Less Marking. More Documenting.

A few weeks ago I shared my plan to inquire into my students as people and document what I discovered about them. Then I wondered why stop there?  So drawing inspiration from early year educators, I decided this year to also dedicate time and energy to looking for and documenting learning.

To make this happen, I started the year with a Google Sheet that had all of the students’ names and a tab for the Learner Profile, attitudes, ATL skills, UOI concepts, Literacy and Math.

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Throughout the week I would add to it when I noticed evidence of something. This could be at recess, while students were playing, while students were setting up the classroom… anytime, anywhere!

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I tried to pay close attention to what students were saying and asking before, during and after our read alouds or when we were testing out our new classroom library for fun…

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I analyzed any writing samples I came across – report cards I asked them to write for me, feedback forms about setting up the classroom, thinking post-it notes, letters they wrote to me…

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Of course there were days where I didn’t have the time or opportunity to sit down and reflect on what I had seen or heard throughout the day, so at the end of the week I scrolled through the pictures I had taken which helped to jog my memory of things I may have forgotten.

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The best part is that if you asked my students if we did any “school work” this week they would all say “no!”. Yet because I was looking for learning in anything and everything I learned so much already about their attributes, attitudes, approaches to learning, understanding of concepts, reading, writing and math skills.

This is a practice I hope to continue throughout the year, and eventually invite the students to participate in too!

If it works for KG teachers… why not Grade 4 teachers?

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