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Learning Center Documentation In the Preschool Special Needs Classroom

written by: Cheryl Gabbert • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 7/12/2012

How do you document individual student performance during learning center activities? More than one adult may be working with a child and several activities are going on at once. Here's how to document student accomplishments at center time.

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    Learning Center Time

    Ahhhh, learning center time. It's full of fun, crazy with activity, and chocked full of learning. Unfortunately, it's sometimes difficult to get accurate documentation recorded during center time. There's probably more than one person working with the children, and several things are being taught at the same time. While teachers typically work with a child, and document what each child accomplishes, many times the other children are doing things that are left undocumented. IEP goals need to be taught and progress must be tracked, but how does that get accomplished in a fast, easy way during center time? This method takes a little time in the beginning, but is quick,easy and effective in the long run.

    Each student's IEP will have individualized goals in each area of delay that are being worked on. Determine how many children share similar objectives. Sometimes the goals will be along the same line, but with varying degrees of expectation. For example, 3 children may be working on learning shapes, but one might be matching them, while one is naming them, and another is naming and tracing them. Plan centers with this in mind, and group kids together who are working on similar goals. Plan a center for each area of delay, such as gross motor, fine motor, cognitive, and self help centers. Each center will have a chart. Title the chart accordingly and list all students' goals for that area.

    Use the students' first, middle, and last initials so you know who is working on what without confidential information being on display if visitors see the paper. Make a table with a week's worth of entry squares. As you, a therapist, or assistant observes a child working on a goal, chart their progress in the square for that day. Keep the tables in the appropriate center in a file folder during the week. Run off a new copy each week after the weekly table is complete and collect the completed charts. Store completed charts together in a binder. When progress time or IEP meetings come along, you can easily determine each child's progress during center time activities.

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    Example

    FINE MOTOR CENTER GOAL CHART

    WEEK: 12/05--12/09/08 12/5------------------------12/6------------------------ 12/7------------------------- 12/8-------------------------- 12/9

    GOALS:

    1. Trace a circle.

    (j.s.b)

    (k.j.l)

    (h,l,n)

    2. Trace name.

    (k.s.i)

    (s.e.r)

    3. Write first name

    from a model.

    (t.w.r)

    (w.r.w)

    (Fill in what you observe for each day in the area being worked on. All goals will not be filled in every day.)