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“Observation is a very important part of an early childhood classroom,” Dr. SUDHA SWAMINATHAN said. About Early Learning Centre.
How to get some really useful results from your observations?
Observation is a very important part of an early childhood classroom.
Teachers are constantly observing, and sometimes they’re observing just to make sure everything’s okay, children are safe and everything’s going right. Spontaneous observations in the classroom all the time.
But there are other times when teachers pre-plan their observations.
They take the time to decide: What is it I need to observe for each child? And they set the time and the environment, and they plan for it.
The more intentional a teacher is, the more pre-planned she is, the more she focuses on what she needs to learn about each child ahead of time, and then goes to the classroom with all the necessary tools to observe the child.
Then they learn much, much more about the child.
Let’s take a look at how two teachers go about planned observations with specific goals in mind.
1. We have one little boy is 4 years old, who is very, very good at the computer, but his social interactions are a little bit delayed.
He preferred to play mostly by himself.
Through her thoughtful observations, Kathy realized what was needed to help improve Joey’s social interactions.
So what we did is we would set up situations at the computer where there was always another child with him.
Kathy devised this intervention after observing Joey in a variety of situations.
Once he started using the computer with other children, he became more comfortable interacting during free play and at other times as well.
2. Sofia conducts weekly writing workshops with her preschool class and is especially interested in the progress of children who will be going to Kindergarten in the fall.
Earlier she noticed that Marissa was having trouble grasping the pencil, and so today she has planned to observe Marissa and to give her extra instructions on how to hold the pencil.
Over the next few weeks, Sofia continues to observe Marissa and notices that the instruction has helped Marissa improve her writing ability. Now, Marissa is ready for Kindergarten.
Our last example is a formal assessment. Teachers are expected to assess their children, to document their learning in all the different domains of development.
This is expected by administrators, and this is also something they share with the parents of the children. Planned observation is the core of all formal assessments.
“Observing children and documenting their growth is a very integral part of early childhood education,“ Dr. SWAMINATHAN said.
So all caregivers should focus on planning their observations and documenting children’s growth because ultimately, that’s what’s going to help them learn what the child is capable of doing, what the child has potential to grow into, and how they as a teacher can help that child reach their potential.
Systems for evaluation, use of education and mentoring programs:
Why Early Childhood Education?Here.