Anecdotal Records

Anecdotal Records

Key features of an Anecdotal Record:

  • Retelling of an event that happened
  • Written in the past tense
  • Recorded in sequential order
  • Specific and objective
  • Record of what child's words, actions, body language, facial expressions, and tone of voice
  • Usually focused on one specific child, but can include interactions with peers and adults

When Anecdotal Records are useful:

  • Recording specific details about a child's development (ex: recording an interaction in the dramatic play area will capture a child's social/emotional skills as well as language development.)
  • When gathering information on specific behavior you're seeing a child exhibit (especially in preparation for a parent conversation)
  • When trying to understand why specific behaviors are occurring
  • Recording a child's likes and interests

Sample Anecdotal Record:

Dana sat at the art table drawing with two other children, carefully selecting one marker at a time to add to her drawing. She held the markers with a proper pincer grip in her left hand. At one moment she held up a yellow marker and, after looking at it carefully, said “This looks like mango to me.” She then used the yellow marker to make dots all over her paper before putting it back in the basket. Dana spent 10 minutes drawing. When she finished she presented the pictures to the teacher and said, "These are for you. I put a lot of colors on them."