When you enter Parker River Community Preschool, one of the first things you see is pictures of children, their artwork and project investigations. Teachers research children’s ideas and theories and document the processes they go through. Teachers work with children to display these threads of learning for all to see. Documentation displays are an opportunity to revisit experiences, learn from mistakes, dialogue with one another, and build on ideas and theories.
Teachers document children’s development in individual child portfolios. Each child has a three ring binder that contains their personal portfolio. Their portfolio begins when they enroll in the program and follows them through their journey at PRCP until graduation. Each portfolio contains written observations, photos, and documentation that reflect the individual child’s experience at Parker River.
PRCP teachers conduct biannual developmental assessments on each child. Assessments involve observing developmentally appropriate skills based on child development research and district Kindergarten readiness, but also take into account a child’s personality, disposition and strengths. Assessment check-off lists are complimented by Learning Stories created by teachers, parents and children.
Learning Stories are subjective narratives accompanied by photos that communicate children’s learning as they persist at a task. They highlight the skills learned and how to promote further learning, but also place value on the setting in which the learning occurred, relationships, and child’s disposition.