One of the difficult aspects of assessing young children is the copious amounts of written observational notes. I’m striving to make a system that makes this easier. I’ve toyed with the idea of using my HP Elitebook 2760p to take notes on. On the plus side it has a stylus so you can handwrite notes and Windows 7 allows handwriting to text which eliminates the need to retype the notes. The Elitebook is fairly lightweight also but still a bit cumbersome to be carrying around and not very discreet either.
I read about an idea of using sticky labels to write observations on. These can just be peeled off and stuck straight onto each child’s record. With this in mind I set about devising a child’s record sheet that includes the EYLF outcomes as well as a space for the sticky labels, a follow up section and a reflection section.
The sheet I created is big enough to accommodate 8up labels (8 per A4 sheet). These provide plenty of space to write notes on without being too big. I double-sided when I photocopied to save on paper. I bought my first set of labels from Officeworks but they were relatively expensive at $31 for 100 sheets. I wanted them straight away though so paid the price for convenience. I’m planning on buying more from here making use of the bulk discount and free delivery for purchases over $50.
I plan to use a highlighter to highlight the relevant EYLF outcome to each observation. I will also mark the observation with the same colour highlighter. I’ll be trialling this system over the next few weeks to see how it works and then make adjustments accordingly.
We (my Education Assistant and myself) have 2-3 focus children a day so that we know we’ve written observations for each child at least once every 3 weeks. We also write anything relevant that pops up with non focus children on these days. The purpose of the focus children is to make sure no-one is falling through the gaps and not being observed.
Here’s a copy of the assessment template if you’re interested in a closer look: assessment template