1.3.1 Assessment and planning cycle

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Each child’s learning and development is assessed or evaluated as part of an ongoing cycle of observation, analysing learning, documentation, planning, implementation and reflection.

Before we look at element 1.3.1 we need to understand what the Regulations say about documentation and planning. For example, Part 4.1 Educational program and practice. Regulation 73 An educational program is to contribute to the following outcomes for each child

(a) the child will have a strong sense of identity;

(b) the child will be connected with and contribute to his or her world;

(c) the child will have a strong sense of wellbeing;

(d) the child will be a confident and involved learner;

(e) the child will be an effective communicator.

You will see the above are the five Learning Outcomes from the EYLF and MTOP. What is more interesting is the EYLF and MTOP show you exactly how to meet this regulation and element 1.3.1’s planning cycle. Look at the right-hand columns under the Learning Outcome where it says,

Educators promote this learning, for example, when they:”

Above copied from the EYLF book

When you write from the right-hand side, you are showing how you are meeting regulation 73, but more importantly you are showing your planning and how you’re  extending learning for Element 1.3.1.

Please take a detailed look at the right-hand side below all the Learning Outcomes in EYLF/MTOP. There is
NO EQUIPMENT. There is YOU, the educator. This is why the EYLF and MTOP is known as a relationship curriculum. You need to build learning relationships from the right-hand side of the EYLF/MTOP to plan learning for children.

You always use the right hand side of the learning outcomes in the EYLF/MTOP to plan and extend learning.

 Analysis is the first step in assessment. You are analysing what you see and where you think the child is in relation to the Learning Outcomes – that is assessment. Look below, the regulation wants you to document the assessment of the child. Again, you analyse to get an assessment result. Your analysis is against the Learning Outcomes.

Analysis is about looking at what you see with the child, thinking about what you see and asking yourself in relation to what you see, “what Learning Outcome am I seeing with this child?” That is analysis. The end result is you writing the learning outcome you think you are seeing. When you write the outcomes met, you have documented assessment for the child.

Let’s now look at the regulation

 74 Documenting of child assessments or evaluations for delivery of educational program

(1) The approved provider of the education and care service must ensure that, for the purposes of the educational program, the following are documented

For children preschool age or under services are required to document:

  1. assessments of children’s developmental needs, interests, experiences and participation in the program (Regulation 74)
  2. assessments of a child’s progress against the outcomes of the EYLF (Regulation 74)

Educators need to continually ask “What does the child know, can do and understand in relation to the EYLF Learning Outcomes?”

When you write from the left-hand side you are meeting Regulation 74 and Element 1.3.1 section for assessed or evaluated. This is the biggest misunderstood concept of the EYLF and MTOP.

Above copied from the EYLF book

When you write from the left hand side you are showing the analysis phase of the programming cycle.

Simple programming planning uses the left-hand side of the EYLF/MTOP to discover what children know, can and understand (analysis) and the right-hand side shows how you as an educator planned and extended what children know, can do and understand. Using the EYLF and MTOP left hand and right-hand side to write all your documentation shows your planning cycle.

Simple planning cycle above using left and right sections of the learning outcomes.

Examples of great practice and documentation

Documentation with complete planning cycle written into it Planning cycle in action
Today Cody organised an activity with rocks and two PVC pipes for Archie and Carter to test a hypothesis. Cody asked the boys which rocks would slide down the pipes faster, large or small? Planning

Assessment (Cody is testing their knowledge)
Archie and Carter began investigating to see which rock would slide faster, but soon the boys struck a problem. The rocks became stuck. Cody asked the boys what we should. Archie grabbed the pipe and started shaking it while saying “we should shake it to see if they start sliding again.” Archie’s ideas worked. The rocks came loose and started sliding again. Observation

Reflection then Assessment (Cody is testing their knowledge). Analysis of Learning (Cody now knows what Archie knows)
Cody spent time interacting with Archie and Carter conversing about whose rocks would slide faster down the pipe. Archie said his big rock would be faster “bigger is faster,” but Carter was sure his little rock would be faster saying “no Archie mine will be faster.” They let their rocks go but it was too close to call, so we decided they were both winners with the boys saying “yay we won” and high fiving each other. Implementation and Planning

Assessment (Cody is testing their knowledge)

Documentation

A small sample of a large planning cycle that has grown and grown into major projects with very complex thinking.

Documentation with complete planning cycle written into it Planning cycle in action
Extending yesterday’s learning - Titanic Wed 10th Jan 2018
Coffee was still an interest for the children, so we decided to explore a little further the continents that grew coffee. While reading a book about continents Archie commented that South America “at the bottom has icebergs and icebergs sunk the Titanic.”

This was a great interest to the children and Archie shared his knowledge of the Titanic. “The people were on the boat for five days,” shared Archie.

Miss Danielle and Miss Tara furthered the children’s thoughts while conversing with them and role playing using chairs as life boats to see who the children thought should be rescued from the boat first e.g. women or men, babies or adults, rich or poor, captain and crew or passengers.

Miss Danielle provided children with examples of many ways identities and culture are recognised and expressed within the story of the Titanic e.g. the people that were thought to be important were saved first while others were left behind as they did not have enough life boats for everyone.

Chloe St expressed her concern for children and babies that did not make it onto a life boat when explaining.

“I think that they should of let the babies on first before the parents because they can’t swim so they will sink!” (L/O 1.3) The children spoke to Miss Tara about fairness and equality and whether they would have used the same method as the crew on the Titanic while choosing who got to board a life boat first. “I would put all the boys on the boats first and make the girls swim and hold their babies” shared Jasmine.

After this discussion, Chloe Sm asked “but why couldn’t they just fix the boat and smash the ice out of the way?”

Miss Danielle used this question as an opportunity to discuss the density of an iceberg. Miss Danielle explained to the children that 90% of the iceberg was below the surface of the water.

“The iceberg wanted to be under the water, it didn’t want to swim away from the boat” Lila confidently expressed. “But I think that when I put ice cubes in my drink they just stay on the top, they don’t sink to the bottom” Mackenzie stated. (L/O 1.2)

Extending on the ice density topic and Mackenzie’s statement about ice floating/sinking, Miss Tara and the children gathered containers and filled them with water so we can see whether the size of an ice cube is what determines whether it floats or sinks.

“I think the little ones will sink and the big ones will float” Alice hypothesised. (L/O 5.3)
Planning

Observation

Assessment

Analysis of Learning then Assessment (Using quotes shows what Archie knows)

Reflection
Planning (on the spot)
Implementation (on the spot)

Reflection
Planning (on the spot)
Implementation (on the spot)

Analysis of Learning then Assessment (Using quotes shows what Chloe knows)

Implementation

Analysis of Learning then Assessment (Using quotes shows what Jasmine knows)

Observing (with the children while talking to them)

Reflection
Planning (on the spot)
Implementation (on the spot)

Analysis of Learning then Assessment (Using quotes shows what Lila and Mackenzie know)

Planning (on the spot)
Implementation (on the spot)

Analysis of Learning then Assessment

The EYLF says “Learning is not always predictable and linear” and this is clearly seen in the learning story above. Who would have thought exploring coffee growing areas of the world would end up as a learning experience discussing who should live and who should die.

You as an educator need to be proud of what you can do on the spot and confident to show the assessor.

Exceeding Theme Core

All educators can explain how their approach to assessment and planning links to the service philosophy and learning framework, and how this extends each child’s learning and development, including in relation to the unique community context of the service. All educators engage in robust discussion about the assessment and planning cycle, and consider whether alternate assessment and planning processes will improve learning outcomes.

Where is your practice compared to the above statement?

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