anecdotal report records student behaviors, both proper
and improper. Screaming during an activity might be an
improper behavior. So is non-participation in an activity.
Positive behavior should be noted as well. The purpose
of an anecdotal is not to get a child in trouble. It is
a tool which should be used to help a child. Inappropriate
behavior is frequently a call for help. By keeping an
unemotional, all-encompassing account of a student’s
day or week or month you are providing a picture of that
student which may show a pattern. This can determine how
the child can be helped. It is important to remember that
an anecdotal record is about the student - not about you.There
are certain guidelines for keeping an anecdotal report
which should be maintained. It is important to keep your
perspective and maintain objectivity. As Sergeant Joe
Friday would say, “Just the facts.” An
anecdotal entry should read as a detached and unemotional
accounting of an incident. All entries should include
the date, time, activity and the specific event.
activity might be “walking to the lunchroom”
and the event might be “John ran away.” You
need to keep emotional comments and subjective comments
out of the report. Do not try to interpret the behavior
(i.e. “Rebecca was acting out her anger about ...”).
You should simply report the behavior witnessed (i.e.
“Jane threw a book across the room.”). Describe
the action, what precipitated the incident and your response
emotions should not be apparent to the person reading
this report.This is a confidential record on one student.
It should include that student’s name and the names
of any adults involved. It should not include the names
of other students. If Johnny threw a book at George you
would identify George only by the first initial of his
name (i.e. “G”). The record should be
kept in chronological order. Obviously you can not sit
down and write up a situation while the situation is occurring.
However, if you jot a few notes down, after the situation,
it will help you go back and write it up in a dispassionate
manner at a later time. It is advisable to keep a notebook
or an anecdotal form handy in order to facilitate this.
Here is a sample of an anecdotal form:
to be specific when describing an incident. Don’t
assume that your definition of “disruptive”
is the same for everyone. Avoid using generalizations,
such as “always fighting” or “never
prepared.” Be sure to include the specifics about
the activity, the requirements, other participants and
the particular behaviors demonstrated by the student.
is very important. I once had a student transferred
into my class because he was a “behavior problem”
in another class. His “problem” was that
he kept getting out of his seat in his former class.
This was not a problem in my class since I did not require
my students to stay in their seats. In an environment
that was conducive to his needs he ended up having a
productive and successful year. More importantly, he
was happy and he learned.