Project #33962 - Preschool Observation

Preschool Observation

Plan a time when you can observe a child at least 36 months of age but under the age of 5 years within a child development center/preschool setting that appears on the Observation Site List (or other site by arrangement with the instructor only).

The child you choose to observe should not be your own, as it is hard to be objective about what you are seeing. Before going, become familiar with the Observation Guidelines in the Resources section. You will need to call the director of the center to set up a time for your observation.

Write up your observation, responding to each point of the questions below.  Be specific in describing what you see. Use as much detail as necessary to answer each question completely. Type up your observation, responding to each point of the questions below in anecdotal form AND number each section.  

Use descriptive language and avoid your personal biases. You cannot say a child is happy for instance- that's your opinion. You can say that the child smiled and laughed though. Take great care to describe only what you see and hear- like a camera wouldI highly recommend you see the sample in the Resources section before completing this assignment.

You need to submit the assignment both to me (in the “Assignments, Tests and Surveys” (ATS) section, and in the appropriate discussion section the following week.

Information

Child’s Gender:

Child’s Age:

Date and time of day:

Observation Site or Location:

Number of children present:

Number of adults present:

 

Section I: Describe the indoor environment: Tell me about the physical space, furnishings in the setting, variety of lightening and textures, noise level and the overall tone of this setting.  Look around the classroom and describe what you see inside the classroom, area by area.  You may include with this description a simple floor plan of the classroom.  In your written description include all areas of interest to children, teachers and other adults. (learningcenters (such as art, dramatic play, blocks, reading science), snack area, a quiet corner, storage for personal belongings, bathroom facilities).  

 

Section II: Choose a child to observe and provide a detailed, head-to-toe physical description of the child.  Note the physical characteristics such as color of skin, hair eyes and teeth, legs, arms, finger, toes, tummy etc.  Consider length, shape, physical characteristics and markings of the toddler. (Describe his/her body proportions as compared to what you know about a toddler as discussed in class/text).

 

Section III: Physical/Motor Development

Describe all the ways you see the child using their body. Provide several examples of what you see for both fine and large motor, preferably both inside and outside of the classroom.

Describe their fine motor skills (such as using a pencil, crayon, building with legos, turning pages of books).

Describe large motor skills (such as climbing, skipping, hopping, jumping, kicking, running, throwing, balancing).

 

Section IV: Cognitive Development

Observe the child’s play and interaction with the environment.

Describe at least one activity that the child is involved in for 20 minutes or more.

How does the child first approach the activity? How does he or she use the materials?
Describe the focus of the child (attention, persistence or distraction). 
Describe the child’s level of engagement, the tempo of play and the amount of energy the child is investing in their play. 
Describe the child’s body movements, facial expressions. 
Does the child engage in any “self talk”? Give examples.  

As you observe this child discuss the other activities that they move to.  

Are there any activities they seem to avoid? 

Comment on what you think were the sources of the activities your child participated in.  Where they child initiated?  Teacher initiated?

 

Section V: Social Emotional Development

Peer Interaction:

How many other children are involved with the child? 
How do they interact with each other?
Does the child have any particular playmates during this time?

Provide some examples of dialogue that occurs between children.

Discuss what clues do you get about the child’s social-emotional development from listening to and observing the child’s interactions with their peers?

 

Adult interaction:  How did the teachers interact, intervene or guide the child you have chosen to observe as well as the other children present during your observation?  Provide at least two examples of questions or comments you heard.

 

Section VI: Summary

Both Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky felt the environment plays a key role in learning and reflects the philosophy of the teacher and the program.  In play based, child centered learning the environment is the curriculum.  Environments should be designed with a variety of age appropriate activities that allow for children to learn by promoting: curiosity, exploration and trial and error learning.

 

Looking at these criteria how well do you think the environment you observed helped children self explore and learn?  Give examples of what you saw throughout the environment to support this. 
Were there areas of the environment which were not designed for this type of learning, needed too much adult direction or were not appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of learning?
A child gains a sense of self esteem when their environment reflects who they are, their accomplishments, their family, language and culture.  Did you see evidence that this classroom reflected the individuals in the classroom, their families or their culture?  Give examples of what you saw.

 

 

 

Used with permission from Nanette Wylde

 

the example is here use this site to describe the school only this school 

http://www.auntyphyllis.com

 

 

Assignment #4 Preschool Observation

Mary Theresa Capriles   3/1/12

I observed Merise Boda.

 

Information

Child’s Gender:  F

Child’s Age: 45 months

Date and time of day: 2/28/2012 9:30-11:30am

Observation Site or Location: First Congo Nursery School

Number of children present: 27

Number of adults present: 7

Section I: Describe the indoor environment:

The first area to greet you when you walk in the gate is the large play yard with a garden, sand area, cement walls at the top of a hill (called “the castle”), two large grass areas with 5 smaller trees and one VERY large tree. There is also a woodchip area with a play structure that includes two smaller slides and one larger “twirly” slide. At the far end of the yard, there is a swing set with two swings and a set of “monkey bars” next to the swings. There is a wide wooden bench near the sand area and on it are three bins in yellow, red and blue (where children put their shoes if they choose to remove them). The nursery school has 4 rooms in two buildings adjacent to each other. One room has an “adult” library, a large rectangular area rug and wooden blocks, as well as a child-accessible bookshelf in one corner. It is called the “Blue Tail Room” because there is a thick blue border painted around the top and bottom edges of the walls. There are also three rectangular tables in this room, pushed together with chairs pushed under them. The room connected to it is called the art room, with two long tables that have six chairs around each one, and a smaller table, near the window, with 4 chairs around it. The floor in the art room is tile, with no carpeting. In this room, there is a carpeted nook off to the side, with several large pillows and a giant teddy bear on the floor. The other two main rooms are across an enclosed hallway, and also have a connecting door in between them, which is open at the beginning of the day. Each of these rooms has tile floors with large oval area rugs in taking up about half the room. The first room is called the “Red Tail Room” because there is a thick red border painted around the top and bottom edges of the walls and in it, there is a play kitchen, including a sink, counter, table, stove, oven and refrigerator. The shelves underneath the large windows that open to the play yard, are stocked with miniature dishes, plastic cutlery, and wooden and plastic foods and food containers. There are also lots of plastic eggs! On the counter tops, there is a variety of phones and in the corner, there are child-sized mops and brooms. On the other side of this kitchen area, there is a “washing machine”, a toy ironing board and two toy irons, as well as dolls, strollers, baby beds, blankets, baby clothes and doll pillows. There is a closet here with many child-sized dress-ups, including princess dresses, firefighter outfits, police outfits, knights, and pirates that remained open for the first 80 minutes of the morning. On the shelves in this area, there are many helmets and hats within easy reach, as well as necklaces. There is a wooden doll house, complete with wooden furniture and miniature people inside the doll house. On the tiled floor area, there are two tables put together with mats and playdough with rolling pins and “carving” tools to use with the playdough. There is another table on the carpet with puzzles on it, and just next to the area rug, there is a small display shelf with books. The next room over is called the “Yellow Tail Room” because there is a thick yellow border painted around the top and bottom edges of the walls, and Amos the guinea pig lives in a cage on a rolling stand low to the ground in this room. There are four tables with various manipulatives, including magna tiles, matching cards, wooden beads for stringing, and a peg board with plastic tiles. There are shelves with many tubs of various building toys such as Duplo bloks, Geo pyramids, train tracks and trains, small cars, trucks, and fire engines, wooden people, bristle blocks, and other open-ended building toys. There is also a shelf next to the guinea pig’s cage that has a variety of wooden blocks. Also in this room are a wide assortment of plastic animals including jungle and farm animals. These are in tubs on a low shelf. On the counter top under the large windows, there are larger trucks, and wooden structures that can be used as buildings. In the corner of this room, there is a display with books as well. In each room, there is a long bulletin board decorated with pictures and artwork that represents the “themes” for the week or month. Also in each room are a row of painted hooks on which the names and pictures of the children are hung. Children’s belongings are hung in these areas.

In the enclosed hallway, there are two benches up against one wall and a water fountain across from the benches. There is a bathroom at the end of this hall with two stalls (with closing doors) and two sinks.

The setting is open, welcoming with lots of natural light and appealing décor inside the rooms, cheery but not overly stimulating.

 

Section II: Choose a child to observe and provide a detailed, head-to-toe physical description of the child.  

Merise is petite with a round face, large brown eyes and straight blonde hair which hangs down to her chin. She has a full mouth of white teeth which she often shows, as she is almost always smiling. Her arms hang down just past her hips and her fingers are short and a bit chubby. Her legs look solid and strong. She has small feet and a round, yet lean belly. Her head is still a bit large for her body, but she looks proportional when compared with the other children in the program.

 

Section III: Physical/Motor Development

Fine motor skills

I observed Merise playing in the kitchen, and she picked up the plastic utensils, moved cups and plates around, picked up and placed plastic food on the plates. She easily opened the doors of the cabinets, the oven and the refrigerator. She turned the knobs on the stove and picked up the handset on a phone and cradled it on her shoulder (still keeping a hand on it). She moved quickly about the kitchen area with small steps, stopping abruptly to do something and then just as quickly turning around to head to another shelf or cabinet. In the art room, I also watched Merise using a paint brush which she held with a proper pencil grip and used a sweeping motion across the page. She also used a small brush to apply glue and then picked up small decorations to place into the glue. She moved her face close to her work and pursed her lips as she persisted in her gluing. At snack time, when the children each select a book and choose a picture to share, Merise would turn the pages with a little difficulty, sometimes bending the pages a bit, but then separating the page and turning it. She placed one index finger on her chin as the teacher asked to show that she was ready to share her picture. When she was called on, she had a bit of difficulty turning the book around to face the other children but could hold the top edges of the book so it was spread out for the others to see.

 

Describe large motor skills

Merise was very active outside. She followed the obstacle course that was set up on the grass, stepping on some of the stepping stones and skipping others. She moved quickly and was running, running, running! She moved from one area to the next rapidly and with enthusiasm indicated by her smile, her yelps and her laughter. She climbed up to the top of the play structure by climbing up one of the smaller slides, then ran across to the “twirly” slide and slid down. She repeated this several times before moving back to the obstacle course and following it erratically again. She stopped at the painting easels outside and picked up one of the larger paintbrushes, smearing color up and down and across the large paper. She dipped the paintbrush into a second color, even though it had a paintbrush in it already. She mixed the colors on the paper and turned and smiled. After a few minutes, she plopped the paintbrush into the container and ran off again. Often her running was interspersed with skipping and jumping, sometimes on both feet (like when she was following the obstacle course) or one foot (when she was following a path).

 

Section IV: Cognitive Development

Observe the child’s play and interaction with the environment.

Describe at least one activity that the child is involved in for 20 minutes or more.  

o
Merise played the longest in the kitchen area, but that was for about 15 minutes only. This was the longest she played in one area the whole morning. She ran into the room and set to play right away, with vigor. She uses the materials somewhat haphazardly at first, kind of picking up and looking at them and putting them right back down again. Then after a few minutes, she seems to formulate a “plan” and starts using the food to “cook”, putting items into the refrigerator, and setting food out on plates and placing them on the table for other children to eat. How does the child first approach the activity? How does he or she use the materials?
o
Merise remained fairly focused on this activity for this time period, however she would often look up from her play to see if an adult was watching her (she often discovered me with her eyes, but I did my best to remain uninvolved). When she noticed someone looking, a wide smile spread across her face and sometimes she giggled. Then she would set right back to her play.
o
Merise was very engaged and moved at a quick tempo during her play in this area. Once she “settled” in to her “plan”, she exerted calm but enthusiastic energy into this activity.  
o
As I described before she moved quickly, yet gently after her first initial exploration. She would look at other children’s faces and interact with them.
o
I did not hear Merise engage in any specific self-talk, although sometimes when it seemed she was talking to other children, they did not respond, so she just kept on with what she was doing.  (A side note here: Merise speaks another language at home, so English is her second language and often she can be difficult to understand. This may be why other children did not respond to her verbalizations.)

 

As you observe this child discuss the other activities that they move to. Are there any activities they seem to avoid?

Merise moved from room to room and engaged in many of the available activities, such as art, painting, and the obstacle course. She did not seem to avoid any particular areas. If anything, she just did not have enough time to explore more activities in the time allotted for free play.

 

 

 

 

Comment on what you think were the sources of the activities your child participated in.  Where they child initiated?  Teacher initiated?

Most of Merise’s activities seemed child initiated. The only teacher initiated activity I noticed was the art project for that day. However, once the teacher introduced it to her, she took it on with persistence and enthusiasm, 
without resistance.

 

Section V: Social Emotional Development

Peer Interaction:

o
How many other children are involved with the child?  
Merise interacted with many children throughout the morning, but she stuck close to 3 other children for most of her activities.
o
How do they interact with each other? 
The children ran together, followed the obstacle course one after the other, sat next to each other at the art table, played in the kitchen together and then sat next to each other on the bench waiting to wash their hands before snack. They talked a little bit to one another, but primarily interacted in ACTION, not words.
o
Does the child have any particular playmates during this time? 
The playmates she spent the most time with were Lara, Oakley, 
and Connor.

 

Provide some examples of dialogue that occurs between children.

“Come on!” “Over here!” “NO, stop that!”

The clues I get about the child’s social-emotional development from listening and observing her interactions with peers include how comfortable she feels just being around other children, her self-expression, her confidence (or lack thereof) in her speech, her sense of self and sense of others. From my observations, Merise is developing well socially and emotionally, even considering her language challenges.

 

 

 

Adult interaction:  How did the teachers interact, intervene or guide the child you have chosen to observe as well as the other children present during your observation?

The art room teacher stopped Merise as she was walking by and showed her the art project for the day. She said, “Merise, I want to show you what we are making in the art room today. When you are ready, I have a place for you to make yours.” Merise did not reply verbally, but she nodded her head, smiled and followed the teacher into the art room where the teacher showed her a place 
to sit.

When it was hand-washing time, Merise was with her playmates and they were still quite active, so the teacher bent down to look her in the face and said, “Merise, it’s time to go to the handwashing bench because we are getting ready for snack now.” For a moment, Merise turned her lips down and became still. Then she calmly walked to the bench, following her playmates and took a seat on the bench to wait for her turn at the sink.

 


Section VI: Summary

 

o
Looking at these criteria how well do you think the environment you observed helped children self explore and learn?  
This environment provided many opportunities for children to self-explore and learn because the rooms are open, to the outside and to each other, there is a teacher in each room as well as parent helpers in each location. The areas of play are set up at the child’s physical level and the planned activities were set up for the children to succeed (in painting, gluing, playing with playdough, building, digging in the sand, running, following the obstacle course). There was guidance provided when necessary, but open-ended activities available so that children could choose and spend the time they wanted in a particular area.

 

 

 

o
Were there areas of the environment which were not designed for this type of learning, needed too much adult direction or were not appropriate for the children’s ages and stages of learning? 
The only thing I noticed was that the obstacle course had some steps that seemed challenging to the children, but this can be a growing experience in a safe and supervised environment for the children to gain balance and body awareness as they climb and play.
o
A child gains a sense of self esteem when their environment reflects who they are, their accomplishments, their family, language and culture.  Did you see evidence that this classroom reflected the individuals in the classroom, their families or their culture?  Give examples of what you saw.
First of all, the hooks with each child’s picture acknowledge each one as an individual and provide a “special place” for them to place their belongings. With Merise, that the language spoken at home is not English and the teachers allow her to communicate non-verbally when she chooses and also listen carefully when she tries to speak in her second language indicates an environment where different languages and cultures are embraced. There were children of many cultures in this program and the environment was neutral, inviting to all. Each child is a part of a specific “snack group” where they share snack each time they are at school. This set-up gives them an opportunity to be in a small group and to share in conversation around the table about themselves, their family or their interests. At the snack table, some of the children were more vocal, and others were more reticent, but each one was acknowledged by the teacher and included in the conversation in some way (being addressed, asked to share if they wanted to, offered food and drink which they could take or not). Another way the environment reflected each child is by writing their name on a painting or the art project they worked on (completed or not), independent projects in the art room, and even on “treasure bags” which they had placed hidden items (confetti) they had found in the sand.
 

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Due By (Pacific Time) 06/24/2014 04:29 am
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