Since January and the visit made by Reggio Emilia educators Elena Giacopini and Mateo Bini I have been contemplating how best to document learning within PE, specifically within Early Childhood, whereby we are able to show the process of learning. The January PD session made me reflect upon my own practice whilst believing in a social constructivism approach to learning, how does my learning environment reflect this? How does my documentation reflect the learning that takes place within my lessons?
For the purpose of this blog post, when talking about documentation I am referring to what will appear in a students portfolio, documentation of learning happens throughout the unit and guides the inquiry. A particular focus has been how to show the process of learning to the parents so they are aware of this and can become part of the process with their child.
KG started a new unit focusing on transportation systems, in PE our central idea was 'Our body is a transportation system'. The unit was to look at the effects of exercise on the body, with our initial idea to focus on the cardiovascular system i.e. how blood is transported around the body and the respiratory system the inhalation and exhalation of oxygen, as the unit progressed tho student interest led to a focus on the cardiovascular system.
Whilst going through this process, we (I team teach KG with Alex Sota) tried to allow more time for student voice and to avoid rushing learning with a perceived need to 'get something done' by a specific time. This enabled student voice to become central to the learning, with our role as facilitators responding to their ideas, interests and conversations.
Through making student learning visible, documenting their conversations and working theories students were able to see and reflect upon their learning. As teachers we were able use this information to plan following sessions, leading to more authentic inquiry. Whilst through the inclusion of multiple student voices in the students documentation it reflects the process of student learning, showing understanding and constructing meaning as a continuous process.
After going through this process I still have many questions; are the connections I have made to student comments really my own connections? Should I have included more of the student 'physical' developments in the portfolio? How or when to is the best time to use a provocation to ensure that all students voices are heard? Did all students really want to focus on the cardiovascular system after feeling their heart beats, or did we as teachers direct this?