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Early childhood education isn’t just about teaching, it’s about exploring, learning, and observing the important roles in which our children are developing. Child care providers understand the role in which observation plays in early childhood education. Observation is seen as one of the simplest, efficient techniques in evaluating young children as they develop. For a provider, educator, or learner, evaluating a child simply begins with noting how each child behaves, thinks, and interacts with others. Later on, reflecting on this information gathered can determine progress and identifying issues.
Observing children can help you as an evaluator understand the strengths and weaknesses of the individual’s child. As a matter of fact, your observations can help educators, providers, and parents adjust the environment that will enable the child’s behavior and accelerate positive learning habits. Once starting observation, if you are involved in a case study, monitoring the progress of each child’s development will of course be beneficial to you and the child himself.
Most categories that are observed on a daily basis are physical, cognitive, social, and language skills. By understanding the child through observation, you as the evaluator will notice the progress and can discover if a child is struggling or falling behind in an area or areas of development. Furthermore, detailed observations and regular reflections can help identify issues earlier to make improvements. It is important to remember that a child’s performance can be affected by tiredness, hunger, boredom, and many other feelings. This can hinder the skills they demonstrate at the time of the observation.
The assignment for this paper was to observe 2 children for an hour minimum. One child must be approximately 2 years old and the other must be approximately 1 years old. This paper will share the physical descriptions of each child, the observations of each child, and then the comparison of the Physical, Cognitive, and Social development of each child.
The first child observed is a girl named Zouvan, who was approximately two years old. She had brown skin, that made her look as if she was Indian. She had black hair which looked medium length but was put into perfect pig tails. She had dark defined eyebrows, with brown big eyes. She looked average height. It was noticeable that she wasn’t shorter than any other child present nor did she look taller. The day of the observation she was wearing beige camouflage skinny pants with a mango colored long sleeve shirt with white matte stars on the sleeves. She was wearing what seemed to be white Velcro sneakers which had a little glitter to them on the bottom which shined as she ran.
The second child observed was a boy named Aiden Jeremiah. He just turned 9 months this November. He is Hispanic. He is chubby with dark caramel colored skin. He has frizzy black curly hair and small brown eyes. His nose has a wide bridge, and his eyes are hooded. His upper lip is thin and his cheeks are chubby. He is a big baby which can be a little overweight. The day of the observation, he was wearing a dark burgundy onesie with small black stripes. On top of that he was wearing long grey pants and a long sleeve shirt with the Knicks logo right in the middle; the sleeves were blue and the back and front were grey. He was wearing no socks.
This observation was held in the Dillion Center from 10-11am on Wednesday, November 28th, 2018. As I walked into the observation room I saw the whole class sitting at their tables eating snacks, specifically grapes and pieces of tangerines and individual water bottles. A little girl in a yellow long sleeve shirt automatically catches my eye since she is the only one not eating. She stands up and the teacher comes over sits her back down and says, “Zouvan, baby you have to eat” and she puts a grape in Zouvan’s mouth. She doesn’t feed herself. She stands up once again takes the paper towel with the little pieces of food and walks to the garbage, saying “I don’t want snack.” She goes back to the table to grab her water bottle and brings it to her cubby. The teacher calls her over to the arts and craft table, she explains to her the craft that they will make today which is the Star of David. She asks Zouvan what holiday are we celebrating next week.
Zouvan says confidently, “Hanukkah” the teacher then says, “Good job, give me a high five” Zouvan gives her a high five. The teacher then goes on to explain how they will make the Star of David. Zouvan listens to all of the directions and does a great job as the teacher is kneeling next to her telling her what to do. Once they finish the teacher tells Zouvan to go to the bathroom to wash her hands. She runs into the bathroom and approximately 2 minutes later she comes running out excitedly saying, “I WASHED MY HANDS!” After she comes out she goes to the rice table which is to her left. Other children are already there playing with the rice and shovels. She skips over and asks politely, “can I play with you guys?” they say yes and she joins them but plays by herself.
The teacher calls about of the boys playing at the rice table to join her at the arts and craft table. This left Zouvan and a girl by themselves. A few seconds later I see the girl take Zouvan’s shovel. Zouvan says,” hey that is mine, that is my shovel” repeatedly. A student teacher hears Zouvan and comes over and asks what is wrong. Zouvan points to the girl and clearly says, “She has my shovel.” The student teacher doesn’t do anything, but the girl leaves. A few minutes goes by, and Zouvan starts to get rough with the rice, slapping it, throwing it, making a mess. The student teacher from before comes over and snaps at Zouvan telling her that if she does it again that the rice table will be closed for everyone. Zouvan says, “no, no, no” while crossing her arms and pouts.
The teacher notices and comes over, squatting in front of her. To Zouvan she says, “Baby are you making the right choice? Look at my face, I am not mad at you I am just disappointed. Make better choices and I won’t be disappointed.” Zouvan’s pout goes away. It’s now time to use the bathroom for everyone. Before the teacher calls out to everyone, Zouvan is putting rice all over her and all over the floor. The student teacher comes over to her, Zouvan says, “I put all the rice on the floor” the student teacher says, “I know I see, and it’s all in your hair.” The student teacher starts to take the rice out of her hair and then takes her to the bathroom. A few minutes goes by and she comes out with her pants at her knees and says, “I peed” like she accomplished something amazing. The student teacher goes and picks up her pants as Zouvan rests her hands on the teachers shoulders so she doesn’t fall over. Zouvan starts asking if it’s raining, and is given the answer no, she then goes to ask if it’s going to rain today and is again given the answer no. She then runs over to the table where she ate her snacks, there were big building blocks. She sits and with excitement says, “I am going to make a blue train” and she builds a train.
A teacher comes over and sits across from her asks her “where are the wheels?” Zouvan says she doesn’t have any. The teacher asks her what shape wheels are and she says circle. So, she looks around and finds a yellow circle and says with excitement again, “Hey look, a yellow wheel!” The teacher leaves and Zouvan stands up. She walks around the table, seems like she is looking for something, but she is also singing and dancing to a song I don’t recall. Maybe it was in a different language or she was just mumbling. She soon gets bored of the blocks and runs to the rug in the corner where a second student teacher is sitting on the floor with other children reading a book. She runs to get a book and then runs to the student teacher sitting on the floor talking with another child. Zouvan sits down next to her and hands her the book. The student teacher opens it and isn’t able to read it because Zouvan sits right in front and points to each object and says what it is. She points to an alligator and says crocodile but the teacher corrects her. She then points to a piece of cake and she says cake. She knew every object in the book. Unfortunately, Zouvan and the student teacher didn’t get to finish the whole book because the teacher flickered the lights and started to sing a song that let the children know it is time for clean-up. Right when the lights started to flicker Zouvan screamed, “NOOO!” But she got up and put the books away. The observation ended.
This observation was held in the household of where the baby is living from 1-2pm on Friday, November 30th. As I walked into the living room, Aiden was sitting in his walker. I said hi and walked passed him to put my coat and bag on the couch. He couldn’t take his eyes off of me. He didn’t turn himself around, instead he just leaned back and looked at me upside down. The mother, my friend, Zulema picks him up and we go into her room where his crib his. He is put in his crib and she stands him up and lets him hold on. For the next five minutes he stays standing, falls over a few times but gets right back up which his mom said is the first time he has ever done that. He makes bubbles in between smiling constantly. The happiest baby I have ever seen. He falls back once again and instead of getting up he grabs a toy and shakes it and shakes it. He then drops it claps when his mom says “clap, clap, clap” and then goes to pick up his toy and shakes it again.
I was clicking my pen and Aiden loved the noise, so of course I would click the pen again and again. I asked the mom if he can crawl she said no, but he loves to hold on to someone’s hands and walk around. She believes that he will walk before he crawls. She goes to pick him up from the crib and puts him on the floor in a crawling position. He doesn’t do anything, just babbles, makes bubbles and fall to his belly. He screams. Instead of crawling he rolls side to side. He rolled from one side of the room to the other. She then puts him in the middle of the floor, instead of crawling forward he pushes himself backward so half is body is under the crib. The mother lays down on her stomach on the floor and reaches out for his hands but he is paying no attention to her. Instead he is staring at the door with a big smile on his face, confused I looked to see what he was looking at and it was his father, Justin waving to him. The father comes in and picks him up from the floor, he screams “DADA” and claps with a gigantic smile on his face. The mother goes to lay down in bed.
The dad still holding Aiden bounces up and down as he walks in a circle. He then puts Aiden’s feet on the floor and holding his hands walks around the whole bedroom for a good 5 minutes with Aiden leading the way. It was around 1:35pm when Aiden started to get fussy. This was when Justin put Aiden in his crib. He puts on a little piano music on one of his toys. Aiden claps and stands up and bounces while holding on to the crib. Justin started to play peekaboo, knowing that he is just covering his eyes, Aiden pulls apart his dad’s hand to show his eyes. He starts to laugh because of funny faces and the dad dancing to the music that is still playing. A few minutes went by and Aiden played with his ball. Throwing it to the other side of the crib, grabbing it, and then throwing it again.
Every now and then staring at me to see what I was doing. Then he started to get fussy again, screaming, moaning, wouldn’t let anyone hold him. Instead Justin the dad picked him up, put Aiden’s feet on the floor, held his hands and walked him to the living room to put him in his walker. He stayed in his walker zooming around the living room while his mom got his food ready. When the food was ready I put him in his feeding chair, Zulema came out with a bowl of shredded chicken and grits. He did not make feeding complicated. He loved to eat and his mother says will eat anything. She isn’t breastfeeding because he doesn’t latch well. When he was born he was really chubby so the doctor gave them orders to start transitioning him to solid foods very early. He is mostly eating solid foods like green beans, turkey, chicken. “He loves everything” his mom says. As I was about to leave the house, he claps and waves good bye. This is where the observation ended.
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