Documentation in EI


This topical guide will introduce you to important books, videos, and information resources available from the EI Clearinghouse and other sources. Contact us via online form or by phone (1-877-275-3227) to request a resource listed below (or ask your local public librarian). Note that some videos may be viewed online, and journal titles will take you to the publisher’s homepage.

mother holding child


Assessment in Early Childhood Education
Sue Wortham and Belinda Hardin
Pearson, 2016
This book, written for future teachers and current teachers of young children, includes information about standardized tests and other types of assessments that are appropriate for young children. Chapter 5 addresses documentation.
Call#: B 3060.217 .W67 2016

Emergent Curriculum in Early Childhood Settings: From Theory to Practice
Susan Stacey
Redleaf Press, 2009
This book explores how emergent curriculum principles and practices can improve a early childhood program. Sections on observation, documentation, assessment, and relationships that support learning provide a subject overview.
Call#: LB 1139.4 .S775e 2009

Mental Health Concepts and Techniques for the Occupational Therapy Assistant
Mary Beth Early
Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2009
The updated and expanded fourth edition of this text provides a reader-friendly foundation in occupational therapy for the treatment of people with mental health problems. It addresses techniques in working with patients whose disorders are not primarily psychiatric. Sections include organizing yourself, interactions with patients, and documentation.
Call#: WM 450.2 .O2 E12 2009

Observing and Understanding Child Development: A Child Study Manual
Deb Ahola and Abbe Kovacik
Thomson Delmar Learning, 2007
This book is both resource and workbook. It can help early childhood education students and practitioners learn to gather and interpret data to gain insight into child development. The chapters provide information on child development, including children with special needs.
Call#: WS 150 .A286o 2007

The Early Intervention Guidebook for Families and Professionals: Partnering for Success
Bonnie Keilty
Teachers College Press, 2016
Keilty explains what early intervention looks like and how families can best partner with professionals so that young children can learn, grow, and thrive. The book includes a chapter on assessment and planning outlining how parents and professionals can work together throughout the process.
Call#: WS 350.6 K27e 2010

The Handbook of Child Life: A Guide for Pediatric Psychosocial Care
Richard H. Thompson (Ed.)
Charles C. Thomas, 2009
This book contains a collection of articles describing aspects of the ways young children develop and learn. The topics covered include family-centered care, assessment, documentation, play, illness, and more.
Call#: WS 105 .T475 2009


Observation of Young Children I: The Eyes Have It!
25 min; DVD
Magna Systems, 2004
This video explores a variety of authentic assessment techniques used in preschool settings to document the growth of young children in their classrooms, including observations, work samples, and more.
Call#: LB 1731.6 A939d 2004 vol. 2

Observation of Young Children II: Making the Connection
23 min; DVD
Magna Systems, 2004
In this video, teachers and education coordinators demonstrate the system they use to collate the observational data on young children. A variety of portfolio systems are explored. Teachers demonstrate the linkage between the formative assessment system they are using and how that data informs the formal assessment or checklist.
Call#: LB 1731.6 A939d 2004 vol. 3

The Power of Documentation: Children’s Learning Revealed
30 min; DVD
STARnet, 2004
This video discusses why and how to document children’s early learning and what it can reveal. It includes a visit to the Power of Documentation Exhibit at the Chicago Children’s Museum.
Call#: LB 1731.6 P887 2001


Early Childhood Research & Practice, 2(1)
Linking Standards and Engaged Learning in the Early Years
Judy Helm and Gaye Gronlund. (2000)
This article published in an online journal covers the importance of documentation in demonstrating the attainment of skills throughout the learning process.

Early Childhood Research & Practice, 7(2)
Wondering with Children: The Importance of Observation in Early Education
George Forman and Ellen Hall. (2005)
This paper in an online journal outlines and discusses observation and documentation as useful for understanding. Videos are described as a resource for revisiting and analyzing documented observations.

Theory into Practice, 49(1), 21-28
Show Me Again What I Can Do: Documentation and Self-Determination for Students with Social Challenges
Stephanie Suarez. (2010)
This article describes the use of documentation by teachers and their children with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) to develop skills of self-determination. Visual feedback, such as photos and video, help teachers plan and children evaluate their performance in social situations, such as finding a friend to play with at recess. This documentation serves as a tool to create a narrative with both the child and the teacher.

Theory into Practice, 49(1), 5-9
Reflections on Documentation: A Discussion With Thought Leaders From Reggio Emilia
Terri Turner and Daniel Wilson. (2010)
This article presents a round-table discussion that explores the key questions regarding the definition of documentation, common misunderstandings of the strategy, lessons that have emerged over decades of documenting in various contexts, and puzzles that are emerging for the future of the practice. The discussion reminds the reader that documentation is not just a teaching tool, but a pedagogical philosophy of knowing and valuing children.

Web Resources

Documentation in EI
Illinois’ very own Early Intervention Training Program (EITP) has developed a one-page tip sheet to help service providers with documentation in the Illinois Early Intervention System. The tip sheet includes rules, reminders and tips in a colorful format that puts everything in one place! The PDF is included in the revised Systems Overview Follow Up packet and additional helpful information can be found on the EITP Virtual Office Hours page and EITP Billing and Documentation page.

A Guide to Assessment in Early Childhood: Infancy to Age Eight
This free, downloadable guide from the State of Washington is designed for use by early childhood professionals. The guide includes explanations of best practices in assessment as well as a compendium of assessment instruments.

Assessment Basics: From Observation to Instruction
This Growing Ideas tip sheet describes developmentally appropriate assessment techniques, including how to gather and store documentation.

Early Intervention Provider Handbook: Early Intervention Service Descriptions, Billing Codes and Rates
This Illinois Early Intervention Services System guide for providers includes principles of early intervention, important early intervention policies and procedures, required forms, definitions, and more.

Screening, Evaluation, and Assessment
This National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center page includes links to many resources, including overviews of assessment methods, information on the assessment of young English-language learners, and position papers on assessment from several national organizations such as Head Start and the National Association of School Psychologists.