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Observation notes and record keeping.

Posted by admin on September 9, 2011

I wanted to just share with you my way of record taking and daily observation notes. It is important to observe work choices the children make and details such as how long they stay with a piece of work, their focus on the work, and steps involved in the work. Look for the cycle of repetition, concentration, and a sense of satisfaction seen in the child. Children are developing an inner discipline from their work. This is what Maria Montessori referred to as "normalization." Daily note taking is so important for a Montessroi teacher to do. It also helps me to see which things we may encourage or direct the children to work on.

These are my main record taking pages....


Back in the day, I had something similar to this format, only more of a horizontial layout in a notebook type of folder. This particular style I learned a teacher I worked with about 4 years ago and I find it easier to use, one sheet on a daily basis.


Lesson Planner/Daily Notes

In each block I add a child's name, and then will run copies with the names already on the paper. At the top of each days log, I write in the date and the morning unit study lesson. Then throughout the day, keep this handy on a clipboard, and add your observation notes to it. I will often add to it during the children's rest time, the things I observed that I could not write at the time. I add notes about things seen on the playground, and perhaps what kind of day the child is having. I also like to jot down some quotes of the things the children may say or stories they shared. I need to do this for myself, because when it comes time for parent-teacher conferences I have a quick resource to look over on that child and can share with parents. With 20 or more children to keep track of, I cannot remember little details unless it is written down, and then it all comes back to me, and  I can share more with the parents about their child with specifics, which they like to hear.


Record Keeping/Works from the Montessori Classroom

This is a list of the main materials and works found in the Montessori classroom. I asked my husband to make the chart for me and I typed in the materials from each area of the classroom. The only thing not found among these list is the Language area. I have another way of keeping those records and will share that at another time.

Each child's name is written in the left colum. My way of keeping track is in each box below the named work I make a mark to tell me where the child is with the work. I have an introduced mark, then a mark over that one to show a working on mark, and a final mark straight down the x mark to show that the child understands and can do the work. I say 'mastered' for a simple term. This I update perhaps weekly, using the daily observation notes.

With these two methods I find I can keep track of children's progress, and better guide them in their Montessori environment!



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