Your learning story must include:
- A title
- A picture of the play/ learning experience that you will be documenting (you may capture the child’s hands only or the back of a child’s head if your placement doesn’t allow you to take pictures).
- A clear description of the play episode that you observed. **Remember that a learning story is quite different from an observation- in a learning story, you are writing about what happened from your perspective objectivity is not the goal in a learning story. Your description of the play episode should be detailed and contain lots of examples of things that the child said and did. A good learning story involves careful listening and interaction with a child. It is a story of care, connection, relationship and understanding. The episode should contain detail information
- A “What it means” section that clearly connects what you saw in your observation to the ELECT continuum of development. Your “what it means” section is similar to the interpretation that you did in your observation. However, it’s important that you remember that this is to be shared with children and families. for this reason, you need to be able to explain what the play episode means in a way that the families will understand. This is why it’s important to link your theory to the ELECT document with reference numbers. Here is an example of an Infant learning story that illustrates the “what it means section”. Remember that although your learning story will follow this format, you should not be completing an exact copy of this learning story.
- An “Opportunities and possibilities” or “what we might do next” section. In this section, you will be outlining what you would do if you were going to continue to plan for further development of the skills you observed. Again, remember that this should be easy for children and their families to understand.
- A prompt for the child and their family member to respond to so that you can learn more about their thinking. This section is intended to be a bridge to support communication between you and the child and their family. You may want to ask a question to find out more about what the child was thinking, or you may be interested to see if the child is engaging in similar types of play at home.
You may write the learning story using first person narrative (Emily, I saw you playing at the water table) or third person narrative (Emily was playing at the water table).