Observing Young Children
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  • 1. EZ ED 2 GO Providing Quality Professional Development for the Early Childhood Professional © 2008 Ez Ed 2 Go, Ms. Cheryl A. Hovey, MS All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission of Ez Ed 2 Go.
  • 2. OBSERVING YOUNG CHILDREN: Why do I need to do it? How do I do it? What do I do with the information?
  • 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS       Instructions Description and Learning Objectives Material/slides Quiz instructions Quiz Resources
  • 4.   INSTRUCTIONS      Proceed through each slide. Training takes approximately 1.5-2.0 hours. At the end of the slides there are instructions on how to proceed with the quiz. Online courses for child care professionals seeking to fulfill state-mandated training requirements or obtain hours toward the Child Development Associate (CDA) National Credential. (non-CEU) To receive official credit for the courses, participants must pass a course exam and pay a processing fee to obtain a printable certificate. The end of the training also includes resources that were utilized and can be used for further information gathering. Feel free to email CHovey@EzEd2Go.com with any questions or comments.
  • 5. DESCRIPTION AND LEARNING OBJECTIVES  Participant will be able to recognize the important role that the observation process plays in working with children.  Participant will be able to incorporate the skill of accurately and objectively observe and recording children's behavior in center-based and family childcare settings.  Use the observation process, in partnership with parents, as one of several strategies to monitor children's progress.
  • 6. DO YOU EVER WONDER, WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF OBSERVING YOUNG CHILDREN?
  • 7. PURPOSE OF OBSERVING YOUNG CHILDREN Observation is much more than looking at what a child does. Observation of a young child means carefully paying attention to details of the child's behavior, recording these details in a structured manner, and assessing the implications of the child's actions. By applying the concepts in this training, early childhood staff in home and center-based settings can develop skills to accurately and objectively observe and record the behavior of children. In addition, early childhood staff can help parents, who are their children's primary teachers, to better understand their child's needs, interests, and abilities. Parents and education staff, working together as partners, can significantly affect children's success when they base their understanding of children's growth and development on thoughtful and careful observations that are accurate and objective in nature.
  • 8. Observation, an essential building block of all quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs, requires a well-trained educational staff who are in tune with the actions and behaviors of the children in their care. While observation may seem deceptively simple, it requires training and practice. Staff must recognize that observation is vital to the overall assessment process, curriculum development and that it has a strong impact upon another professional responsibility: planning and evaluating programs for children.
  • 9. Because observation plays an important role in assessment, its use can help staff strengthen every aspect of an early childhood program. Education staff can use the observation process to fulfill these fundamental goals:  Chart children's growth and development  Identify, guide, and respond to children's behavior and actions  Facilitate planning for individual children and groups of children
  • 10. WHY DO I NEED TO OBSERVE? There are many reasons for teachers to observe children. All these reasons relate to providing quality, developmentally appropriate early childhood programs. o To determine each child's interests, skills, and needs. Observation allows staff to know the children as individuals so that they can motivate them and fully involve them in the program. One staff member might observe a particular event or behavior that another staff member missed. Can be used as a form of communication.  To measure children's growth and development over time. Observation allows staff to see how children are progressing cognitively, physically, socially, and emotionally during the program year.  To make changes to the environment. By observing the way children use play spaces and materials, staff can determine whether materials are meeting the children' s needs, if duplicates are required, or if traffic patterns interfere with play.  To identify concerns. Observation helps staff see if children have special requirements that need to be addressed. These can range from a hearing problem to a need for extra attention. If indicated, a referral to specialists may be asked to complete a formal assessment.
  • 11.  To determine how best to handle problem situations. Observation allows staff to learn to anticipate how a child is likely to behave under certain conditions. For example, staff can observe a baby to determine when she is likely to react to separation from parents, or get into squabbles over toys. Having this knowledge will allow staff to make adjustments to try to minimize the behavior.  To make changes to the curriculum. By utilizing observations, staff can adjust daily schedules to meet the individual developmental needs and interest of the children.  To provide information that staff and parents can share. Observation offers insights about children, their interests, progress, social skills, and behavior challenges. Observation also provides details, anecdotes, and examples. Staff and parents can share their observations.  To help parents learn more about their children through observation. By working with parents, staff can help families use observation to learn more about their children's strengths, needs, and behavior. Observations can be used to inform parents at a conference.  To enhance staff's abilities to communicate with children, parents, and colleagues. Using observational insights, staff become better listeners and responders.
  • 12. TAKE THIS TIME TO RECAP AND REFLECT ON WHY IT IS IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO INCORPORATE OBSERVATIONS INTO YOUR PRACTICE.
  • 13. SUGGESTIONS AND TOOLS TO USE WHEN OBSERVING CHILDREN.
  • 14. SUGGESTIONS The following strategies can be used to overcome logistical challenges: (From Laura J. Colker, A Trainer's Guide to Observing Young Children: Learning to Look, Looking to Learn (Washington, D.C.: Teaching Strategies, 1995), 44.)  Schedule observation time for doing running records regularly into the program day.  Use running records with other forms of observation such as anecdotal records, and checklists. Include times for doing these observations in the written schedule.  Establish a schedule for observing children in individual interest areas so that all interest areas are evaluated on a rotating basis. Ensure that it is not just the children encountering problems who are observed regularly. Developmental observations might be appropriately scheduled one month after children are enrolled.  Assemble observational materials and put them at convenient observation stations to encourage their use. For example, prepare a prop box or kit containing observational materials.  Suggest staff wear clothing or aprons with pockets containing index cards, small notebooks or Post-Its so they can quickly record observations.  Make observing part of a daily routine and fun.
  • 15. PLEASE WATCH THE FOLLOWING VIDEO VIDEO WILL OPEN IN NEW WINDOW  Observing Young Children Video
  • 16. WHAT ARE SOME TYPES OF RECORDING FORMS TO USE FOR OBSERVATIONS?
  • 17. WHAT WILL YOU DECIDE TO USE!
  • 18. Anecdotal Records  Anecdotal observations are recorded information about one specific event or behavior. They range from notations about developmental milestones (Ryan took his first step) to behavior(Cooliana invited Tiffany to join her at the sand tub). The observer determines the events, timeliness of the record, and the richness of detail. To be most helpful, anecdotal records should be objective, factual, and followed up with supportive information. Running Records  Running records are brief, continuous descriptions. Staff use a narrative style to record information over a specific length of time, usually twenty to thirty minutes. Because of their ease of use, running records are one of the most popular forms of observation.
  • 19. WHAT SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN AN ANECDOTAL RECORD? Anecdotal records are usually recorded on preprinted forms to insure that all relevant information is included. These anecdotal record usually includes the following: Name of the observer  Date of the event  Time when the event occurred  Name of the student involved  A description of the event  Location/setting  Notes  Signature 
  • 20. SAMPLE ANECDOTAL RECORD FORM Name:_________________Date:_____________Time:_______ Observer:____________________Setting:_________________ Description of Event:__________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _________________________________________________ Signature:_____________________________
  • 21. SAMPLE RUNNING RECORD Observer: Ms. Jones Child Observed: Sarah Age: 18 months Date: 2/5 Time: 9:30 A.M.-9:45 A.M. Katy walked over to the book area, where Mrs. Fernandez, the foster grandmother, was sitting with two-year-old Luis, reading a book. Katy stood for over a minute, watching the two and waving her arms excitedly. Mrs. Fernandez smiled and nodded at Katy, but kept reading to Luis. Luis looked only at Mrs. Fernandez and the book they were reading. Katy walked over to the plastic book bag hanging on the room divider and banged her hand against a book that had a colorful caterpillar on the cover. Read! Read! said Katy, banging the book bag with enough force that the bag started swinging.
  • 22. Now we know the purpose of observing, and the tools we can use to observe; What do we do with the information?
  • 23. WHAT TO DO WITH THE INFORMATION! File the records you chose to use in a child’s portfolio.  The information can be compared and discussed with other staff to inform individualized curriculum plans/goals.  The observation information provides a continuum of growth that is documented and can be shared with parents during conferences.  Activities can be tailored to the developmental level of the child to scaffold self-esteem.  Children will progress at their own rate. 
  • 24. SUMMARY  Observations are useful, effective tools to aid early childhood professionals in acknowledging and documenting each child’s progress. Observations are unique to each child and the contents can focus on each child’s specific interactions with his or her environment, materials, peers, and teachers. Observation are practical and useful as both reporting and planning tools. The form and format are adaptable to each educational program for young children. To ensure quality in our programs, all early childhood programs should implement observation as a daily practice. Proceed to the next page for quiz instructions
  • 25. INSTRUCTIONS FOR QUIZ On the quiz page please complete all information on the page. Print out quiz page(from print menu, print current page only) (if payment confirmation has not been received the quiz will be invalid). 1. 2. 1. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Each training is $10.00 for 2.0 pd hours. If someone shared this training with you and you have not paid, please enclose a money order (made payable to Ez Ed 2 Go). Fill in top portion of the quiz. This information is important as this is the name as it will appear on the certificate and where the form will be mailed. Complete the questions on the quiz. If having difficulty please review the slides. A passing grade of 75% must be achieved to receive a certificate Online trainings can not be retaken. If you have any questions please call: 401-829-7924 When quiz is completed mail form and if necessary payment to: Ez Ed 2 Go PO Box 9673 Warwick RI 02889 Certificate of completion with hours will be mailed within 3-5 business days.
  • 26. COMPLETE TO RECEIVE YOUR CLOCK HOUR CERTIFICATE IF COURSE MATERIALS WERE LENT TO YOU BUT YOU HAVE NOT YET PAID THE COURSE FEE, YOU MUST ATTACH THIS COURSE. (MAKE MONEY ORDERS PAYABLE TO EZ ED 2 GO) YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL 5 STEPS! THE REGISTRATION FEE OF $10.00 FOR 1. INFO NAME AS IT SHOULD APPEAR ON YOUR CERTIFICATE______________________________________ ADDRESS_________________________________________________________________ CITY, STATE ZIP ___________________________________________________________ PHONE __________________________________________________________________ E-MAIL __________________________________________________________________ 2. ATTESTATION .I COMPLETED THIS COURSE ON THE 3. PAYMENT I HAVE ENCLOSED PAYMENT OF FOLLOWING DATE: _________.SIGNED, _______________________________________ $10.00 4. QUIZ COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING. YOUR ANSWERS WILL BE ASSESSED FOR ACCURACY AND COMPLETENESS. PLEASE SUBMIT AT LEAST 3-5 SENTENCES FOR EACH QUESTION. YOU MAY LOOK AT YOUR COURSE MATERIALS WHILE COMPLETING THESE ESSAY QUESTIONS. 1. WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS YOU WANT TO REMEMBER FROM THE COURSE? 2. WHAT ARE THREE NEW THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNED ? 3. WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU WILL CHANGE IN YOUR TEACHING PRACTICES? WHO DO YOU PLAN TO WORK WITH TO SUPPORT PUTTING YOUR NEW SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE INTO PRACTICE? IDEAS MIGHT BE YOUR CO-WORKER, MANAGER, DIRECTOR, OR LOCAL FIELD TRAINER. 5. SUBMIT MAIL TO: EZ ED 2 GO! PO BOX 9673 WARWICK RI 02889
  • 27. RESOURCES FOR OBSERVING CHILDREN Bagnato, S.J., J.T. Neisworth, & S.M. Munson. 1997. Linking assessment and early intervention: An authentic curriculumbased approach. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes. Greenspan, S.I. 1996. Assessing the emotional and social functioning of infants and young children. In New visions for the developmental assessment of infants and young children, eds. S.J. Meisels & E. Fenichel, 231-66. Washington, DC: Zero to Three/National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Jablon, J.R., A.L. Dombro, & M.L. Dichtelmiller. 1999. The power of observation. Washington, DC: Teaching Strategies. Meisels, S.J. 2001. Fusing assessment and intervention: Changing parents’ and providers’ views of young children. Zero to Three 21 (4): 4-10. Vygotsky, L.S. 1978. Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • 28. THANK YOU FOR TAKING THIS TRAINING. Please check back periodically as new titles are added regularly. Topic suggestions are always welcome. www.EzEd2Go.com CHovey@EzEd2Go.com