In writing anecdotal notes, the person should record an observed event after it has taken place. Anecdotal notes are commonly used to track behaviors of children in early childhood education.
Also called "anecdotal records" and "anecdotal observations," anecdotal notes require the childcare provider or educator to simply recall an incident and write down a factual account of it. It is important to note the surroundings, environment and other contextual factors. Judgments and anything subjective should not be part of the anecdotal note.
These records may be made at a group level or for individual children. A teacher or childcare provider may choose to specifically observe a select few children each day.
It is best to take notes throughout the day and record events as they happen. A digital or tape recorder can be a helpful tool for the teacher or childcare provider to review later. These events can be anything related to a child's development, such as understanding of concepts and ideas, social activity, communication skills, behavioral patterns and reading comprehension. When the day ends, the childcare provider or educator should take time to finalize his or her observations and notes. If there is another professional observing the children or interacting with them, it is often helpful to discuss these notes with him or her.