Linking Children’s Goals to the Program

Something we’re often asked is: “How can we link our children’s goals to the program?”  If this is something you have been wondering, read on!

I am going to share one way educators can use EarlyWorks to:

  • Collect information about individual children
  • Question/Analyse
  • Planformulate goals and document strategies
  • Act/Do
  • Reflect

Now in detail😊

Step One: Collecting and documenting evidence; questioning and analysing  

  • Create an individual observation. You might call this observation ‘Aiden’s story’.
    • In the Narrative include a summary of observations, comments, and conversations with family, with the child, with the community (where relevant) and with other educators (documenting the evidence collected).
  • In the Reflection of Learning, you might like to question and analyse the evidence documented in the narrative. What does that tell us about Aiden’s interests, culture, abilities, strengths, likes, dislikes…?  What does that tell us about what he can do?
    • Use the Observed Outcomes to link to and comment on the EYLF or MTOP outcomes that are evident in the Narrative and Reflection of Learning.

  • Add any images that support the Narrative, Reflection of Learning, and Observed Outcomes.  These images may have been taken at the service, or they may be images shared by the family.

Step Two: The plan; Setting and Documenting Goals

  • Create an experience for Aiden.  You might call the experience ‘Aiden’s goals’.
    • In the Narrative, list the goals that have been developed as a result of the initial observation. Also list any strategies that will be used to support Aiden in achieving those goals (this is your plan for Aiden). These goals and strategies can also be added to Aiden’s Child Notes in his individual profile in EarlyWorks.
    • Tick ‘Aiden’s Story’ as the Preceding Observation (and so the cycle of learning begins!)
    • Tick Aiden as the Child Planned For.
    • Tick your Intended Outcomes
    • Where appropriate under Resources include any images or documents that support educators in carrying out the strategies (for example you may include a photo of a pencil grip that will be used to help a child correct his/her pencil grip, or you may include a photo of a special cup that will be used to help the child drink independently).
    • Finally, link the experience to the service’s QIP Evidence list by ticking any Standards or Elements that are being followed in this experience.

Step Three: Act/Do

  • As Aiden participates in the program, actively support Aiden in achieving his goals by using the strategies listed in the experience or plan.
    • As Aiden participates in the program, document observations of Aiden’s progress in group observations, educator comments, annotated photos, Daily Communications Comments, or wherever else is relevant.

Step Four: Reflect Review

  • Create a new observation; you might call it ‘Aiden’s story for February’
    • In the Narrative record a summary of all evidence of Aiden’s learning and progress towards his goals. This evidence might come from:
      • Educator comments in EarlyWorks
      • Family comments in EarlyWorks
      • Daily Communications in EarlyWorks
      • Learning journey comments (outcome comments from observations and journals)
      • Images
      • Conversations with families, the child and each other.
    • In the Reflection of Learning, question and analyse what that evidence tells us about Aiden’s progress towards his goals.
    • Continue through the observation as you did in step one.
    • For the experience/s observed, tick ‘Aiden’s Goals’, as well as any other planned experiences where you supported Aiden working towards his goals. These might be experiences that were planned for the whole room or for smaller groups of children. This linking provides evidence of Aiden’s goals being directly linked to the room’s program.

And so the cycle continues: set and document new goals as a new experience, act/do, and reflect/review…

In Summary:

  1. Create an observation: ‘Aiden’s Story’
    1. Document all evidence of learning/interests
    2. Reflect on that evidence
    3. Tick and comment on any outcomes observed
    4. Add images that support the observation
  2. Create an experience: ‘Aiden’s Goals and Strategies’
    1. Based on the observation, Aiden’s Story, formulate goals and strategies that will be used to achieve those goals.
    2. Tick ‘Aiden’s story’ as the preceding observation
    3. Tick Aiden as child observed
    4. Tick outcomes you hope to support Aiden in working towards
  3. Action: Support Aiden in achieving his goals by implementing the strategies as he engages in the room’s program.
  4. Create a new observation for Aiden
    1. Document evidence of how Aiden worked towards his goals in the narrative
    2. Reflect on all of that evidence of learning in the Reflection of Learning
    3. Tick ‘Aiden’s Goals and Strategies’ as the experience observed, as well as any other experiences where Aiden was supported in achieving his goals
    4. Tick and Comment on outcomes and milestones that have been worked towards
    5. Add any images that support the observation

And so the cycle continues as Aiden’s goals and strategies are adjusted and added to in a next experience, and then Aiden is supported in achieving those new goals…

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