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How to Observe Children

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Presentation on theme: "How to Observe Children"— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Observe Children

2 Different Observation Tools
Running Record Checklists and Rating Scales Specimen Record Event Sampling Time Sample Anecdotal Record

3 Running Record A narrative written in sequence over a specified time. Recorded while behavior is occurring.

4 Checklists and Rating Scales
A list of behaviors with check marks, recorded before, during, and after behavior occurs. A scale of traits or behaviors with check marks recorded before, during, and after behavior occurs. Predetermined Created Instrument- Sometimes, always, never Strongly agree, agree, strongly disagree 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc.

5 Specimen Record A detailed narrative written in sequence over a specified time, recorded while behavior is occurring. Focus is on the time of day, setting, or child. Codes are used to signify children: M1=first male child M2=second male child T1=first teacher T2=second teacher

6 Event Sample A brief narrative of conditions preceding and following specified behavior Recorded while behavior is occurring. Records how many times something happens. Need to define what the event is. Example: How many times does the teacher get interrupted? or How often does a teacher call a child’s name?

7 Time Sample Tallies or symbols showing presence or absence of specified behavior during short periods of time. Recorded while behavior is occurring. Clock determines observation- Every minute, behavior is recorded, behavior is totaled to see how frequently behavior is exhibited. Example: Who does the talking during circle time? Teachers, children or nobody?

8 Anecdotal Record A narrative of descriptive paragraphs recorded while behavior is occurring. Includes children’s exact words, facial expressions, body language. Write what you see and hear NOT why a child does a behavior. Contains factual information about setting, start time, etc. Behavior is recorded in 5 to 10 minute intervals over a total of 30 minutes.

9 Your Assignment Write an anecdotal record using two different age groups. The observation is done in two parts: Part One: Observation (one page) Part Two: Interview Parent or Caregiver Part Three: Interpretation of Data Part Four: Theorist Application Plan for the observations now! Don’t delay.

10 Tips for Observing Time of day matters-carefully choose time.
Children are more active in morning hours. Have materials ready-pens, paper, etc. Don’t interfere or interact with child. Be objective- Write only what you see, not why a child does a particular behavior. Don’t assume anything about child. Don’t write anything for 5 minutes, just watch. Maintain confidentiality-use first name of child

11 Child Observation Includes:
Observer: Your Name Date of Observation: Child’s First Name: Setting of Observation: Child’s Age: __Years __Months Physical Description of Child: Time Observed: __:__ to __:__am/pm (recorded every 5-10 minutes) Behavior Observed

12 Sample Anecdotal Record
Observer: Maureen Goulet Date of Observation: April 30, 2005 Child’s First Name: Peter Setting: Child’s Playroom at home Child’s Age: 9 years 2 months Physical Description of Child: Peter is Caucasian and approximately 4 feet 6 inches weighing 55 pounds. He is wearing a Mickey Mouse T-shirt and dungarees. He has brown hair, blue eyes and freckles.

13 Time Observed: 3:30-3:40 pm Behavior Observed: Peter is playing Legos with his friend Kevin. He is looking thru a big box of Legos. He digs thru the box alternating between his left hand and his right hand. He finds a Lego boat. He yells, “Kevin, I found it. It was at the bottom of the box buried near the bottom.” He takes the Lego boat and pushes it across the floor to the Lego table. Time Observed: 3:40-3:50 pm Peter’s mother tells him to put the Legos away and to go outside because it is a beautiful day. Peter is putting the Legos away. He finishes putting the Legos away and he puts his sneakers on. He uses his right hand to put on his left sneaker. Peter walks from the playroom to outside.

14 Reminders when observing
Use the present tense. Present Tense: Peter walks into the den. Past Tense: Peter walked from playroom to den and yelled at Kevin. Use quotations with correct grammar and record exactly what they say inside quotes. Example: “Kevin, I want spesk-ghet-tti!” Notice spelling doesn’t count if child pronounces word incorrectly if it is inside the quotation marks. Write new paragraph when next time frame starts.

15 Hints I know that you can’t write everything you see. Something always happens when you look at your notes. Write brief notes and later after the observation, translate what you observed into paragraphs. Example: put shoe w/L hand “Stop yelling at me!” throws block R Translation: Peter put his shoe on with his left hand. He says to Kevin, “Stop yelling at me!” He throws the block with his right hand. Reread what you wrote to see if you can picture what the child is doing. Practice observing skills. The more you observe, the better you get at observing.

16 Interpreting the Data Use your Child Growth book to determine what is developmentally appropriate for the age group. Subjective opinions can be in this section. Include physical, cognitive, social and personality domains. Use 5 paragraph format and correct grammar Introduction 1st idea- Physical domain 2nd idea- Cognitive domain 3rd idea- Social domain 4th idea- Emotional domain Conclusion

17 Sample Interpretation
Peter is an active 9 year old boy. Peter is small and underweight for his age. Most middle school children are taller than Peter and weigh more than him. According to Feldman, 9 years olds weigh……etc… Peter’s physical skills are above average for his age group. He can run, kick, and throw a baseball with good accuracy. Peter has good balance. He was able to walk across the top of a play yard with good balance………etc. In my opinion, Peter’s language skills are advanced for his age. He uses adjectives and adverbs words in the correct context. When he was doing his homework, I noticed………etc.

18 Practice Observation Now, I am going to walk around the room, touch things, and talking out loud. Simulate the observation experience. Take brief notes as a practice observation. This exercise is good practice for the next class. The first time you watch me take quick notes. Now in a group, translate your notes in a couple of paragraphs. Is there anything important that you missed? Did you write down the quotes? What did you learn about observing For next class I made a practice video observation. I videotaped a segment of me playing with my dog.

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