Child anecdotal records are an account of a significant event observed by an educator. This account is written in the past tense in a positive manner and is meant to show how a student interacts with a situation.
An anecdotal record should show a clear picture of the described event, so using descriptive language is an important part of writing a clear anecdotal record. It may also include direct quotes from the observed event. These accounts are usually written after the fact, sometimes even after the children have gone home.
Anecdotal records should be written objectively, not making a judgement on the behavior or event in the account. These records should be focused on the positive, highlighting abilities of the child instead of shortcomings. Anecdotal records can be useful for parent-teacher conferences when speaking with parents about their children and specific issues that may need to be addressed. They can be used to show progress in all areas of learning, including social and emotional learning.
Anecdotal records can also assist teachers in planning activities and lessons to keep students interested and engaged in learning. They may highlight areas that need addressing in the classroom and the teacher can plan accordingly.