What are Observations?

Observations are a much anticipated feature of brightwheel Premium (launched in July 2017). This feature enables educators to log student observations in accordance with a set of state standards or learning frameworks. Each time you log an Observation, you can also measure progress against specific developmental milestones.

After many interviews with brightwheel teachers, and a hefty influx of feedback, we’ve learned that tracking a child’s development is both an essential and cumbersome process. The observation tool makes documentation faster, easier, and more efficient than ever before. Logging observations streamlines reporting on state standards and learning frameworks - creating a centralized data-warehouse of a child’s development. Observation logging also makes it easier for teachers to capture & share a child’s progress with parents.

Observations can only be logged via the brightwheel app and cannot currently be added via the web.

Note: Not all state standards are currently available on the brightwheel platform, but they are coming soon! Learn more here.

Using the Observation Tool
Watch this video for a comprehensive overview on how to log an observation, select the learning standards/frameworks for your school, and how to run an observation report.

Table of Contents

Observations can only be added from brightwheel’s mobile app. To log an observation, follow the steps below:

Add an Observation

  1. Go to Add Activity from the home screen, tap Observation
  2. Select students for which you’d like to add an observation & tap Next
  3. Once you’ve selected your preferred framework, click the back arrow in the upper left corner of your screen to continue logging an observation. Note: If you need to toggle between frameworks (for example, you usually use CA Learning Standards, but occasionally you need to switch to DRDP), you can do so by tapping the gear icon in the upper right corner and selecting the preferred framework for that observation. Note that this setting change will only apply to the device you are using at the time.
  4. Select the milestone with which you’d like to affiliate the observation. Note: you can search by keyword or filter by milestone domain & category.
  5. Tap a milestone to add it to your observation, then tap Record Progress to view the activity, before saving.
  6. You can also add notes and/or photos/videos to the observation if you’d.
  7. Tap Log Observation to save this record.

Note: If you wish to log observations for multiple milestones all at once, simply tap the “+” next to Milestones, again.

Track Progress

  1. Once you’ve selected the milestone (step 4 above), mark the child’s progress by tapping the “+” sign under Progress.
  2. Once complete, tap Record Progress

Share Observations with Parents

All Observations default to the Staff Only view when logging, but you are welcome to uncheck the Staff Only box if you’d like the observation to be visible to parents.

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