It may seem stressful and certainly at times educators will feel overwhelmed by the data collection and recording process, but recordkeeping is the bread and butter of early education. Behaviors occur in children that sometimes have educators scratching their heads, considering the reasoning behind the behavior. Other times it is glaringly obvious as to the cause of the behavior and still sometimes certain behaviors are normal at some stages of development. Beyond behavior, there are developmental and academic reasons for recordkeeping which are all equally important.
There are basic components of keeping records in an early childhood classroom and they include observation, recording, assessing, and planning for the future. These four main ingredients combine to plan instruction, provide solid data, make accommodations when needed, and communicate to parents and administrators about a child’s progress. These components can also be used for the individual child, small groups, large or whole groups, and entire programs.
Throughout this topic we will break down each of the four basic components of recordkeeping in order to facilitate quality recordkeeping practices. This information is relevant for educators who work with children of all ages, though the types of observations, records, and assessments will change slightly by age group. It is important to keep in mind your program and the children that you work with as you consider the information in this course.