Friday, January 16, 2015

Critical Feedback Appreciated - PYP Early Years Documentation

What's happened?
My last PYP reflections post prompted me to explore beyond my current educational setting and seek feedback on my inquiry cycle and PYP documentation. I have used our TKS Inquiry Cycle, and the my pre-, formative and summative assessments to write a story about our learning within the Transdisciplinary Theme of "How We Organize Ourselves". I have posted my request for critical feedback in a number of online spaces, and thankfully a few people were willing to help me out over the Winter Break.

Here is an example of my documentation write up resized to A3 for children and families to revisit their learning journey(over two months of experiences). I sent copies of these to my critical friends and received some great feedback from them:

Feedback 1: Documentation shows the process of research and the thinking processes of the children. I particularly love the conversation about the water pipe and the proposal for swings. I wonder what is so special about swings and would have loved to hear the children's perspectives on this. I am also interested in the other proposals and think it give insight in the children's ideas of what is needed (toy shop, candy store and store to buy strollers and the playground with swings). It shows that their ideas mostly come from what they think children need within their community.

Feedback 2: I have been looking at your documentation and think its good - who do you do this for? I liked the fact that you went off task so to speak and looked at swings and proposed to get some that's some nice action and i also like the construction idea of recreating the school. Role is always a great provocation too.

What’s not happening? ( challenges & frustrations )
Things to work on based on critical friend feedback:
* You can focus your reflection on certain essential elements (and Learner profile attributes) or just one or two.
* Extend and honour all ideas of the process i.e. toy shop.
* Include more of the children's perspective (listen more, talk less).
* Think about the audience.
* How open is the inquiry?

What am I going to do to influence those things which aren’t happening? (next actions)
After attending Traces of Learning: Documenting young children's learning workshop in Thailand with Fiona Zinn I was inspired to use more pedagogical documentation to make learning visible to children and their families. Part of me thinks that my teaching practices are made visible too. Formative assessment decisions are made every second of every day and by documenting these I am also reflecting on my teaching decisions. Although admittedly, I am very open to the fact that I fail in these decisions regularly.

My goal over the next few weeks will be to look at how I document the next UOI. How can I make children's ideas and inquiries more visible in my documentation?

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