Assessment and Documentation

piano pulled apart
Practices

• Curriculum- After carefully planning a rich and thoughtful environment, teachers observe children and document their learning. They then reflect, plan and take action. This emergent, dynamic curriculum process includes children and families. At the same time, teachers guide learning and assess individual growth to ensure that children are developing necessary knowledge and skills.

Interdisciplinary, project-based learning is central. Children engage in investigations both in the classroom and outdoors, explore their community, identify and solve problems, measure, read, and express their ideas and understandings through a variety of forms and media, from observational drawings and mathematical explanations to stories and songs.

Children assist each other in learning, taking on the role of teacher, and teachers take on the role of facilitator and learner. Children are protagonists in their learning and need to participate in the planning process.

Documentation- Teachers document children’s learning through notes, photographs and examples of children’s work. This makes learning visible to children, parents and teachers, and informs next steps in curriculum. Older children participate in documentation of learning.

Assessment At the same time that teachers are documenting children’s learning as a group, they are tuned into the growth of individual children. Each child has a portfolio organized around an assessment framework that describes key knowledge, skills and habits of mind. Each child’s development is documented and reported to families twice a year through summaries and portfolios. We also use assessment data to identify children who need additional support, and to inform improvement of our program overall.

Multi-age groupings- While there are developmental “norms,” each child develops knowledge and skills on their own timetable. Children in multi-age classes shine in their own ways, learn from each other and progress on a continuum that is not tied to their chronological age.