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Ped Doc Study & Making

Learning Visible
Drew Gregory

Drew Gregory

Documentation Created and Posted at my placement site- Chemong Public School.

Sensory Fun!
Within my first two weeks of being in the Kindergarten class, I noticed the children were
interested in sensory materials. On Mondays and Fridays we have more of a math and number
focus in the classroom with Mr. M. A way I decided to combine the fun of sensory play that the
children enjoy, with a math twist to go along with the days focus was to bring in and create some
water beads and sensory balloons! In the process of creating the water beads, and sensory
balloons it supported both Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics and Self-Regulation and
Well-Being for children as stated in Ontarios kindergarten document, the four frames.

The creating process:

Step 1:
Making water Beads was the first part of the experience process. Making water beads required
the children to experiment with different types of measurements using Litres, rather then
standard measurements. For every quarter of the water bead bag, we needed to measure out 2
litres of water. Together we needed to do some math, and figure out how much water we would
need, if we put half the bag of water beads in the container. We successfully came up with the
answer; four litres of water, for half the bag of water beads. As you can see in the pictures
posted, we were talking about what half is (1/2) , and what a quarter is (1/4) with both the water
bead bag, and the pop container we used to measure out the litres of water.
The children got to experience what the water beads felt like, before they were filled with water.
Once we did the math, and poured the water and water beads into the container, and placed them
on the shelf to watch them grow throughout the day.
Drew Gregory

Step 2:
Making sensory balloons was an idea we came up with to help children self-regulate in stressful,
upsetting or frustrating situations. This was brought on by a comment a child had, while we
were doing another experience. We had created balloons filled with beans, for a game we were
playing in the classroom. A little boy said this feels nice on my hands, its squishy. This
prompted a conversation about tools to use (this is one of them) to help yourself self-regulate, to
help you feel better in upsetting or frustrating situations.
Before we created the sensory balloons, at morning carpet I read a book to the children called
Zach is frustrated. This book explained a situation a little boy was having one summer day,
and the tools his father helps him learn to help calm his body and mind. This was a good book to
introduce the children before creating the sensory balloons, to teach them techniques and tools to
use for themselves when they are frustrated inside the classroom.
This experience with the water beads and balloons, required children to problem solve with the
materials in front of them (balloons, funnels, scoops and strainers) how to get the water beads
inside the balloons. It turned into a fun sensory experiment, which was put to good use.
Drew Gregory

Step 3:
Let the fun begin! With the left over water beads we did not use in the sensory balloons, we
placed in the water table. Many children showed an interest in the water table with water beads
inside of it. The children begin running their fingers though the water, picking the water beads up
and dropping them in the water, and even trying to use little tools like play tweezers to catch the
water beads in the table! This experience started out with just water beads, and turned into such
a fun sensory play, that was extended to self-regulation and well-being, demonstrating literacy
and mathematics behaviors along with problem solving and innovating.
Drew Gregory

Posted in the school:

Drew Gregory



1. What do we see when we look closely and attentively at the documenting evidence?
When I look at the documentation evidence, I see the children being involved and enjoying the
sensory play. I see the learning starting with something as small as a comment about how a
balloon feels in a childs hands, and turning into learning on self-regulation and well-being, as
well as problem-solving. This documentation shows us the interest and concentration children
had with the sensory materials they were provided with. Along the way, we included both self-
regulation and well-being' plus demonstrating literacy and mathematics behaviors from the
Kindergarten documents, four frames.

2. What questions does this looking raise for us? What do we wonder about?
I wonder if the children have had previous experience with water beads and sensory balloons?
I also wonder if children have had meaningful conversations on self-regulation before, or if they
have an understanding of what it is? I wonder what they think when they touch the sensory
materials? Do they just enjoy the feeling of it in their hands, does it remind them of something
different or do they just like trying to catch them in the water?
There are so many things you can wonder about children and their working theories when they
are involved in play, but it truly is amazing to sit and observe them and the enjoyment they
have in experiences/ play.

3. What are our working theories about what we see? Deeply reflect on this with other
educators, children, and families.

Self-regulation is crucial for children to develop in their early years, as well as having a little
understanding of what self-regulation is. This is important because if children cannot self-
regulate they are not truly involved or themselves throughout the day. They are distracted by
what their body is telling them, but dont know how to express themselves, or calm their body
and mind. Children need to have these skills to simply be able to participate in activities,
conversations and the everyday necessities of life. When children cannot self-regulate, it
impacts all their learning throughout the day. A part of helping children to understand it, we as
educators need to give children the tools to help them self-regulate. The experience we created
of sensory balloons, along with reading the story Zach is frustrated helped children to
understand self-regulation and how they can help themselves in stressful, upsetting or
frustrating situations.

4. What does the evidence reveal about the children's working theories, feelings,
attachments, and interests?
Look at the documentation evidence; I can see the children are interested in sensory materials.
Drew Gregory

By observing the way children were playing with the water beads, with concentration, patience,
enjoyment and a smile on their faces I could see the interest and happiness with this
experience. I also believe the evidence shows me who has had sensory experience or
experience with sensory balloons/ water beads before. Some children were so fascinated by
the water beads and sensory table; they stayed involved and indulged in it all morning. Other
children, who I believe have had experience with water beads before touched them but were
right onto the next thing. The water beads in the sensory table was such an amazing
experience, as we got to have conversations with children in a calm, concentrated state
(fascinated by the water beads) and talk about what it feels like, what it reminds them of,
challenge them to pick up water beads with play tweezers, etc. Was a fun experience!

What images give the most insight, for your Pedagogical Documentation Design
(documentation panelno less than 3 and no more than 6)? Why did you choose these?
The pictures I choose for my documentation show insight into the child's thinking and
enjoyment. In Step one, you can see by the pictures the children's thinking and working
theories about figuring out the math concepts (figuring out half of the container, then a
quarter). This is viable with both the water we were measuring and the water beads. In step
two I choose pictures that showed the children using their hands in the experience. You can see
by looking the children running their finger through the container of water beads, as well as
using their fine motor skills concentration and coordination to get balloons around the funnel
to make sensory balloons. Finally, in step three I choose a picture I think perfectly displays what
the children enjoyed most, playing! The children would take the water beads and watch hem
drop in the water, or try and gather a batch of water beads with their hands in the table. The
entire morning children were fascinated with the water table, and this one picture of many
shows the enjoyment they were having!

5. Where will you display your documentation panel in order to make this learning visible
to the child, family and other educators?
I will display my documentation in the hallway, on the bulletin board. This is a place children see every
day when they arrive in the morning, get ready to go outside for recess and at the end of the day. This is
also a place other educators and teachers can look and read the documentation without interrupting
the class by having to come inside the room. Parents sometimes (not very often) drop their children off
or pick them up at the classroom, but it is right outside the doorway if they were to, for them to see! I
believe this is a good placed for the documentation as there is lots of space, its down low for the
children to see as well as in a good location for others to investigate!

(Wein, 2013, pg, 27-30 Think, Feel, Act Lessons from Research about Young Children)