What will we learn today? • Standard: • ET-ECE-8: Explore the growth, development, and care of the preschool child • ET-ECE-9: Survey the growth and development of the school age child, 6-12 years old • EQ: • How do we learn about and observe children?
The BEST way to learn about children is to observe them! Formal • Set up and arranged beforehand • Children are aware of being observed Informal • Don’t make yourself obvious • Children may or may not be aware of you observing them • Whether formal or informal, you DON’T want to be noticed by the children!
Why would you observe children? • To understand their typical behaviors • Helps people respond to children appropriately • See how they develop • Identify children with disabilities • Get to know a child’s unique personality • Provides caregivers with useful feedback
How to observe young children: • Observing means more than just watching! • You must follow certain steps so that your observations will be useful. • FIRST, you must learn to separate fact from opinion • Fact: • something that actually exists/reality/truth • Opinion: • personal view/attitude/belief
Examples of Observations Observation A • Ethan is feeling selfish. He won’t let anyone play with the toys in the sandbox. He gets mad at Cody a lot. Opinion Observation B • Ethan is sitting in the sandbox. He reaches out and takes a truck away from Cody. Cody grabs for the truck, but Ethan pulls it away. “It’s my truck now,” says Ethan, looking Cody straight in the face. Fact
Examples of Observations Observation A • Subjective • Personal opinions and feelings • No facts • It is hard to tell what really happened between the two boys Observation B • Objective • Factual • Leaves aside personal feelings • The observer descries only what is actually seen/heard
Types of Observation Records: • Running Record • Anecdotal Record • Frequency Count • Developmental Checklist Begin each observation by recording: • The date and time • The number of children and adults present • Names and ages (include months if they are really young. EX: 2 years and 2 months old)
Running Record What do you do? • Write down everything observed for a set period of time What is this observation used for? • Observers who are just getting to know a child or group of children • Concentrating on a certain area of development
Anecdotal Record What do you do? • Write down everything observed with no time limit • Similar to a running record EXCEPT there is no time limit What is this observation used for? • Concentrating on a specific area of development for long periods of time • EX: Area of development: how a child adjusts to a new daycare center. • An observer writes down how a child behaves every day for two weeks
Frequency Count What do you do? • Keep a tally of how often a certain behavior occurs What is this observation used for? • MOST useful for trying to change an unwanted behavior • Start, by making a list of behaviors that need to change
Developmental Checklist What do you do? • A list of skills children should master, or behaviors they should exhibit at a certain age • Observers simply check off the skills or behaviors they see What is this observation used for? • Recording skills the child has mastered • Analyzing skills that have not been mastered yet
How to Act While Observing • Try to blend into the environment as much as possible • Avoid calling attention to yourself • Sit or stand slightly outside the area where the children are • Be ready to take notes • Make sure you understand your observation record before you begin • What if a child talks to you? • Briefly answer question • Do not ask them questions • Encourage them to return to their activities
Observation Project: Day 1 Your goal will be to learn about the various methods of observation by: • Researching observations • Creating observations • Observing REAL students in a classroom setting Types of observations you will use for this project • Running Record • Frequency Count
What you will do today: • Practice running record (alone) • Define (alone): Running Record, Anecdotal Record, Frequency Count, and Developmental Checklist • Then, write a sentence describing why or when you might use that observation • Create your frequency count observation (with a partner) • Think about things that high school students do in class that a teacher may want to change (at least 20)
Example Frequency Count Observation Ideas • Using cellphone • Eating • Talking while the teacher is talking • Not raising hand • Playing games