Teachers can use sticky-notes to make small notes about child interactions and behavior throughout week and then record and expand observations on one set day. These notes can contain the child’s name, the activity taking place, and one or two words about what is important about the child’s actions. It is easier to pick one day of the week, and at nap time on that chosen day to record all observations. Observation checklists should also be made to ensure that each of the developmental criteria are being observed or are documented as not being observed in each child’s actions, play, and development. This is important documentation to have when completing assessments.
There are many criteria and developmental stages that need to be observed and documented to ensure children are meeting milestones and achieving goals. Observations should be documented based on the Early Learning and Developmental Standards created by Office of Child Development and EarlyLearning. Teachers can make observations at any point during the day. Great observations can be made during free play time, structured activities that are designed to assess a particular skill, outdoor and gross motor play, during meal times, and while completing self-care and self-help practices. Observation sheets or checklists are a good way to ensure that a wide variety of observations are being written on each child in the classroom. It is important to document and track the children’s progress regularly to show growth and development.
Written observations should always be clearly written and objective in nature. The observation should start with the subject, the child, the skill or action being demonstrated, and the scenario where the observation is taking place. Observations should always be objective in nature, they should not include feeling words (i.e. sad, happy, angry). They can, however, include descriptive phrases like “had a smile on his face,” “was crying,” “stomped his feet.” These phrases can convey feelings, but since the teacher does not know the actual feelings of the child, they should not be guessed.Adding direct quotations from the children, when possible, can also convey feelings and can enhance the quality of the written observation. Quotes from the children provide a snap-shot of the scenario and can show their cognitive processing of situations around them.
As the teacher collects observations on their students, keeping a checklist of skills observed would help to determine what skills children are exhibiting as well as what skills need to be observed in certain children. This organization will help when completing assessments as the teacher will be sure that the skills being assessed have been observed.
Observation Tutorial Presentation
Jessica Rainey AET/545 Dr. Linda JustusNovember 19, 2012
In this training you will : Learn to write clear and objective observations Use written observations to add and extend daily activities in the classroom Use written observations to complete assessments
Qualityobservations can be made at any time throughout the day Makesmall notes through out week, record all at once
Criteria for On-Target child development based on Early Learning and Development Standards in Infants, Toddlers Pre Kindergarten, and School-Age children Free Play Structured Activities Outdoor or Gross Motor Play Meal Times & Self-Care Practices
Subject Skillor Action The setting or scenario if it aids in description of the skill or action Objective Direct quotations if possible
In this video clip: Observe the child with the Dino-Mite shirt After the video: ~ Write one observation about the child in the video
Two children were rolling their cylinders across the table repeatedly to see who’s would go the furthest.The child was cheering on his friend while they were rolling cylinders across the table during small group time.
In this video clip: Observe the child with the blue shirt After the video: Write one observation about the child in the video
1.The child climbed up the slide without help, then slid back down.2. The child flapped his arms when the car reached the bottom of the tower.3. The child played ball tracks with a peer for 2 minutes without interruption.
How to Extend Activities: Brainstorm Add enhancing items to activities or center Develop open-ended questions to enhance discussions about activities. Align activities with standards used in classroom Why extend? Develop interests Develop skills
Video 1: Using rolling pins with play dough Sort & Classify things that roll Provide various size cylinders for children to explore Video 2: Help children build roads and different towers for the children to use in car center Explore how the small balls roll on other surfaces, including various textures. Video 3: Incorporate items from lesson theme into Home Center to extend theme Make a “Favorite Foods” chart for the classroom Practice using plastic knives during meal time
When completing assessments: Checklists Rating Scale Using a standard rating scale to determine to what level of competency the children can complete or demonstrate a particular skill. One example of a rating scale would be: Does the child demonstrate ______ skill ? Possible Answers: Not Yet, Occasionally, Proficient, Mastered
Observation is crucial to the continuous development of children!