Sunday, March 10, 2013

Documentation Panel Titles

I received an email this week concerning documentation panels.

 I am trying to do a documentation panel with my preschoolers. The project is boxes. When I write my title does the title need to ask a question? For example, “What should we make with all the boxes we have collected? Please let me know.

This is a great question!

I title them by describing what the display is showing.

For example, several that are hanging in my classroom in preparation for our big share this week are:

Our Trip to Norwalk High School Wind Symphony
Designing Our Gong Stand
Building the Gong Stand
Musicians Visit CCNS

These consist of photos that the children have helped select that best document our discoveries with each different exploration, as well as sketches or other materials that help tell the story of the learning.  The children dictate to me what is happening in the photos.

As tough as it is to find space in the classroom, I hand these low enough so that the children can actively engage in looking at them, talking to each other about them and sharing them with their parents when they come for the share next week. 

It is an interesting process as we always take many more pictures than we need and we really have to talk through which ones best tell the story of our learning rather than just the ones the kids are in!

I do not display every piece that every child has made for the share.  I have several pieces of memory drawings, several of field trip sketches, gong designs, etc.  The rest are in individual folders that the children will pull out and share with their guests at the event on Wednesday. 

I would love to see photos and hear about any documentation panels that you and your class have created with projects in which you are involved.  Please share!

Another suggestion I have for sharing work with others is to make a question guide to help adults prompt the children to share what they have learned in case they get nervous or need some reminding.  I usually just print up a sheet and hand it out as the parents enter the classroom.

Mine will be something like:

Why did you decide to build a gong stand?
How did you build it?
What instruments have been able to touch?
Make sure to have your child play his instrument for you.
Ask him/her how he/she made it.
and more.  

It is similar to a  museum guide to help parents engage their child who other wise might not talk.  

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