' format and the teacher who was in Recption last year has took it upon themselves to create each child's journey to be the size of the BIBLE. So now I am expected to make mine the same.
     
  6. Hi,
    I agree also that learning should be holistic, it's what we encourage our parents to do after all, to find natural opportunities for learning as you go along. What worries me is that it is not just assesssment data that we seem to need to pigeon hole, but planning too and even continuous provision, by separating areas of the setting for maths/literacy etc. I sometimes think that lit/num, in the form of adult led group times are in danger of becoming taught discretely due to pressure to produce results in an otherwise child initiated learning environment. Am I being cynical here? I think simple chronological Learning journeys are a lovely, personal way to celebrate a child's progress. If well done, for most children, they are <u>all </u>you need to confirm the progress you already know about and tick those wretched boxes at the end of a child's time with you.
     
  7. Hi there,I agree too. What do you consider to be 'well done'. Just curious......
     
  8. Hello,
    Having seen another post on this topic, I think you first have to decide who these books are for ie: children,parents, advisors, OFSTED, etc. I would hope they would be for children and their parents. For the children they need to be small enough to hold on their lap and store for easy access during the session. To go regularly home they need to be quite tough. We include photos, post its, children's work of all sorts, both CI and AL,with annotations, contributions from home, star of the week nominations, reading progress badges: children's, parent's and teacher's comments when looking back at their book, both scribbled on and using a feedback sheet: child friendly/negotiated next steps wriiten in. Most of it is stuck in as we go along, some regular bits such as name writing/portraits are put together to show progression easily.It is not in separate areas of learning. We gave our parents a pack of post its to use at home and some ideas of ways they could contribute to this home/school book. Children can decide if they want to put something in their special book or take it home. We have regular ERIC time in class sharing our books, the children love them and really own them.The parents have said what a lovely way to see the progress their child is making.From a teacher viewpoint,I think well written post its are important, it is then very easy to use this information to update the dreaded profile.Certainly for nursery age, I think these books fit the bill beautifully and should be all that is needed.
     
  9. We had OFSTED recently, reception class. Our learning journeys are organised chronologically which wasn't a problem but the fact the obs were not all linked to a scale point was!
     
  10. we have scrap books where we stick all observations chronologically and number them. On their profile sheet (we are still paper based) they are then linked to the profile point by writing the observation number in the box.
    There is no way I would stick observations in the 6 areas of learning as the OP stated they generally cover more than 1 area.
     
  11. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    As I said in another thread we don't have Learning Journeys we use the Learning Story (narrative format) which are for parents and children so are not linked to scale points at all and Ofsted loved them.
     
  12. mancminx

    mancminx New commenter

    Msz,
    what is a learning story?
    thanks
     
  13. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Learning stories were developed in New Zealand by Margaret Carr as an assessmnt tool
    http://www.unisanet.unisa.edu.au/staff/SueHill/Learningstories.pdf

    A really good example can be found here
    http://eclkc.ohs.acf.hhs.gov/hslc/ecdh/eecd/Domains%20of%20Child%20Development/Science/Josie%27sDrip.pdfhttp://homepage.mac.com/tdrummon/LearningStories/welcome.html

    http://homepage.mac.com/tdrummon/.Public/LearningStories.pdf
     
  14. Thanks for that msz- very interesting! i have started to do a similar approach, making 'stories' or books of activities that the chn do, although they are additional to the profiles and other observations etc which isn't totally manageable. Do you do them instead of observations/long obs? How often do you do them? How many does each child have? Do you link them to the profile at all? Have you any examples available that you have done? Sory for the questions but this seems like a very child centred approach to assessment-exactly what I am looking for!
     
  15. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    There isn't any set timetable or quantity involved as Learning Stories record those special occasions rather than observingto a timetable with a focus for the profile. They can be long (recorded over weeks or months) or a single day. As I say they are more for the family than to inform the profile although they do inform the planning provided for the child.
    We use special books (Wingate kindly gave us the contact details of their supllier) and begin these in nursery and they grow with the child as they progress through the school.
    We don't directly link them to the profile but obviously somethings will relate to ELGs but this isn't recorded in the story. We record next steps and involvement/wellbeing on a simple scale H M L.
     
  16. Dear Msz
    The Learning Stories sound lovely and the example given looks wonderful too. However- sorry to pour cold water - I just can't see how they are manageble. You might say there is no set timetable etc. but I'm thinking about the situation (and i am acutely aware of this in my own classroom) where a child might have several learning stories, because they do so much, and another might have no learning stories (part-time, bad attendance, just doesn't do things that grab practitioners and make a good story). This isn't so bad when the materials are shared between professionals, as we can explain to each other how and why this can happen. But when it comes to sharing with parents we really need to be able to share similarly with all families as regards amount of information if nothing else!
    If we were to adopt the learning story approach, which is very inviting and has lots going for it, surely it has to be on a methodical basis.
    My other qualm is that these will be so time-consuming! It's bad enough filing post it notes, but organising series of photos, typing captions, analysing with colleagues! When do you do it? Alongside this- the post it note works because you can write a snapshot impression of what a child is doing as you turn round to help another with their apron or stop someone else snatching a toy. The learning story is going to need a practitioner totally engaged in watching a child for a longer time. I can't see it happening in my busy classroom. Do you have a high practitioner/ child ratio?
    What worries me is that something like this, excellent as it is in theory, might become the next step in accepted FS practice without the correct support (ie time and personnel) for anyone to do it properly, and with the subsequent addition to an already crushing workload.
     
  17. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Learning stories most definitely aren't intended to be shared between professionals!
    I'm afraid you are totally missing the point they aren't intended to be uniform they are intended to be a celebration of special WOW moments in a child's school life.
    and no we don't have "practitioners" watching children all day it isn't necessary. No clipboards! no stalking! no long obs!
     
  18. Sorry, I didn't mean they would have to be uniform, butthat there would have to be some parity between children, at least re. amount/ number of learning stories. How do parents feel when they see someone else with lots of wow moments and their child with very few? Or do you, in fact, ensure that each child has the same number?
    For the example in your link someone must have observed a child for some time (not all day, that wasn't what I meant), at least taken several photos even if they felt secure to remember everything and not take notes. This person must have at least been prepared to anticipate a wow moment coming up and grabbed a camera at the opportune time. There must be some following of children involved here (no not stalking- I didn't suggest that), or at the very least a person must have been free of other duties so that they could have the space to follow the 'story'. More to the point, that person then had to find some time to discuss it with others, download and format pictures, type and analyse. When would that be done?
    I guess my question is - what was given up so that this could be done instead? The fact is - I would love to be able to do something like this- so much more creative and in tune with children's individual learning than the present orthodoxy - but I can't see how. I'm just curious to know the logistics.
     
  19. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Perhaps your parents would compare but our's are happy to celebrate their own child's special momements and no we don't ensure everyone has the same number of Wow moments recorded. I'm not sure how that could be achieved without a great deal of adult manufacturing ...

    Some learning stories are recorded over days or weeks and yes they are usually assigned to memory ( a wise man once said about EYFS evidence only write down what you may forget). You can't anticipate a wow moment happening but you need to be prepared when it does. It's down to flexibility and following the children's interests.
    Why does the person who observed Josie have to discuss it with others? It is a story of Josie's experiment an interaction between her and the person who saw what she was doing that was shared with her family.

     
  20. Hi, we have recently had HMI and a moderation. Plus we practically live with our EY advisor as we're in SM.
    We have a book we call 'Our learning Journey' in it goes photos, post-its and short observations. It's completely in chronological order which is best as most observations cover more than one area.
    Inside the front cover we have an A4 grid with all the areas and points on. We highlight those as we go along and date them. Also by each annotated photo, post it and so on we put the points met. Parents also can write in them & they also have tokens to send in so they can stick in something the child has done at home.
    We also keep adult led group work observation in our planning folder, adult led and adult directed evidence in a class folder.
    It worked ok for our moderation, but we're thinking of developing a system so we can record where everything is just incase.
    It works for us.[​IMG]

     

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