Because of so many dedicated educators throughout the world, those of us who are passionate about embracing the concepts of the Reggio Emilia approach have an endless fount of resources: books, blogs, research articles, videos, images, web sites and more. Below are some internet resources about my favorite topic: pedagogical documentation. Enjoy and share your own if you know of others!
I love Videatives! I first discovered it a couple of years ago and joined immediately. The subscritption fee for individuals is $8.25/month and really worth it. From their site: “The word videative [vid´-é-ã-tive] refers to the combination of text and video segments to create an integrated viewing experience (video + narrative = videative). The text explains the video and the video exemplifies the text. Our videatives help you see what children know™ and thereby help you better support their learning.” A fairly succinct articulation of the purpose and goal of documentation! Check out a sampling of their videatives here to see if this resource is a fit for you or your staff.
The Wheelock Studio is an amazing resource for folks seeking documentation styles and display ideas. Stephanie Cox Suarez founded the studio in 2008 and currently it offers exhibits, professional development opportunities and, for those not living close by, a Documentation Studio Blog.
An internet resource list for documentation would not be complete without Pinterest! If you are a visual person, Pinterest is the first place to stop for understanding documentation. The photos and captions listed on various Pinterest sites give a foundational understanding of how completed documentation displays look and how they are used in the classroom and school community. I found two Pinterest pages that I particularly enjoy, though there are many, many more. Paula Lopez’s Documentation board is amazing! Actually, her entire Pinterest page could keep you busy for months! Here is her own description of her documentation board: “Assessment in early childhood classrooms should occur through observations in a natural, authentic environment. As we watch, listen and interact with children with the intention of being in the moment with them, we discover not only their understandings but also their learning process, their uniqueness and interests. We begin to value each child’s contributions to the community of learners. We gain valuable information on how we can promote their success as a learner.” Voila! Know you know the who, what, why, when and where of documentation! Documentation Reggio Inspired by D. Tomlinson is a beautiful board with nearly 200 pins about documentation! Tomlinson’s page also has boards for other Reggio Emilia topics (light table, literacy, etc).
This resource is actually an extensive article which serves as a great introduction to documentation. Wein outlines five aspects of “learning to document: (1) developing the habits of documenting, (2) ‘going public’ with recountings of activities, (3) exploring the visual literacy of graphic displays, (4) making children’s theories visible, and (5) sharing visible theories with others for the purpose of further interpretation and curriculum decision making.” Moving from theory to practice is key to exploring documentation and using it as a learning tool.
The folks at Harvard Graduate School of Education began collaborating with the schools of Reggio Emilia in 1997. That collaboration has been a great resource for American educators and has helped make known the concept of documentation as a curriculum and assessment tool. Harvard’s Visible Thinking Site is for those educators interested in making the thinking of their students visible to all members of the school community. It includes tools such as Thinking Routines, Thinking Ideals and Teacher Study Groups. A great place to support your practice of documentation!
©Shelley Welch 2016