We have just finished up our fall conferences at my school. One important tool that we always use, revisit, and expand,as we write up our conference notes, is the master record that we keep for each child.
This year my co-teacher and I revisited the form we had been using, which was an inherited form that neither of us had developed, and while it was great, it wasn’t working for us. We wanted to make something that was meaningful for us, and that didn’t seem overwhelming to update, the previous record was 8 pages.
I longed for the entire record to fit on the front and back of sheet, no such luck. It was more important for us to have all the lessons listed than have it fit on one page. So now we have extra space to write in new lessons and the back is blank for any important notes.
The record list almost every lesson from the time the child walks in her first year, to the most advanced math and language works we present. After each material is listed, there are three boxes, one that corresponds to each year in the primary class. We use the triangle method that many other Montessori teachers use, / means we have present it, Λ means the child has practiced and is working with the material, and Δ means the lesson has been mastered. In the language area the sounds are listed and we will circle them as the child has learned them, same with the listing of all the squared and cubed chains. Other materials like flags are listed. Can a child really master flags? No, but do I want a record that they have worked with and enjoyed coloring the flags and matching the flags to the countries, yes.
Record Keeping (PDF)
We have printed our records up on light yellow cardstock. Each child has a labeled page divider with a pocket, like these, where we keep the record and any other important information and assessments. We do not give or share these forms with parents. We write up a narrative form that focuses first on Social/Emotional, second Physical, and third on Cognitive, which we share with the parents twice a year.
While I know that using someone else’s record keeping system is not always the easiest or the most intuitive, that’s the main reason we revamped ours, I always love collecting all the record keeping and lesson planning forms I could find. Hopefully it will work for you as is, but if not, add it to your collection of ideas. If you would like a Word version, so you can change the materials and such, send me an email and I will be happy to send it to you.