Our fundamental goal is to offer our most precious resource, our children, the educational experiences they deserve to achieve their potentialities and to ultimately become fulfilled human beings.  We are on our professional journey to develop our educational approaches and quality pedagogical system that fully honors, respects and nurtures our children’s rights to develop their competencies in non-predetermined ways.

We are documenting practices and processes of learning that authentically reflect experiences where children are listened to and respected, and where their questions, theories, and plans become a part of a cycle of inquiry developed to spiral their understandings.  Through this documentation and on-going reflections, as a professional team, we are collaboratively growing and deepening our understandings around linking theory and practice as we work to develop curricular experiences that promote meaning-making.

All these practices have been second nature to us within our early childhood foundation level.  Our hallways are adorned with our on-going documentation that reflects the various learning processes that is happening within each of our classroom communities of learners.  At our elementary level, we have been on our learning curve as to how best to document learning and to continue to make it visible.

We applied to become an AltSchool Partner School because we view the AltSchool platform as a supportive tool helping to organize our daily observations and assessments in more efficient and succinct ways.  With the added pressure, at our elementary level, of utilizing third party curriculums for our literacy and math studies and staying true to our emergent approaches and practices where the integration of all learning takes place within our deep studies, we needed support to continue our documentation practices.   

Our elementary level professional team has embraced this tool and each of our elementary learners’ learning processes both individually and collectively are documented.  What we are learning is that we cannot forget to also make this documentation visible to our learning community at large. Because it is on the platform, we have not been as vigilant to physically put our documentation up within our learning environment.  Our parent community has missed this and since they only see a small portion of the platform documentation they have not had the opportunity to see the bigger picture and the visual evidence of learning. Additionally, our children have missed seeing their learning processes visibly on display too.

The AltSchool platform is supporting our on-going planning, recording and assessing of our children’s learning.  Our visible documentation helps us to make our cycle of inquiry around our learning visible. The platform provides the undergird to make this happen.  

Margie Zeskind
Temple Beth Sholom Innovative School