This week we looked at a great example of pedagogical documentation from “Making Learning Visible”, an example from Reggio Emilia. The inquiry process compared what a small group of young girls and of young boys would accomplish drawing a map or picture of their neighbourhood. The inquiry asked what they would accomplish and what kinds of provocations and thoughts would the children have when thinking about their neighbourhoods. What was very interesting and almost shocking about this was how detailed and interested the group of girls and boys each seemed to be with creating their drawings of their neighbourhoods.
This is a great example of documentation, as I can see and make connections to the Kindergarten curriculum and how I could assess the students. For example, one expectation from the curriculum under Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, Pg. 191) says the students should ask questions for a variety of purposes. For both the girls’ group and the boys’ group there were all kinds of questions being asked. They were making connections, asking each other questions, creating provocations and even answering each other and solving each others’ questions. The students are also communicating with each other, covering the curriculum expectation where students are to “communicate with each other for a variety of purposes, and contexts” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, Pg. 126). I would assess how well the students communicate with each other. Are they remembering to respect others choices? Are they communicating their own opinions, or are they reluctant to join in? I especially appreciated the part of the documentation where one of the boys, Simone, was concerned for another boy, Giacomo, and why he wasn’t participating. He helped Giacomo and invited him to join the group. It is beautiful moments like this that make documenting young students a great joy, and provide great examples of communication assessment at a young age.
Simone and Giacomo show yet another connection to the curriculum, learning about Self Regulation and Well-Being. Both communicated ideas and emotions and showed they were learning how to be inclusive and thinking of others’ well being. Simone was able to notice that Giacomo was hesitate on how to join in the group, he gave Giacomo an idea about drawing the roof and Giacomo then felt welcomed and included. If I was writing a report card for Simone I would include this as an example of how well Simone is doing in class and how well he works with the other students.
A different example from the class comes from the girls’ group, where we see they are also communicating and working together. Annarita, one of the girls, expresses that she would like to draw her own house and would do it later. The other girls agreed and continued to draw out their map. This documentation is very clear and precise that going back to make evaluations and connections to the curriculum are very easy and natural.
As a preservice teacher, looking at a well-accomplished piece of Reggio documentation can be a little daunting and creates high expectations but I strongly hope to gain this skill throughout my career. I hope to one day create stunning documentation like Reggio Emilia teachers.
The Boys’ City. (2006) Making Learning Visible. Retrieved from: http://www.mlvpz.org/documentation/paged978.html
Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). The Kindergarten Program. Retrieved from: https://files.ontario.ca/books/edu_the_kindergarten_program_english_aoda_web_oct7.pdf