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FAQs on the Weekly Programming and Reflection Child Educator Diary

FAQs on the Weekly Programming and Reflection Child Educator Diary

Can you please explain how these work and how they link to children's individual goals, learning outcomes, etc. How is the planning cycle and continuity of learning visible?

The Program is designed to show the cycle of planning. The Butler Method can be described as a boxed method of programming that captures intentional teaching and spontaneous experiences. Simply write the name or a short description of the experience in the appropriate box and link it with the Learning Outcome checkbox.
To show you are planning for children's individual goals, you should include initials and a date. This can also link to your observations to show where the original goal came from, for example, Mia OB 7/12.
Reflect on your program using the prompts on the reflection spread. Use this program and reflection to plan the following week using a symbol, dates, and children's initials to make the planning cycle obvious to all.
A great example of this can be seen in the images in the Central Outdoor Weekly Programming and Reflection Diary where experiences are planned for specific children and their goals and dates are included to show how experiences have been extended on.
Example of the Weekly Programming and Reflection Diary

How does this Diary support the principles and practices? Teaching Strategies? 

Teaching strategies are typically programmed for/ recorded under Group Learning (Intentional Teaching) and in the Intentional Teaching reflection spread, however, can be recorded anywhere in the program and should be reflected on throughout your reflection spread to adequately show critical reflection.
Teaching strategies should also be visible in your observations, day stories, every day practice, and any other documentation you capture. This article on Intentional Teaching may be helpful.

V2.0 of Frameworks focuses a lot on the Principles and Practices, so I was wondering if they will be somewhere in the new Diaries?

The principles and practices should be shown in the work you do and your experiences therefore would be shown throughout your documentation and you would reflect on them in the reflection spread. For example, 'secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships' would be seen during the interactions you have in your experiences which are recorded in your program. You may have programmed memory card games and you could capture evidence of secure, respectful and reciprocal relationships during the experience through photographs, reflections, jottings, observations or children's words for example.
The program has also been designed based around Frameworks and the vision including the principles and practices. It prompts you to consider the principles and practices for example, 'partnerships' is prompted in the Parent Input section, 'collaborative leadership and teamwork' in the way the program itself is completed and in professional inquiry, 'learning environments' in changes to the environment and 'cultural responsiveness' in the extension column.
You can also download the Compliance eBook from the product page which will help show the links to Frameworks, theories, NQS, etc.

Can you provide an example of how the Cycle of Planning would be visible?

For example, on Monday you planned the experience, playdough with rollers and cutters, you recorded an observation for a child (Mia) on this date, you would put Mia Ob underneath the experience and also put it in the Observation Tracker on the Reflection Spread. You would then plan an extension for the child and record the child's extension in the following week's plan to complete the cycle. 
This may look like:
Goal for Group A (that includes Mia)
Develop Fine Motor Skills (LO3)
Programming Spread: Monday 4/12 under Art / Craft / Cooking:
Playdough with rollers and cutters
Mia Ob
Reflection Spread for week beginning Monday 4/12:
Observation Details recorded under Individual / Group Observations Taken this Week and any photo evidence or reflections could also be included in your general weekly reflections.
Observation with Evaluation Recorded
You would have an Observation recorded in whatever method you use, for example, using the Individual Observation Duplicate Book which shows Mia is ready to be challenged further in her Fine Motor Development.
Programming Spread: Monday 11/12 under Art / Craft / Cooking:
Clay with rollers and cutters
Mia Ex 4/12
You can clearly see the journey from the start with a group goal, followed by the activity on the 4/12 which led to an Observation of Mia challenging her fine motor skills, an evaluation that Mia is ready for more difficult fine motor challenges and finally an extension to challenge her skills. Here the cycle of planning is visible to all with clear links.
This is just an example, there are many ways to show your cycle and you can create your own system that works for you. What's important is to show the Cycle of Planning in whatever way makes it clear to you so you can clearly show this during A&R.


How do you use the last column of the Programming Spread in the new layout?

The final column of the Programming Spread is designed to be flexible to cater to your unique service.

If you run 7 days a week, it can act as a weekend programming space. If you run 5 days a week, it can be used to capture additional evidence of key themes from Frameworks and NQS or can be used to link other documentation and show the cycle of planning for example, you may note to view 'Feb's Art and Craft section in your Culturally Responsive Calendar'. You can capture this evidence in the form of planned experiences, jottings, reflections, photos, children's drawings or voice, and more.

This column is designed to be open-ended so you can use it in the way that best highlights your practices, goals, and cycle of planning.

When filling the diaries out do we pre fill the boxes?

The Programming Spread is used to show intentional teaching AND spontaneous experiences as they arise so you should pre-fill some boxes based on the previous week's program and reflections and child goals, some may also be completed as you go spontaneously as experiences arise.

During A&R how have these gone? Could they be considered outdated with new digital methods available?

How you do during A&R depends highly on how you use your Diaries and your reflections to show why you are using your Diaries.

We have a few tools to assist, first, you can download the compliance eBooks from the product pages that show how the Diaries link with Frameworks, NQS, and more.

Secondly, you can check out this article that addresses digital vs paper programming and how to decide what is right for you. The main factor will come down to your reasoning for your choice. A way to show this would be critical reflections and evidence on why Paper works better for your Service.

We have many services that exceed NQS on our Diaries, here is a Case Study of one of our customers who have been with us for years. If you visit our blog, there are other customer stories available there, our review page also shows how many customers are using our Diaries for Assessment and Rating, and we have video testimonials of customers who have gone through A&R with Butler Diaries.

The main advice we have is to ensure you have a clear idea of why you are using the Diaries. You can add this to your QIP and critical reflections on the decision.

Is the Butler Method suitable for younger age groups?

Yes! The Weekly Programming and Reflection Diaries are designed to capture programs from babies through to school aged children. Slightly adapting the way you approach programming is what will help you complete your program. Check out these articles:

Where can I get my questions answered?

You can get in touch with Christine, our customer service manager, by emailing us at

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