The Mother Goose Time curriculum includes an assessment system and portfolio resources. Assessment is naturally built into the curriculum and portfolios feature work samples and documentation of learning. This year, we received child portfolio binder covers and divider pages that feature the skills learned in each theme. Read how I’m Creating Portfolios with Mother Goose Time.
Each Program is Different
I’ve been trying to figure out this assessment and portfolio thing for a while now. There are so many methods and resources to use, it’s overwhelming. In the past, I created my own system. I’ve written about authentic assessment with Mother Goose Time before. I’ve used LifeCubby on and off. Now in Wisconsin, we have YoungStar, a quality rating program for child care centers. I participate in the program, so my assessments and portfolios must follow the YoungStar requirements in order for them to be considered acceptable (for 5 star status. I’m currently 4 stars, working towards 5 stars). It’s been a bit frustrating to deal with all this change without a lot of guidance on HOW to do it or WHAT it should look like. It really will vary from program to program. How you organize your assessments and portfolios and what resources you use will depend on many factors.
Mother Goose Time + YoungStar
Personally, I’m trying to merge the Mother Goose Time curriculum and resources along with the YoungStar requirements. It’s already been established that Mother Goose Time aligns with Wisconsin Early Learning Model Standards. I want to make use of the materials offered by Mother Goose Time but I also need it to work for my program.
I set up my binders right away in September, but I honestly, I just started using them. I’ve gone back and built them from photos and art I kept to put in them. Moving forward, I think I’ve got this!
YoungStar requires that we use a developmental checklist to assess development. The Readleaf Family Child Care Curriculum Developmental Assessment record is a version that’s acceptable for our state. I’ve decided to insert it in the front of each child’s binder. I believe the requirement is to fill them out at least 3x/year. I’m also supposed to create 1-3 goals a month for each of my kids. I’ve created this goal sheet to record goals, document the lesson I used to help the child reach the goal, whether or not the goal was met and a goal assessment. I can use the Developmental Continuum of Skills to write my goals. I’m still working on implementing this component and linking assessments, goals, lesson plans and documentation. So many moving pieces (so little time!)
Creating Portfolios with Mother Goose Time
In the photo above, you see the Me & My Family theme divider page. We learn by monthly themes so I like this way of organizing the portfolios. See the photo below for “Some of the Skills I’ve Learned” on the back of the theme divider page.
Here are the steps to creating a portfolio:
I love the stickers Mother Goose Time has made available in Member Resources for us to use. They recommend printing off a set of stickers for each child and putting them in the front of their binder. When all the stickers have been used, then you know you’ve covered all the skills (33 skills takes 3 months).
Personally, that’s not going to work for me. Because Mother Goose Time is flexible, I can make this work for my program. I use the “snipping tool” on my computer to clip the labels and insert them into a new sheet of labels in Word, so I can print individual labels. That way, I’m using only the labels I need.
Portfolio Theme Divider Pages
Here’s a label I put on a name tag, noting that she can write/print her first name.
A few work samples from Down on the Farm theme:
This is the label on the back of the bread/wheat cutting sample:
Already on the 3rd month/November/Community Helpers theme. I saved her fire painting.
This is something I need to do because I’m in Wisconsin. Most providers can skip over this unless you need to do something similar in your state. I’m adding this information because there’s sooo little information for us providers in Wisconsin regarding how to set up portfolios! I’m hoping to help other providers as well as receive feedback there’s anyone out there who is in the same boat as I am. I used a “special note” label and noted the Wisconsin Model Early Learning Standards (WMELS) that were addressed in the fire painting project, as I’m supposed to reference on portfolio items. To make noting these domains/subdomains easier, I created a WMELS copy and paste chart. If you’re in Wisconsin, you might find it helpful.
WMELS label on the back of the painting:
As much as I want to use the Mother Goose Time labels, I will probably have to use them along with my WMELS notations.
I’ve shown both on the back of this painting sample:
Portfolio Photo Keepsake Pages
I’ve also tried this method: Mother Goose Time provides this awesome Portfolio Photo Keepsake Page. I downloaded it into Word and added text boxes so I can type in it. I’m much more likely to type a portfolio entry than I am to write it. I know this about myself, so this is how I’m making the Mother Goose Time portfolios work for me and my program. I’m loving it! I can insert a photo, tell a story or add an observation and then copy and paste my WMELS domains and subdomains into the space below. So for the Owl Collage, I typed a page and added to the back of the project. In this case, I did not use a sticker on the back of the art project. As I said, I’m still trying to figure out how this will best work for me.
Let me tell you, though, once I got started, I couldn’t leave it alone! I’m really enjoying this process of creating portfolios for each of my preschoolers.
Here are some more examples of how I’ve used the Portfolio Photo Keepsake Page. I *love* these and am confident the parents will too. I think it’s important to note, portfolios need to make learning visable AND guide our teaching. For my purpose, they’re not just cute, although I think attractive is important too! I appreciate that about Mother Goose Time, that their materials are professional and fun to use because they are cute.
I think it’s important to document all the other moments as well, that might not be directly related to Mother Goose Time. The Photo Keepsake pages are perfect for this. I’m printing mine right on regular printer paper and 3-hole punching them for the binder.
It works out well that some observations can be inserted in more than one child’s binder. In that case, I edit the names and add special notes for each child. I have permission to share photos with other parents so this works in my program. You many want to have a media release for using photos in your portfolios.
Noted This Month
I also decided to create a sheet called “Noted This Month” for each child. Basically, it’s a sheet for anecdotal notes that I will record monthly. So often during the day, I “note” little things in my head, realizing it’s something I should record for the child, but then it often doesn’t get onto paper. So this is the spot I’ll put them. I anticipate that I will record them on one sheet for each child all month and then copy and paste them into a sheet for each one individually. I’ll see how that goes!
So this is a little overview of how I’m using the Mother Goose Time assessment system and portfolios. I have to change things around a little bit because of what’s required for child care in my state. You may be able to use the program just as Mother Goose Time has it set up. I hope you can, it would be easier! But I’m loving how this is working for my program so far! My kids are excited about their binders and I know the parents will enjoy them as well. In the meantime, it helps guide how I teach and how I use Mother Goose Time with my group.