Application: Child Observation Project: Part 3—Two Observations (approximately 45 minutes each)
As you are learning, assessing one area of development and learning at two points in time provides a limited view of overall development. On the other hand, the opportunity to practice observation skills provides a meaningful learning experience that reflects essential knowledge and skills that you will need as a early childhood professional.
This week, you will select two assessment methods and use one in each of the observations that you conduct.
To complete the assignment:
- Take time to review the video segment, “Observation Guidelines” and reflect on the information and insights provided in this program and in your readings. Think about the value of observation, and how you envision using this information during the observations you conduct.
- Review pages 74–87 in your text, before you select the two assessment methods you plan to use during your observations Download, print out, and review the corresponding documents:
- Anecdotal Record
- Narrative Record
- Frequency Count
Note: Use one assessment method in your first observation and the other in your second observation.
- Review the Observation Plan that you developed in Week 2, in particular, the “examples of things to look for,” that you identified. Then, familiarize yourself with the specific assessment methods that you have selected. Think about how you will use each of the observations to identify examples of the child’s development and learning.
- Make sure that you have all materials that you need to conduct the observations prior to arriving at the scheduled observation times.
- Arrive on time. Ask the adult how the child’s day is going before you begin, keeping in mind that factors such as a child feeling tired, hungry, or upset can influence mood and behavior.
- Choose a place to observe where you can see and hear the child but are beyond the child’s range of vision. As you observe, take notes on the observation procedure forms you selected and printed.
- Observe the child for approximately 45 minutes each time.
- Keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Keep your attention focused on the child.
- Try to not make assumptions; objectivity is essential.
- Remember that despite similarities shared by children of various ages, each child is unique and develops in his or her own way.
- Record what you observe.
- Stick to the time span that you agreed to for the observations and be sure to thank the adult and child for their cooperation.
- Remember that this observation experience is intended as a chance for you to learn about and practice observation skills. Be careful not to express your views regarding the child’s growth and development.
Reflect on your observation. Review your notes and consider the knowledge and insights you gained from this experience. Consider the following:
- Describe what you observed. Provide specific examples of how your observation data demonstrated information related to the area of development and learning in which you are focusing.
- Think about the two different assessment methods that you used. Compare and contrast the two in terms of their strengths and limitations, specifically considering:
- Equipment and preparation needed
- Detail of data gathered
- Ability of written events to preserve the context (or setting events occurred within) and sequence of events
- Time and attention needed to gather data
- Consider the information that you gathered from the observation procedures in a selected area of development and learning. What did you learn about the child? How would utilizing multiple assessment windows create a more meaningful picture of the child’s development and learning?
- Consider this week’s Learning Resources and the video on observation. What additional strategies could you use, beyond the scope of this assignment, to develop a more comprehensive assessment of the child’s development and learning?
Note: Remember to use only the first names of the adult and child.
For this assignment, submit:
- A summary of the Reflection, citing specific examples from the Required Resources to support your thinking and ideas
Assignment length: 2 pages
Note: As your Application Assignment for this week, you will submit your Reflection and your Observation Plan at the end of this week.