Last week was our culminating documentation party, and what an experience it was! They backyard was absolutely bustling.
There was documentation on the house, on the fences, and also hanging from the trees. Adults were milling about conversing with one another and observing their children on the stools/beams.
The children were talking about the photographs, munching away on snacks, and showing their families some of their hard earned skills.
Older siblings seemed excited to join our balance work as well.
I was curious to see what was on the childrens’ minds, so I made some rounds and inquiries.
Bee: “What do you see in that photograph, OC?”
OC: “I see me! And also SR! See! She’s right there!”
LS: “I like this pulley! I wish it could go all the way up to the sky!”
With the high sun and the change in routine, some children didn’t feel like talking and promptly ran away from me when I asked for feedback. I react similarly at parties myself, and didn’t mind at all that some children chose to keep their thoughts to themselves.
When I asked the children what they thought of the party they shared their thoughts about food, a good reminder that most of these children eat dinner right after school, and they need edible support for these occasions!:
RT: “Pretty good! I just ate some cheese crackers!”
HB: “Good! My favorite is the snacks.”
ZC: “I DON’T WANT QUINOA!”
After that feedback I dialed in my question and asked the children and parents what they thought about the photographs specifically.
RT: “The pictures were pretty good and the snacks were pretty good. Pretty good and pretty good!!!”
Sean: “This is great!”
Laura: “This was so beautiful! I enjoyed the pictures.”
MC: “I think we should keep them up there” (referring to the documentation hanging from the fences and the garage)
LR: “My Mom got to look at the pictures. I feel happy.”
As I walked through the party, I noted my observations and the responses to my questions on a document called an Observation Tool.
ZC and JL both observed me documenting and promptly offered their services.
The children thoughtfully noted what they observed, and let me know as soon as they needed the paper to be flipped over or re-oriented.
As per our consent work, I let the children dictate if/where their name was placed on the paper. Here are their observations!
What did you notice at the Documentation Party? If you have a moment, please share your thoughts with us! The documentation party is the culmination of so much time, thought, and effort, from both teachers and children, and we would absolutely love to know what intrigued you, what you loved, and what you were missing! Let us know in the space below!