Observation and Description
Parents and educators frequently fail to notice small details that could determine a child’s life. It is possible for someone to excel in music, sketching, communication, and spatial thinking. However, these skills are not readily apparent in young children because of their clumsiness. As a result, Observing and Describing come first in the learning story (Getting started: Learning Stories, n.d.). The initial stage of the educational process involves the teacher spending time carefully examining the students’ aptitudes. Covey, a teacher who used Learning Stories, claimed that he only recently realized what the idiom “a picture is worth a thousand words” actually meant (as cited in Lee & Carr, n.d., p. 6). The children’s latent skills, which are extremely challenging to notice in a typical setting, became apparent to them as they were putting the story together. A little child who constructs a ship using Lego might not initially look exceptional. However, this may be a cover for strong spatial thinking. The first step, which entails Observation and Description, is essential in order to notice such minute details and record them.
Interpreting and Reflecting
But a single observation won’t produce worthwhile outcomes. As a result, it’s important to Interpret and Reflect on the information that is known about the youngster (Getting started: Learning Stories, n.d.). Educators must carefully consider all options before drawing any conclusions. For instance, just because a young child sits and sings a melody does not imply that they have and ear for music or that they will grow up to be a musician. Such assessment is inadequate and ineffective. In contrast, some observations could offer data that is more challenging to interpret. For instance, if a child has created strong bonds with many people in the group and consistently stands up for his friends, they may have a strong sense of empathy, which aids in communication. Therefore, before taking any action, it is essential to carefully analyze the child’s behavior. This way, teachers were able to identify 20-month-old Greta’s musical abilities (Hatherly & Sands, 2002). Teachers carefully observed the youngster for a long time to see how they responded to various rhythms, rhymes, and sounds. They informed Greta’s parents about the observations after carefully verifying the details.
The educator must create a strategy to follow in order to get the greatest results after determining the qualities and needs of the students. The preparation and implementation of a plan for the child’s growth constitute the third stage. Teachers should ask themselves what they can do to assist the student, because it is the duty of the teacher to explain and convey information. In recent years, active learning has substituted the conventional educational system. When teaching through active learning, the teacher engages the students’ critical thinking in contrast to just delivering knowledge in the form of printouts. The lesson plan could call for a variety of tasks, group projects, and other activities. Children acquire the topic better and more enjoyably through active learning. For instance, Miss Trisha initiated a discussion in her class, engaging the kids and pushing them to think beyond the boundaries (Mickley, 2018). Even the teacher was astonished by the students’ responses and inquiries. It is clear from Miss Trisha’s example that future initiatives should concentrate on the skills that young children need to develop. The teacher must help the pupil improve, whether it is through singing or critical thinking.
The Learning Story
Observing and Describing
Every time you pick up a pencil, Abby, I pay close attention to you. So, you took the paper and ran your hand across it as if wiping off the dust. You appear focused and serious as if you were attending an exam. You began by drawing a circle of yellowish color. Then you used a pink pencil to draw the petals. I am curious what kind of flower you are drawing… And here are the second, third, and fourth petals. Hands are clumsy, and movements are sometimes smooth and sometimes sharp. It appears to be chamomile. Oh, it appears to be a bouquet, not a single flower. You added four more flowers. You made a happy face when you finished drawing the flowers. You are now drawing the stems. The lines ran from the flowers to the paper’s lower right corner. You drew little needle-like leaves and the letter “A” at the bottom of the paper.
I’m not the only one who has been watching you all this time, Abby. Marie, your friend, looked at your drawing with sparks in her eyes.
“What a lovely flower!” she exclaimed. Your lips curled into a shy smile.
“I’ll draw more,” you said, taking another piece of paper.
Interpreting and Reflecting
Abby is only five years old, but she has exceptional drawing abilities. Other children draw in a clumsy and sloppy manner, which is typical for children aged 4-5. However, Abby’s drawings are very neat and beautiful. Abby perceives and reproduces the image accurately. She selects the appropriate colors and shapes for drawing. Furthermore, Abby accurately recreates the image from memory. Despite the fact that there were no similar flowers in the room, Abby drew them. Later, it was discovered that her grandmother grows cosmos, which are very similar to pink daisies.
I’m guessing Abby is gifted because her drawings are realistic for her age. It is critical that she continues to draw because drawing is extremely beneficial to a child’s development. Drawing, for example, helps develop creativity, original thinking and imagination, and fine motor skills, as well as organize their ideas and express visually (Metin & Aral, 2020). These skills will serve her well in the future, regardless of the profession she chooses.
We spoke with Abby’s mother, and it turned out that the parents were unaware of the girl’s artistic abilities. Abby’s mother was pleasantly surprised and proud of her daughter when they learned about her abilities and saw the drawings for themselves. We talked about the benefits of attending art school in the future. But when Abby grows up, all of this will be discussed with her. Until then, I’ll do everything I can to encourage Abby’s drawing.
To begin with, I can provide papers, pencils, and other drawing supplies. Abby will be able to do what she enjoys without worrying.
Second, I can create a schedule or a plan for Abby to practice drawing. For instance, the kids will be using watercolors, not colored pencils, to draw shapes the next week. Abby will thus have the opportunity to experiment with various drawing approaches, techniques, and styles.
Thirdly, I can organize contests, events, or assignments that call for imaginative thinking and drawing. Abby will benefit from having more drawing practice.
Last but not least, I can help Abby out morally and psychologically by urging her to work. It could be compliments or little incentives for achievement, such as candies or chocolate.
Getting started: Learning Stories. (n.d.). Alberta’s Early Learning and Care Curriculum Framework.
Hatherly, A. & Sands, L. (2002) So what is different about Learning Stories? New Zealand Journal of Infant and Toddler Education, 4(1), 8-12.
Lee, W. & Carr, M. (n.d.). Documentation on of Learning Stories: A powerful assessment tool for early childhood. Dialogue and Documentation: Sharing our Understanding of Children’s Learning and developing a Rich Early Years Provision.
Metin, S. & Aral, N. (2020). The drawing development characteristics of gifted and children of normal development. Cypriot Journal of Educational Science, 15(1), 073–084.
Mickley, L. (2018). Octopus brains and other fascinations. Fostering Inquisitive Minds.