Tips for Using Our Weekly Programming and Reflection Diary
by Butler Creative28 February 2017
This book is designed to be used for both Long Day Care and Family Day Care purposes in conjunction with our respective diaries. It will professionalise, yet simplify your workload and your ‘Creative Thinking Program’ can be displayed, each day, either as it unfolds or it can be used to pre-plan your week along with your daily visual displays for parents. With your Weekly Programs and Reflections on open spreads, it enables you to open this book at any time and view each week at a glance and follow up future programs using your notes.
THE EARLY YEARS LEARNING FRAMEWORK CREATIVE THINKING PROGRAM:
This program is created with a space to take notes based on interests, parent input, ideas, follow ups, ‘notes to self’ or for other staff members’ input.
EYLF outcomes implemented throughout the week are included to circle and link to observations.
Adaptable daily program writing will help you cover a balance of experiences for the children each day.
The program template enables you to connect and link topics/outcomes to explore further through ease of reviewing both the weekly program and reflection notes at a glance.
THIS WEEK’S MOMENTS OF REFLECTION:
Is designed to have the same topic and extended concepts to explore at the top and bottom of the page as your weekly program. You can update your reflection daily whilst writing your program or complete it from an holistic perspective at the end of the week using your program as a completed guideline.
The spaces provided can include wallet sized prints, cut to desired fit to show images reflecting your comments throughout plus an additional column for extra photographic evidence.
This results in providing an easily explained, visually impressive, informative reflection for any ‘snap’ inspection of your documentation.
Each space provided is open for interpretation and a guideline only for ensuring all NQS requirements are covered. Although some spaces are self-explanatory, each are simplified below for those requiring clarification:
Was it a good/challenging week? Why? This is where you have the opportunity to briefly and honestly express how you feel your week went. Did you have a wonder-filled week or did you find it somewhat frustrating? What worked? What didn’t? Why?... etc ...
Were programmed goals & projected EYLF outcomes achieved? Perhaps you over-planned and did not find time to achieve all you set out to achieve for the week? This is where you can state what Outcomes were covered according to your planning and/or play based learning to link with your observations and circled outcomes on your program.
Routine & transition comments: Is there anything that could be done to make your day more fluent? Were your transitions to different activities (for example: group experiences, hand washing, toileting, rest time etc) effective? Are you happy with how your day flows? Did you make any spontaneous changes that might be noted or implemented in the future? It may just be a case of reflecting upon, not requiring any changes due to well structured daily routines/ transitions.
Intentional teaching/Learning experiences covered: What actions did you take throughout the week that were deliberate teaching opportunities? For example: This may be a planned group learning experience or happen spontaneously in a small group whilst playing with an activity of interest (eg: discussing shapes and colours whilst playing with blocks)
Professional Inquiry: This may relate to short courses or course content completed during the week, a discussion with your Supervisor/Director or resources used for teaching or documentation purposes: (for example, via internet sites, books, visual teaching aids etc). You might also want to use this space to acknowledge any links to the philosophies of Theorists in Education and Early Childhood Development.
Learning Data: This space can be used for all kinds of general learning experiences that you want to reflect upon. It may just be an image of a specific group art or craft activity. You may want to share the children engaging in valuable life skill opportunities such as cooking, gardening, recycling, role-play or exploring colours, shapes etc... the list goes on...
Changes to Environment: This space can relate to any changes that you have made to the environment during the week, whether indoors or outdoors, new equipment or activities added, artwork or posters put up or taken down etc.
Resources used: This can be itemised or generalised by ‘referring to the daily program’ and used as extra space for images showing an example of a specific resource during engagement.
Parent Input: A space to record any conversations, suggestions, concerns, ‘show and tell’, self inclusion, cultural background knowledge or the like where parents raise an awareness to warrant recording or following up.
Individual Observations: This ensures that up to four observations are recorded and achieved each week. This is particularly useful for tracking the frequency of individual observations in FDC. (Please note that LDC may require more space in this area for individual observations, perhaps using this space to record large or small group observations and coding the program itself for individual observations)
Extension Planning: The final box to complete relates to the question: Where to from here? An overview of what concepts you would like to explore during the next week based upon the week that was, whether pre-planned or writing daily extensions. This can then be abbreviated into the ’Next suggested topic to Explore’ box at the end of your program and reflection then transferred to the co-related box at the top of your program and reflection for the next week.
See this article for some examples of how the diary can be used.
These tips for how to use the diary were developed by Lyn Amos and show how she uses the diary in her practice. Lyn was a Family Day Care educator with a long history in Centre Based care and is now a Kindergarten teacher she has both a Cert III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education and also an Associate Degree in Education. You are obviously free to use the diary any way that suits you best. If you would like more information or clarification, please email info@ bccr.com.au
As any early childhood or teaching professional will tell you, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s in the form of observation, progress tracking and achieving educational outcomes is pretty much a full time job.
I was a family day care educator when my children were little. The industry was not as regulated back then and there were certainly not the resources available today that would enable you to stay within the regulatory guidelines.