Here are 5 examples of documentation methods that increase child participation:
Kindiedays pedagogical Portfolio is a purposeful collection of child's work that makes learning visible and illustrates progress. The child participates to the process of compiling the portfolio. Educator sits down with each child regularly to see which documents to add in the child’s individual portfolio and discusses about the child’s learning journey, experiences, wishes etc.
Day of Children
Children decide all the activities that happen during the ‘Day of Children’. Educators find out children’s views and wishes prior the day and organize the day accordingly. Educators document children’s wishes, and outcomes on the ‘Day of Children’ and plan future activities accordingly.
The Storycrafting method is suitable for everyone, and it is easy to use. The idea behind Storycrafting is to give the opportunity to a child to talk about own thoughts. During Storycrafting, the listener is truly interested and wants to listen to what the teller has to say in that moment. Child tells a story and educator writes it down from word to word as the child tells it. In case the child is not inspired, ask again next time. Aim is to find out child’s wishes, ideas, thoughts and experiences.
Say to a child (or a group of children or an adult):
”Please tell a story that you would like to tell.
I will write it down, just as you tell it.
When the story is finished, I will read it aloud.
At that point, you can correct the story or make changes, if you wish.”
(Riihelä 1991; Karlsson 2013)
When the story is ready, it can be shared with the group and child’s family and added to portfolio - with the child’s permission. Educator can use the gained knowledge in future planning.
A true story of a child’s day focusing on positivity, strengths and abilities. Educator writes down a story of a child’s day as authentically as possible. Photos of the day, practiced curriculum objectives and child’s quotes can be added and story. Story can be shared with family and added in the portfolio.
Add all documents related to your project on the ‘Project wall’. Children, but also families should be able to see the wall and comment and reflect on it. Encourage families to comment and take part.
Ask children what they know about the topic at the start of the project and at the end of the project. When the project is over, add all/parts of the documentation and children’ learning journey into children’s individual portfolios. Children see practically how much they have learned!
Would you like to learn more? Read the full documentation article here.