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					 CHILD CARE & EDUCATION


                           st
Diploma 1 Year
    Student

 Observations




 NB: These are suggested format to follow.
DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment                2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 1    Physical development

Aim:            To observe a single child involved in physical activity

Objectives:     To assess his/her acquisition of gross motor and fine manipulative skills
                To compare his/her physical skills with normative development
                milestones

Observation method:        Narrative/Essay style

Suggested Activities:

          Gross Motor skills; Climbing equipment indoors, outdoors playtime eg. Using
          wheeled toys, music and movement activity.

          Fine manipulative skills; painting or drawing, building with bricks or
          construction kits, using scissors, playdough, threading or sewing.

To record as much information about your target child’s physical skills for your Unit 4
assignment, you may wish to do TWO shorter observations on this occasion – one to
show gross motor skills and one to show fine manipulative skills.

Introduction

Describe the activity and the resources/equipment available. Do they cater for all the ages
and abilities of the children in the group? Are there eg. Left handed scissors, sit and stride
pedal bikes, thick and thin brushes? If outside, describe the weather. What time of day is
it?

Observation

Use present tense. Describe how the child performs skills, uses equipment in detail.
Concentrate on physical skills – you do not need to record language for this observation.




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Evaluation

Start by reading through your observation/s and identify each of the physical skills you
have recorded.

Describe whether the child performed each skill confidently, or was he/she repeating
actions to practise them, or only just beginning to attempt them

You may want to compare the child’s actions with other children of similar age in the group.

Refer to books on child development, find out what stage of physical development is
expected for a child of this age.
Compare the skills demonstrated by the child with normative milestones.
Do you think he/she is making satisfactory progress in physical development.
Are you aware of any factors that may have an affect on the child’s physical development –
ask your supervisor for any relevant information.

Link at least one theory on child development to your conclusions eg. You may observe the
child repeating actions again and again to practise an emerging skill, Piaget identified this
as mastery play and recognised that it was typical of children in the sensory motor stage.
You may see a child watching and copying other children or adult’s action, this is an
example of Bandura’s social learning theory.

Recommendations

Suggest at least two activities or experiences that would help the child progress with
his/her physical development based on your conclusions. (if you have evaluated both fine
and gross motor development – make at least one suggestion for each area). D1 Describe
how the adult could support the child during these activities and specify appropriate
equipment for the child

Personal Learning

Describe what you have learned about children’s development or children’s activity from
completing this observation.
B1 Develop the above, perhaps including an understanding of the role of the adult or the
setting or the parents in supporting children’s physical development. Perhaps your
understanding of the individual child’s needs or children’s differing rate of development.
C1 Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of the narrative method of recording in
relation to your aim

Bibliography/References

You should include references to at least two sources in your conclusions and list them in
your bibliography.




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:          Child Observation and Assessment                  2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 2     Cognitive Development 1 – 3.11 years

Aim:             To observe a child completing a jigsaw puzzle/shape sorter

Objectives:      To assess the child’s ability to solve problems

Observation method:         Narrative/Essay style

Introduction
Describe the activity is presented, the type and number of resources set out and other
activities that are available. Do they cater for all ages and abilities of the children in the
group? Can all the children choose to participate in the activity?

Include any factors that may affect the observation.

Identify the method you have chosen to use – why have you chosen it?

Observation

Record how the child approaches the activity and chooses a puzzle.

Describe how he appears to choose the pieces to complete the task.

Include any adult intervention in the child’s activity.

Note is the child watches or interacts with other children completing puzzles and how this
influences his/here activity.

Include any relevant language used during the activity.




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Evaluation

How involved did the child appear to be in the activity? Was he/she able to maintain attention
to complete the task?

Evaluate the methods used by the child to solve the problem.

Compare the child’s ability to developmental norms.

Relate the child’s problem solving skills to Piaget’s theory and stages of cognitive
development.

Did anti-bias/anti-discriminatory practice affect your observation?

If an adult was present, what strategies did he/she use support the child? Evaluate their
effectiveness. Relate them to theories on child development and learning.

Recommendations

Suggest at least two ways that the CCE worker could support this child’s problem solving skills
and promote his/her cognitive development in the nursery

For example;-

       recommend problem solving activities that would be appropriate and
       enjoyable for this child,
       how to provide adult support with similar activities,
       how to provide new challenges to stimulate the child,
       How to break down the task to ensure of the child succeeds and gains a
       sense of achievement

Personal Learning

What knowledge and understanding of children’s cognitive development have you gained
through this observation? What have you learned about this child’s individual needs or the
role of the adult in supporting children’s learning and development?

Did you fully meet your aim? – If not explain the reasons.
Was your chosen observation method an effective way to meet your aim?
Suggest other methods that you could have chosen.




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment               2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 3    Language Development 1 – 3.11 years

Aim:            To observe the language development of a child within the nursery

Objectives:     To assess the child’s ability to communicate with peers and adults
                To compare his/her language skills with developmental milestones

Method          Target Child

Choose a suitable time or activity where you can observe a child interacting with an adult or
another child in a relaxed atmosphere, eg. during snack time or mealtime, in the book corner
(not story time), during outside play or during free play activities.

Choose a child that you can understand clearly enough to record his language – this will be
your Target Child (TC) for the observation.

You may find that an audio cassette will help you to record the language.

Introduction

Describe where the observation is taking place and what is happening. Is there evidence of
anti-bias practice?

Observation

Record the child’s activity, language and social interaction using the Target Child format for 10
minutes (see separate sheets)

Include any non-verbal communication used ie. nods and gestures.




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Evaluation

1.   What language skills did the child demonstrate?

2.   Compare the child’s language skills to normative milestones.

3.   Did the child initiate language and interaction?

4.   Did he/she use language to express needs, ideas or feelings?

5.   Did he/she rely heavily on gestures to convey meaning?

6.   Did the activity promote language skills?

7.   If an adult was involved, what affect do you think he/she had on the quality of the
     interaction?

8.   Refer to theories on language development and relate them to your conclusions. A1
     Evaluate at least two differing theories on how children develop language with
     reference to your observation.

Recommendations

Recommend at least two appropriate activities and experiences that could be planned for this
child to promote his/her language development in the nursery. D1 Suggest the role of the CCE
worker in promoting his/her language development during the activities.

Personal Learning

Evaluate the effectiveness of the Target Child method in meeting your aim. C1 Compare the
advantages and disadvantages with the narrative method used previously.

What knowledge and understanding of children’s language have you gained through observing
this interaction?
B1 Develop the above, perhaps evaluating how your knowledge of the stages of language
development or theories of how children learn language will influence how you interact in the
future.




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment                 2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 4    Emotional Development 1 – 3.11 years

Aim:            To observe a child who is ‘settling in’ to the nursery setting

Objectives:     To assess how the child copes with the transition and separation from
                his/her parents/carers
                To evaluate strategies used to help children settle in to Nursery

Method          Time Sample or Narrative

Introduction E1

Find out background information about the child including;
   a)     how long/often the child has been attending the nursery
   b)     any previous separations the child may have experienced
   c)     any other relevant factors eg. a sibling at nursery

Describe where the observation takes place.

Observation E5

You can observe the child arriving at nursery with his/her parent/carer, recording the interaction
with parent/carer and the CCE worker. Observe the reaction of the child to the separation.
I suggest using narrative method for this.

OR

You could observe the child at regular intervals (10 minutes) throughout the session, starting
with his/her arrival, recording his/her activity. Using the time sampling method.




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Evaluation E6

1.     Make conclusions about how the child is coping with separation from his/her
       parent/carer

2.     Compare the child’s stage of emotional development in relation in relation to normative
       development charts. E7

3.     Link your conclusions to identified theories on attachment and separation. E8

4.     Evaluate the strategies used by the parents/carers and CCE workers to support the
       child during the observation – were they effective?

5.     Explain and analyse the nursery’s ‘settling in’ policy in relation to theories on
       attachments and separation. A1

Recommendations E9

Suggest at least two ways that CCE workers could help this child through the stages of the
settling in process. Give examples of activities that could be provided in the nursery or
suggest strategies the adult could use to support this child. D1

Personal Learning E10

What have you learnt about children’s emotional development and the role of the CCE worker
in meeting the individual needs of the child in nursery?

Have you gained any knowledge of this child that will influence hoe you respond to him/her in
the future? Would you suggest any further observations to assess his/her progress?

Evaluate the importance of a comprehensive and flexible ‘settling in’ policy and/or developing
relationships with parents to meet children’s emotional needs when they start nursery. B1

Evaluate the effectiveness of the method chosen for this observation. C1




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment                 2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 5    Play 1 – 3.11 years

Aim:            To observe a child during free play session

Objectives:     To see which activities they choose and the length of time the spend
                at each activity
                To assess whether the child is participating in the full range of
                activities on offer.

Method          Tracking Diagram

Find a time during the session/day when the children are free to move around the room and
choose from a range of play activities.

Set the scene by describing what has happened before this session and any other relevant
factors ie. The weather, staff changes, etc.

Make a plan of the room beforehand, showing the activities available during the session (see
examples of these).

It is useful to show where adults are involved in activities by adding an ‘A’ to your plan.

Record the child’s movements between activities on your plan using arrowed lines.

Record the length of time the child spends at the activity with the number of minutes.

If possible, continue to observe throughout the free play session (at least 30 minutes) to get a full
picture of his/her activity.




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Evaluation

1.   What stage/s of social play did the child demonstrate during the activity?
     Is this what you would expect for a child of this age?

2.   Ask your supervisor to look at your observation. Was the play observed typical for this
     child? If not, can you identify some of the factors that may have influenced his/her play
     on this occasion.

3.   Did the child appear absorbed in the activity?       Was the child’s activity repetitive?
     Suggest reasons for this.

4.   Did anti-bias/anti-discriminatory practice effect your observation?

5.   Consider each area of the child’s development (PILES). Evaluate how the child’s play
     observed was promoting his/her development and learning.

6.   Suggest future play activities that could be provided to further this child’s development
     with reference to the sequence of development.

7.   Refer to at least one theory about children’s play and relate it to your observation and
     conclusions.


Personal Learning

Did you meet your aim?

Was this method of observing effective in meeting your aim on this occasion?

Can you suggest other methods that may have been appropriate?

What knowledge and understanding of children’s play have you gained through this
observation?




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment               2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 6    Play 1 – 3.11 years

Aim:            To observe a child participating in a play activity eg. sand or water play,
                construction activities

Objectives:     To assess the child’s stage of play during the activity
                To evaluate the value of the activity to the child’s ‘all round development and
                learning’

Method          Narrative/Essay style

Introduction

Set the scene by describing how the activity is set up and the resources that are available.

Was the activity initiated by the child/ren or structured by the adults? If structured, what was the
intended learning outcome?

Observation

Try to choose who appears interested in the activity and is likely to stay involved for 5 – 10
minutes while you observe.

Record as much detail as possible about the child’s activity to support your evaluation.

Include the child’s verbal comments or any conversation involving the child.




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Evaluation

1.   What stage/s of social play did the child demonstrate during the activity?
     Is this what you would expect for a child of this age?

2.   Ask your supervisor to look at your observation. Was the play observed typical for this
     child? If not, can you identify some of the factors that may have influenced his/her play
     on this occasion.

3.   Did the child appear absorbed in the activity?        Was the child’s activity repetitive?
     Suggest reasons for this.

4.   Did anti-bias/anti-discriminatory practice effect your observation?

5.   Consider each area of the child’s development (PILES). Evaluate how the child’s play
     observed was promoting his/her development and learning.

6.   Suggest future play activities that could be provided to further this child’s development
     with reference to the sequence of development.

7.   Refer to at least one theory about children’s play and relate it to your observation and
     conclusions.

Personal Learning

Did you meet your aim?

Was this method of observing effective in meeting your aim on this occasion?

Can you suggest other methods that may have been appropriate?

What knowledge and understanding of children’s play have you gained through this observation?




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment               2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 7    Early Years Curriculum 3 – 4.11 years

Aim:            To observe a group of children working towards Early Learning Goals for
                Mathematics

Objectives:     To become familiar with the Foundation Stage Curriculum
                To evaluate an activity intended to promote the Early Learning Goals for
                mathematics
                To assess the children’s understanding of a mathematical Concept

Method          Narrative/Target Child

Preparation

Discuss the observation with your supervisor. Find out the intended learning outcomes for the
children and how they are likely to help the child towards one of the early learning goals

Introduction

Set the scene by describing how the activity is set up and the resources that are available.

What is the intended learning outcome for the activity?

Is the activity initiated by the children involved or structured by the adults? Did the children
involved choose to participate.

Include any factors that may have an effect on the observation eg. weather, staff changes,
special events, anti-bias/anti discriminatory practice.

Explain your choice of method for this observation.

Observation

Observe a small group (2 – 4 children) throughout a practical maths activity in the nursery or
reception class, eg. sorting, counting, shape recognition, comparing weight, length, height or
size.

Record the language used and the children’s responses to an adult (if present) or peers.




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Evaluation

   Evaluate the structure of the activity and the role the adult played in the activity with
    reference to established theories about children’s learning eg. Bruner, Vygotsky, Piaget,
    Montessori, Bandura.

   Refer to the Foundation Stage Curriculum Document. What methods do the QCA
    recommend should be adopted to promote learning during this stage? Can you s ee the
    influences of different theorists on this curriculum?

   Assess each child’s understanding of the mathematical concepts.          Were the intended
    learning outcomes met?

   Was the activity adapted by the adult to meet the children’s individual need’s?

   Look at the stepping stones for maths in the Foundation Stage Document. Identify the Early
    Learning Goal and the progress in the stepping stones made towards the goal.

   Suggest ways that the nursery/reception class can plan to support these children in working
    towards the early learning goal – this may be through further activities to;
      a) consolidate their understanding of the concept or
      b) help them to progress towards the next stepping stone.

   Did you fully or partially meet your aim? How do you know?

   Was your chosen method effective, were there any disadvantages?
    Discuss other methods that may have been appropriate – what may have been their
    strengths and weaknesses on this occasion?

   What have you learned about the role of the adult in supporting children’s learning during
    the Foundation Stage?




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DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION


Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment                2002 - 2004

Matrix No. 8    Early Years Curriculum 3 – 4.11 years

Aim:            To observe a child engaged in an activity to promote his/her creative
                development

Objectives:     To assess the child’s development towards an Early Learning Goal for
                Creative Development
                To evaluate the role of the CCE worker providing for children’s creativity
                during the Foundation Stage
                To become familiar with the Foundation Stage Curriculum

Method          Narrative/Target Child

Suggested Activities to observe; Free painting or drawing, collage, modelling with found
materials, free play with natural materials (sand, water, dough, clay), role play in theme corner
or outside, puppet play, responding freely to music.

Introduction

Set the scene by describing how the activity is set up and the resources that are used.

What is presented so that all the children in the nursery/class could participate?

Was the activity child initiated or adult structured?

Did the children involved choose to participate.

Include ant factors that may have an effect on the observation eg. weather, staff changes,
special events, anti-bias/anti discriminatory practice.

Explain your choice of method for this observation.

Observation

Record the child’s activity in detail including any language used. If appropriate, include a copy
of the child’s completed work or a photograph (with permission)




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Evaluation

   What is creativity?

   In what ways did you see the child demonstrating his/her creative skills?

   Did you observe any factors that impeded upon the child’s creativity? eg. lack of physical
    skills, time restraints, adult intervention, resources.

   Look at the Foundation Stage document. Identify the ELG for Creative Development and
    the appropriate stepping stone to match the child’s developmental progress towards the
    ELG

   How did the CCE Worker support this child’s creative development, ie. through providing
    resources, time and space, through interacting with the child? Refer to theories about child
    development and learning to support your findings.

   Suggest ways that the CCE Workers in this setting can plan future experiences and/or
    activities to develop the child’s creative development towards the ELGs. (this may involve
    introducing new media, techniques or experiences)

   Did you fully of partially meet your aim? How do you know?

   Was your chosen method effective, were there any disadvantages?
    Discuss other methods that may have been appropriate – what may have been their
    strengths and weaknesses on this occasion?




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    DIPLOMA IN CHILDCARE & EDUCATION

Unit 1:         Child Observation and Assessment               2002 - 2004

                Summer Term – Family Placements/Baby Units

Matrix No. 15 - 18   Baby 0 – 11 Months

You will need to complete 4 observations of a baby or babies under 12 months of age during this
placement. These are some suggested aims and objectives for observations that you may
choose, if you have any other ideas for interesting observations in your placement please
discuss them with me.

Aim:            To observe a baby’s growth and physical development

Objectives:     To compare with percentile charts and developmental Milestones


Use percentile charts and checklists in your evaluation.
Are primitive reflexes still evident or have these been replaced by voluntary actions?
What is the value of using percentile charts and development check lists?
Define the difference between growth and development.
Analyse the role of the adult in stimulating babies’ physical development
Explain briefly the 5 principles of development in relation to this baby

Aim:            To observe a baby exploring unfamiliar objects to assess how he/she is
                learning through their sensory experiences.


This could be linked to Piaget’s theory of play and learning. See also People Under Three,
Chapter 6, The Treasure Basket, (E. Goldsmith & S. Jackson, 1994)

Look for evidence of the baby using each sense, mastery play, discovery play, the concept of
object permanence, concentration, the adult role.

Aim:            To observe the interaction between a baby and his/her parent/carer/key worker
                during part of the daily care routine eg. feeding, nappy changing, or dressing.




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Objectives:     To evaluate how the routine event can be used to promote Language and
                Social Development
                To assess the baby’s social and language development

Does the baby make eye contact with the carer?

Observe how the adult interacts with the baby, is there evidence of ‘conversation’ between
them’

Has the baby learnt to anticipate what will happen, eg. know that putting ob a bib means feed
time, lifts legs ready for undressing?

How does the carer praise or encourage the baby?

You wish to refer to Erikkson’s or Bowlby’s theories on emotional and social development or
discuss different theories on language acquisition eg. Skinner’s reinforcement theory or
Chomsky’s language acquisition devise.

Aim:            To observe how the baby responds to unfamiliar situation or people.
                Eg. During an outing or with visitors, to assess their emotional and social
                development.

Compare with development stages

Does the baby look for reassurance from parent/carer? How do they give reassurance?

Link to attachment theories or Erikkson’s stages of personality development

Aim:            To observe a baby during bath time to assess how the activity promotes
                his/her all round development and learning.

Refer to each area of development (PILES) in your evaluation

This is a sensory experience, link with learning theories eg Piaget,

It is also a social occasions, link to Bandura, Skinner

Look for interaction with parent/carer and siblings (if present)




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