I knew that this year I wanted to add an extra layer of communication for parents. It does seem that I have better conversations in the morning then I did pre-Covid. The best part of my day is walking outside and seeing children hanging out sunroofs yelling at each other excited to start the day and opening the door to greet parents. I love asking how everyone is feeling and how their night was and just general conversation.
When I started doing the Friday notes book. I took my work sampling documentation sheet and pulled skills or quotes from that.
Usually on one side of the page was a summary of the week and on the other was a child specific paragraph from the week
The thing is, most of the things I was writing you’ve already read about all week in the blog. This book is also intended to be a keeper of memories for the child time here so the repetition from the blog was not that big of a deal .
I have heard about learning stories for a while now and was always curious. This weekend I paid to attend a virtual conference that focused on learning stories. I fell in love with them.
“Learning stories are key methods in the development of a child’s sense of identity. By knowing what it is they are doing and understanding how they learn, children can develop their own interests as well as an all-important sense of self-worth. … They help children learn what it is to be part of a community.”
Learning stories are less clinical. They are written TO the child instead of about the child. Often they can include the child’s voice and even reflections from parents. Learning stories can be a few sentences long or even pages depending on the circumstance.
I am using a separate template for the learning story. I still used my work sampling sheet but may put something together that combines the two.
I think when you read today’s story and compare it to the other stories you’ll see the difference. Reminder that I am only one week past the training and have no experience. I think when we look back on these early stories we will see how far I’ve come .
I’ll give you an example showing the difference between the styles of writing. On my work sampling documentation and on our Friday papers I might have said “Kamden stacked 5 pumpkins on a block gate he built and counted them .” That tells you what Kamden was able to do and what skills he had. A learning story written to him might sound like this -Kamden , I watched you stack your blocks carefully. You told me they were as high as your nose. We both laughed. You selected the orange pumpkins. You said they were your favorite. You put the orange pumpkins on top of the block fence you built. The 3rd pumpkin teetered on the edge and you giggled and grabbed it. Your eyes were huge with anticipation. You got all five pumpkins steady on the top. You counted 1 2 3 4 5. You smiled so big. You were proud of your work. I am too.
Can you feel the difference ?
The learning story still covers growth and skill success but in a more aesthetic way. On this second page of Nayomi’s you can see where I highlighted and marked some of the indicators worksampling is looking for.
20 years from now which would you rather read? Which version values what the child is learning and his voice ?
Partway through the week as I was writing the stories I read each child’s story to them and asked them what they thought and if they wanted to add anything . I haven’t really figured out the parent voice yet except for comments you make at drop off and pick up or comments under pictures posted that make sense in the story.
I really loved writing these stories. I hope you love them too. I genuinely felt like it gave me real authentic conversations with each child that might not have happened otherwise.
We did a crap- tivity today. The kids learned nothing from it but we created a great keepsake for you. 🤣