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Documenting a Learning Experience:

Frogs and the Pond

Reflections from the FielD

Preschool teacher Heather Oski describes a classroom investigation on frogs and her creation of a documentation panel to highlight the experience. On the documentation panel, Oski includes children's work samples, photographs of their experiences throughout the investigation, and examples of shared writings. Displaying work and photographs in this manner fosters pride among the children of their accomplishments and abilities. The documentation panel also serves as a way to communicate with families about the current investigation in their child's classroom.

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  • Video Transcript for Documenting a Learning Experience

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    Girl: Tadpole!
    Teacher: What comes after the tadpole?
    Boy: Miguel.
    Teacher: So Miguel, come on over here. Miguel has the tadpole with legs. What comes after the tadpole?
    Girl: Me!
    Teacher: What do you have, Alyanis?
    Girl: Um, a froglet.

    Heather Oski, Preschool Teacher, Child and Family Development Resource Center: We started an investigation on frogs, which included a lot of elements, including their habitat. The documentation panel was about our visit to a pond and taking in all the things we’ve been learning and applying it, and really seeing what the children understood about what we were learning. My goal was to help children synthesize their experiences in the classroom during the investigation.

    Girl: Can we take the lid off?
    Heather: Yeah, we could, so you can get a better look at them with the magnifying glass.
    Girl: Yay!

    Heather Oski: I started by including pictures of books that we had read, and we had a shared writing together about what kind of animals live in a pond. I also included photographs of the science center, where they were applying a lot of their knowledge about frogs.

    Girl: I see one that has two legs!

    Heather Oski: The major component of the documentation panel was the children’s photos of them actively drawing what they saw when we visited the pond with a description of what they drew, as well as an authentic piece of art that they created. I really liked the photographs that we took because it showed how serious they were about learning and how involved they were with the investigation.

    Boy: I caught a dragonfly!
    Heather: So did I!

    Heather Oski: Families could really understand what we were learning in the classroom and see how much their children are learning and growing.


    © 2016 Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
    Produced by the Center for Early Childhood Education at Eastern Connecticut State University.
    May be reprinted for educational purposes.
  • Producer: Julia DeLapp
    Script: Julia DeLapp
    Videography: Ken Measimer
    Editing:
    Lupe Marquez, Ken Measimer
  • Special thanks to the Child and Family Resource Development Center in Willimantic, Connecticut. The development of this video was funded by the Connecticut Office of Early Childhood.
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