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Useful Words/phases


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Hi all, sorry if this is a little long, but hopefully one everyone will find useful.


I am putting together a list of words and means for staff to use in observations, i know we will never get them all, but staff are really finding this hard, as the old manager did everything for them, so in one way lucky them, but im not going to do that for them, i have far to much other stuff to do!!!!! xD

They are very good and do want to learn, so i want to help them as much as possible.


I have taken a few examples from the obs i found on this site already to. I am also trying to keep it as simple as i can, as they have a lot to learn and dont want to overload them, but it is something they need to pick up ASAP, as they should already be doing this!!


I'll list what i have already and the way i am doing it, incase im not making sense of what i want, and if anyone has more please add them.

Im sure this is something everyone will find useful. Especially when the mind goes blank!!! :o


Useful Words and Sentences for Observations



• Language

• Eye contact

• Facial Expressions

Grammar - Makes notes on what they say


• If there is a mistake in pronunciation, record it how it was said. (Child said ’quarium, but you know they meant Aquarium, make sure you write what they said, then you can mention this in the evaluation, next step stage.

• If you are writing down their sentences, then ensure you put what they said, many children will say things in the wrong tense, but make sure this is noted. (Child says ‘The baby falls out’ instead of the way we would say it ‘the baby fell out’).

These are all areas of development, and will help you in the future. Don’t write things down the correct way, do it there way, then if you are observing again and they say something correctly you will be able to see how they are developing.


Meanings of words and useful words to use in recording observations


Solitary play – playing alone

Parellel play – when children play along side each other, but do not discuss the task.

Spectator play – watching other people play, but not joining in.

Associative play – playing with other children.

Motor skills – this is when a movement involves the muscles in your body - Gross motor and fine motor skills develop in tandem because many activities depend on the co-ordination of both sorts of skills. At 3 months you may notice your baby bringing his hands together over his chest as he lies on his back (a gross motor skill) and then playing with his hands (a fine motor skill). Even filling a shape sorter box, at about 18 months, for example, requires that your baby be able to use gross motor skills to hold his body steady enough to grasp the shapes firmly and fine motor skills to twist or turn each shape so that it fits into its appropriate hole.

Gross Motor Skills – Uses larger movements – leg, arm, feet muscles or your entire body. Like crawling, running or jumping.

Fine Motor Skills - are those smaller actions like picking things up between the thumb and finger or using the toes to wriggle into sand or the lips and tongue to taste and feel objects.

Co-operative play – playing together, for example role play

Imaginative play – acting/drama/use of imagination

Construction partnership – building a structure together.

Self confidence

Self esteem






Totally absorbed

Complete a task unaided

Complete a task unprompted

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Wow, this looks a really great list as I read it quickly. Will reread tomorrow when I have more time but just wanted to say well done and I am sure your team will find it really helpful.


Nicky Sussex :oxD

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