Setting Up Learning Stories Before the School Year Begins

Learning stories are a fun and functional way to encourage and track progress throughout the school year.

As another school year approaches, this one arrives with a series of differences and challenges. Planning ahead this year will be helpful now more than ever. This way you’ll have time for all the extra pieces without having to worry about the program planning falling behind. Take the time to set yourself up for success and work through as much as possible before stepping foot back into the classroom. 

Learning stories are very important and help parents understand the types of learning and activities their child is participating in while building new skills. Writing and keeping track of learning stories can take much of a teacher’s time away, and by setting up learning stories before the school year starts will ensure that things run just a little smoother. 

Below are 5 tips to help set yourself up for success with learning stories.

1. Set Up an E-Portfolio

Using an e-portfolio helps streamlines the process of recording and allows for multiple updates. It also makes sharing with parents much easier as many can not enter centers at this time. Within HiMama, child portfolios are created automatically to help streamline the process.

2. Create Individual and Group Profiles

Children participate in a variety of group and individual experiences and making sure to have separate individual and group profiles will help keep writings, art, and photos arranged. When it’s time to create individual learning stories from group experiences, the transition will be easier.

3. Map Out the Year’s Themes

In addition to creating learning stories from moments that pop up throughout the year, mapping out specific targets is helpful. Going through each week of the school year and creating a learning story folder for main themes is a systematic approach to gathering learning stories. Pre-planned themes provide useful indicators of each child’s progress.

4. Organize Learning Story Templates

Setting up sections to record each piece of learning story evidence with individual profiles and these helps save time and effort. Pre-plan and have learning story templates ready to be used:

  • Learning Story
  • Analysis of Learning
  • Extension Ideas
  • Linking to Learning Outcomes

5. Prepare for Spontaneity

Learning moments are not always planned and typically spontaneous ones happen very quickly. As a teacher it is easy to get caught up in the moment, be prepared to record data at any time. Establish a protocol ahead of open play. This can be having a camera and notebook ready at all times or having a recording app on your phone. Being able to catch the details in the moment is highly important. This way later, you can transfer it to a learning story.

The amount of effort that teachers put into providing documentation of learning and planned learning is very important. By taking the time now to set yourself up it will allow for more ease on your part as well as creating a seamless process.

Savannah Copland

Savannah Copland is a Marketing Manager at HiMama. She has been working for over 3 years in the early childhood education space, and feels incredibly fortunate to have met, interviewed, and worked closely with registered early childhood educators, thought leaders and researchers during that time. She is particularly interested in finding novel ways for child care centers to market themselves and bolster their enrollment. She loves cats, and always needs at least one toy on her desk to fidget with!