Nicely put Cathy, thanks for the tips!
arrrrrgh so many reminders of so many wasteful observations I've seen!
I planned an activity where the children were to think about their family and friends and draw their faces onto a 'family tree'. see below, I planned this acitivity so we could find out a little more about the children's lives outside of preschool etc. Anyway, the observations came back as..... 'holds pencil well, in left hand', 'picked up pencil in right hand' arrrrrrrrrgh.... nothing about what the child said, who was whom in the drawings.... I don't think that would happen now since training... staff sometimes worry so much about observing that they can forget why they are doing it.. still... even now.... after all this time..
Focussed Activity Plan
Develop a sense of community
In a large group, introduce the activity by talking about what a family is. Look at the pictures together, noticing similarities and differences e.g., some may be the traditional nuclear family, some extended, some single parent etc.
Invite children to draw pictures of their own family on the paper trees during the session, assisting them to label the pictures appropriately.
NB ensure you are aware of any children who may not live in a traditional family so you can adjust your approach.
Who do you live with? Where do you live? How many people share your home, who are they? Mummy, daddy, brother, sister, grandparents (be aware of individual differences in forms of address), uncle, auntie, cousins
Pictures of different types of families from magazines, books or personal collections, tree-shaped paper, pencils, pens, crayons etc.
Dry Wipe Pen/Board
Adult to observe:
Personal Social and Emotional Development
Does the child show a strong sense of self as a member of different communities, such as their family Do they show affection and concern for special people
Does the child make connections between different parts of their life experience
Communication Language and Literacy
Do they listen to others in one-to-one or small groups when conversation interests them
Can they give meaning to their marks
Knowledge and Understanding of the World
Are they interested in others and their families
Do they have a sense of own immediate family and relations