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Observing Children


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I have started a post graduate course on Reflective practice in the foundation stage.

For my first assignment I have to observe two children and determine whether they are engaged in simple or complex play. :(

 

What I need help with is a simple proforma on which to observe the children. I am one of those people who normally write loads of notes and then misses what the children are actually doing. xD

 

If you have a sheet that you use, could you post them so that I can have a look?

 

Thanks in advance :o

 

Lorna

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Hi lorna

i'm doing a post gradualte course as well . My relfective asignament is about any aspect of change within my classroom and i'm still trying to decide what and wehre to do. hink i will do developing construction play among girls and vlaue of adult intervention in this area. Sounds a mouthful!!!!!

All the best with your assiganment. I'll have a look and seee if i have anything that will be of use to you.

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When we are obsering kids we have this really simple form to use. It has the following headings:

*Name of Child(ren)

* Date

*Activity/Objective looking at

*Comments

 

Really simple and if we've looked at mroe than 1 child we just photocopy it and put it in their evidence folders.

This is for my reception kids, but I sometimes use it on my Y1s too, especially when I've got TA help- I'll get them to make brief notes on how the kids did and I can stick it to my planning sheets for evaluation and notes etc.

Don't know if that's the kind of thing you are looking for.

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Hi Lorna... we've started using an event sampling sheet..(copied from a magazine ! ...Child Ed. I think) The idea of it is to take brief samples of observation of what a child is doing. We have found it really useful. It is on a grid and the headings at the top are :

TIME, WHERE ? , WHO WITH ? , LANGUAGE USED, COMMENT

 

We then observe each child approx. 6 times on a morning

 

So far we have just used this on individual children but we thought we could extend and adapt it to use it on an area to gain information on the different ways it is used. We have found this a useful and manageable way to do observations of all of the children and it does give you an insight into their many interactions etc.

 

Hope this is of some use to you.

 

Good luck with the assignment !

 

Best wishes

Galleon :oxD:(

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Thanks for the ideas...

The example we saw on a video showed observations being taken evey 30 seconds over a period of 10 minutes or so..

It said about devising a code to use to save writing loads... I will try some of the ideas above however for ledd formal observations.

 

L

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Hi Lorna -

Have you read our Observation, Assessment and Recording article? It has a number of template documents you can download and work with.

 

They may not be suitable for your particular assignment, but if you haven't already found it you can get there by clicking here. :)

 

Good luck with it!

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hi

 

i'm also doing a postgrad course and have to observe and/or interview a child for a day to gain their perspective on a day at school. The postgrad class includes Foundation stage, primary and secondary school teachers so I'm sure some interesting comparisons will be drawn when we feedback!

 

I also tend to write reams when observing and am trying to train myself to be more concise.

 

An good planning and assessment book by Vicky Hutchins - Right From The Start offers this format for observation:

(this is also one of her examples)

 

Sarah 3 years 9months

 

Evidence (example or observation)- used mosaic shapes to make a pattern, starting by filling up edgesalong each side then filling in centre. Brought it to shown a member of staff.

Area of learning- PSE and Mathematical development

What does it tell us about this child's learning and development?-Persevered with self chosen activity until completed without help. Proud of her achievement and first time she has wanted to show it to staff. When asked how she managed to complete it alone, she said " Because I ate alot".

Implications for planning- Encourage her to talk to staff about whayt she has been doing. Encourage her to try pattern making again.

 

I currently use post-it notes just to jot observations on but hope soon introduce a more systematic way using the above format.

 

Lizz :o

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