Making Children’s Learning Visible
The educators at NAEYC accredited Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool in Scottsdale Arizona remind us that the best documentation focuses on the learning of children – not the end product of their creations. When we show the process of learning we elevate our field by visually demonstrating that all young children are competent and capable learners. When educators describe what learning is evident, we elevate our field by demonstrating our professionalism. This image presented here is one example of making learning visible.
The day before this photo was taken, the teacher guided a small group of children on a nature walk. She invited the children to photograph something that captured their interest. This four-year-old managed the digital camera on his own, choosing to photograph a cactus. During the next day, he is invited to draw his cactus from the photo he captured.
Notice how the teacher has intentionally set the creative space. The child has been instructed on the correct use of a Sharpie™ marker. He has a paper towel on his left that will be used to dry his brush. He has clear water (now slightly blue) on his right that is used to clean his brush. He will choose his own colors and mix the water colors as he re-creates his cactus in water color. In this activity – directly tied to his interest – this boy is honing skills of observation and representational drawing.
Skills: tenacity, observation, color mixing-color knowledge, representational drawing, determination, persistence, listening and following direction, creativity.
Teaching Across the Curriculum: the integration of arts into our practice touches all of the standards and provides a positive way to connect to children’s individual interests and creativity.
Arizona Early Learning Standards: Social-Emotional(S1:C3); Approaches to Learning (S1:C1,C2)(S2:C1,C2)(S3:C1); Literacy (S1:C1); Mathematics (S4:C1); Science (S1:C1,C2,C3,C4); Social Studies (S2:C2); Physical Development (S1:C2); last but not least Fine Arts (S1:C1).