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Planned Observations


Guest kelh81
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Hi,

 

I'm fairly new to the forumm and so far have really enjoyed reading all of the posts here, they've made me realise that other people have the same concerns and struggles as me! One area I'm not very confident in, however, is observing the children. I do lots of 'catch them as you can' observations but can't really get my head around planned obs. Do you plan the activity, area, or which children to watch? If you choose a particular child/ small group, is it in a planned area/ activity or just watching what they happen to choose at that time? Also, if you do plan the activity/ area, how do you choose what to focus on for the observation?! The Nursery teacher advised me to plan to observe one child per day for 5-10 mins at an activity of their choice.

 

I hope that this makes sense, perhaps 9.40pm isn't the best time to think about it!

 

K :o

Edited by kelh81
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I would suggest that you practice your planned obs. Look at the child's development profile, or notes about 'next steps' and think about an area where you may be able to either set this up or witness it spontaneously.

 

Ask the Nursery Teacher if there are any specific observations they would like you to make.

 

There's no point observing for observing's sake. An observation that cannot be used is largely a waste of time and effort as it will be discarded so you need to think about what it is you want to observe first.

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Hi there,

 

I agree, observation time is precious so you want to make the most of it. I have been experimenting with different observation styles for longer observations. I have used sociograms for children when I want to know who they play/interact with, which can also include snippets of conversation. I have been using trackers - a floor plan of the setting to see which areas a child makes use of and which they don't. I made sure I had sufficient space to annotate comments as well as the route the child took in a period of say 10 - 20 minutes. Then I think focussing on a set area and seeing who makes use of it - could be role play, or snack and do a full narrative observation. If you have access to a video camera, all the better. It means you can reply the bits you need to and certainly helps you to see things you would otherwise miss.

 

Enjoy trying out different methods, as we are all different. Good luck!

 

Lesley :o

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Great advice so far.

You could also have a bit of a focus on the children's speaking and listening skills, and use your observation times to looks closely at how they communicate with their peers and with other adults. Writing down what they say can be tricky if they're very verbal, and you might have to get used to devising your own shorthand :o On the whole though, writing down the words and simple sentences the child says can tell you a great deal about their thinking processes, their CLL skills obviously, their sociability, independence, creativity, and so on. And if you're lucky, they'll say something that you can see clearly "ticks some boxes" in PSRN, KUW and CD too! xD

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