Ticked off!

I have been having some conversations this week about the need to justify ticking off EYLF outcomes in our individual and group observations. Don’t the outcomes say it all? Hmmm… I don’t think they do say it all.

As is pointed out in the PLP e-Newsletter (No 39, 2012) we need to ensure that we are ‘keen watchers, expert listeners, and wise thinkers.’ Our observations need to reflect this, otherwise, they will be too simple ‘all look the same and could be about any child.’

Justifying outcome choices with comments is one way of ensuring that our observations are truly individualised and provide a clear picture of where each child is at with their learning and development. Each child’s learning journey can then be followed as the comments for each outcome become more sophisticated as the child grows and develops.

Let’s take outcome 1.1 Children feel safe, secure and supported. If we just tick that outcome without any comment or annotation, what does it mean? How did the child demonstrate feeling safe, secure, and supported? Did the child demonstrate the outcome by crying to communicate their need to be comforted after a sleep? Or was that outcome evidenced in the way the child initiated a conversation with an educator during lunch about how they felt when their family pet passed away?

These comments illustrate very clearly, different stages of development, and yet the same outcome is being ticked.

Using EarlyWorks, educators are able to tick outcomes and make individual comments justifying the outcome choices. Over time, an EarlyWorks Learning Journey is created. If educators are thoughtful in their comments, these learning journeys can become a precious record of the distance travelled by each child.