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DOUBLE TAP TO ZOOM WITH PHONE OR TABLET x > Focused Portfolios TM and efficient, yet easy to implement. We want to help teachers get orga- nized so they can systematically record observations, collect samples of children’s work, and take photographs. The portfolio tells a complete story about each child’s experience in an early childhood setting. We conceived the Focused Portfolios TM process in the belief that by designing a structured and planned approach to documenting children’s growth and development, we could accomplish the following: • provide an efficient, teacher- and family-friendly, easy-to-manage portfolio process • influence teachers to focus on developmental milestones when observing, documenting, and planning curriculum • provide an informative developmental keepsake for families • assist teachers in planning individualized curriculum • encourage teachers to use a mechanism that could account for and explain what they plan and do with and for young children Throughout the book we refer to “groups,” “programs,” and “class- rooms.” We use the term “teachers” to mean any adult who cares for and educates young children. We know that there are many other titles, such as caregivers, educators, child care workers, lead teachers, head teach- ers, assistant teachers, and family child care providers. We use the term “teacher” throughout because all adults who work with young children are teachers in some sense. > What Is the Focused Portfolios TM Process? The Focused Portfolios TM process asks teachers to authentically assess children by carefully observing them in everyday interactions in the class- room. This observation happens in the natural context of teaching and providing care. When diapering an infant, snuggling with a toddler, assist- ing a young preschooler with a puzzle, or reading a story with a four-year- old, teachers are learning about each child’s development. This book shows teachers how to put together a simple but comprehensive portfolio to capture that learning, to document observations, and to relate the child’s development to recognized milestones. All the necessary forms for portfolio collection are included in this book. These are the basis for reporting to families and reflecting on cur- riculum. These forms, used in combination with photographs, work sam- ples, and anecdotes, make up a completed Focused Portfolios TM set. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL