Guidelines for Each Observation:
Observe for two, 10– to 15–minute time periods
During each time period:
Watch children with an open mind.
Avoid judging or making assumptions.
Tune into details, i.e., children’s behaviors, postures, facial expressions.
Recognize your own feelings and, as much as possible, set those feelings aside so they don’t get in the way.
Position yourself where you can see and hear clearly but will not distract the children.
Remember that you are observing at a particular moment in time without the benefit of knowing what has come before. Your goal is to be objective and take in information based on what you see and hear.
Be sure to change the names of any children you identify in your summaries to protect their privacy.
Write down—objectively and in as much detail as you can—anything that captured your attention.
Do not share any comments about the children you observe. Remember that you are the learner in this situation.
Be sure to thank everyone involved for the opportunity to observe.
Note: You may bring a laptop to the observation or make handwritten notes and record your observations on this sheet at a later time. Submit this Observation Worksheet as part of your Application this week.
FYI: Clarifying Objective and Subjective Observations:
What you see and hear (e.g., actions, words)
One child was stacking blocks. She placed small blocks on the bottom and large blocks on top. The structure toppled after a few blocks. This happened two times. A second child came over and watched. The structure fell twice more. The second child sat down with the first child. She showed how to put large blocks on the bottom. Asked the first child to put smaller blocks on top for their “tower.” Both girls looked excited as the tower got taller.
Why wasn’t the child more frustrated? Frustrating to see her make same mistake.
Second child seems advanced. Kind. Leading and cooperating.
I smiled at their excitement.