by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
Reflections Magazine : Issue 56 Spring 2014
What follows here is a snapshot of the journey undertaken by educators from St Morris Community Child Care Centre Incorporated, a community based centre with an enrolment of approximately 120 families. Three educators undertook an action research project entitled "Building Successful and Passionate Writers". Initially, the team had many questions: • How can we involve and inspire staff, families and children with our project? • How can we encourage all educators to write stories that are descriptive, meaningful and have depth? • How can we go about sharing stories with other educators? • What can we include in children's individual folders? • How can we change our way of thinking about Learning Stories and how they are written and presented within our setting? Through discussion the team identified three main points of focus: - involving parents - involving children, and - involving staff. At the conclusion of the formal stage of the project the lead educators, Megan, Suzy and Casey came together to offer their thoughts and reflections on their learning journey throughout the project. The project After settling on a focus of writing and documentation, "Building Successful and Passionate Writers" , we struggled a bit to come up with what to do next. To give us some guidance, we developed and sent out two questionnaires, one to families and one to educators, and we used the data from the questionnaires to highlight the areas we could improve in. Once we had this direction and a plan, we found that the project flowed well. We began by sharing some of our stories with each other at staff meetings so that we could all see different formats, styles of writing, language and ideas -- a practice that had such benefits that we have continued to share stories on a regular basis. We initially faced a number of challenges, particularly around the areas of inspiration and motivation. At times we would find inspiration easy to come by, at other times we would find it more difficult. Having each other to bounce ideas off of was useful and helped us to keep our motivation. We are still working on how we can get children involved in adding to their portfolios as this was something that we found challenging over the course of the project, especially with the younger age groups. We also believe it is important that children have access to their portfolios throughout their time at child care, and we are currently working on how to do this with each age group. Following an interval of approximately six months, once the formal aspect of the project had been completed, we came together to share and record our critical reflections: • The biggest impact for our team is in terms of our connections with families. When we communicate with our families, our interactions are much richer. With some families, in particular, where in the past they would only communicate to us about sleep and hats and missing socks, they are now writing their own stories, and we are writing back. The communication and interactions are more meaningful, and the connections between home and our service are stronger. These stronger connections mean that we are thinking more deeply about the documentation process and about our audience. When writing now, there are questions in our minds such as, "Who am I writing this for?" and "What does this piece of documentation add to the story of this child's journey?" • As a result of these connections, we feel that both educator and family documentation is more powerful. We are noticing the journey of the children through the service more, and this has impacted on the way in which we conduct transitions. The folders support the transitions of the children during their time at St Morris, but also when they leave the service to join the world of school. Many families tell us that the children who used to attend the service are still accessing their portfolios well into middle childhood. 14
Reflections Issue 57 Summer 2014
Reflections Magazine Issue 55 Winter 2014