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A Plea For Help With Research


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Parent_Obs_1_._sheet.docDear Colleagues,

 

I am writing to ask for your help in a piece of research I am conducting as part of my studies in ECE. I appreciate that the holidays have begun and that time is precious. Your help would involve your own children and not your pupils. I can guarantee complete anonymity.

 

Briefly, what I am looking at is children's engagement with environmental print (books, comics, posters, food packaging, signs, billboards, wallpaper, any form of print) in the home and outside of any setting they attend.

 

It seems to me that pre-schoolers today are the most media-literate generation ever. The knowledge and experience they acquire in the home with their families/carers before attending settings and throughout their early years are phenomenal and if we are to work in true partnership with parents it is essential that we recognise this knowledge and utilise it on a dalily basis when we are planning and working with the children.

 

The parents of my key work children have recently completed the observation sheet. Originally my idea was to use these observations to show the parents how much their children were engaging in learning at home without recourse to workbooks and 'teach your child to read' schemes that many parents feel pressured to purchae for use at home. I have discovered so much more about the children themselves - skills they have, fears, favourites and even in this small snap-shot, a hint at learning styles. At this point I have only worked with my key work families whom I know exceptionally well and whom I have home visited to explain and demonstrate what is meant by environmental print. I'm humbled by their trust and confidence in me and the relationships we have formed.

 

My study is still very much in the early stages and I need an awful lot more if I am to pursue this aspect. My plea for help to you is for parents of children aged birth to five to complete one of my observation sheets. This is for one day only, from when your children wake up until they go to bed. I need to ask you to take off your practitioner hats and put on your mummy and daddy hats. I'm not looking for analysis, just observation.

 

I am attaching the obs sheet to this posting for you to download if you feel able to help. My parents used a note book to jot down obs and then typed up the sheet. Please forward your responses to me at jane.sothcott@talk21.com and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any queries. I know this is a lot to ask but if you can help, I would appreciate your replies by the first week of September.

 

Finally, thank you to Steve for allowing me to ask for your help.

 

Happy thoughts. :o

 

Jane

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What a great idea for the parents to be able to see how much they already do with their children a great way to raise the self esteem of some too, as well as an interesting idea for research. I can't help as my children are too old (I almost feel like borrowing a child so I can join in though!)

Good Luck

Sharon

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What a great idea for the parents to be able to see how much they already do with their children a great way to raise the self esteem of some too, as well as an interesting idea for research. I can't help as my children are too old (I almost feel like borrowing a child so I can join in though!)

Good Luck

Sharon

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Thank you so much for your kind words Sharon.

 

I was quite nervous about posting my request for help but having seen so much co-operation and support between members I thought if anyone could help it would be the FSF members.

 

Very best wishes.

 

Jane

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I'll help. My daughter is 2y 1m and I childmind 2 boys - one 2 next week and one 8 months.

 

Can I just clarify what you want. Just obs of times they have engaged with print or obs of EVERYTHING for you to judge what is engagement?

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I'll help. My daughter is 2y 1m and I childmind 2 boys - one 2 next week and one 8 months.

 

Can I just clarify what you want. Just obs of times they have engaged with print or obs of EVERYTHING for you to judge what is engagement?

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Thank you so much. That's a good point and I'm glad you raised it. At this point in time I'm not looking to judge. Obviously you know your own children and those you care for. I'm just looking for observations of interaction with print (anything from alphabet pasta, holding books the right way up, tracing numbers/signs on gateposts etc.) expressions, pointing or speaking when they see something they recognise like Bob the Builder on the front of a comic at the newsagents, shopping lists and all of those 'what does that say?' and 'why' questions. Really anything that you consider as a parent/carer.

 

I hope that helps and again thank you for your support.

 

Jane

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  • 2 weeks later...

I keep remembering half way thru the day about this!

I am doing it today tho as the first thing I heard when I woke up was my 2 year old 'reading' to herself!

She has just been sitting with me at the pc and I wondered if you wanted those sorts of things too - she also knows which numbers on the remote control give her ceebeebies! I will put them in for now but could you let me know if I'm off hte mark please!

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I keep remembering half way thru the day about this!

I am doing it today tho as the first thing I heard when I woke up was my 2 year old 'reading' to herself!

She has just been sitting with me at the pc and I wondered if you wanted those sorts of things too - she also knows which numbers on the remote control give her ceebeebies! I will put them in for now but could you let me know if I'm off hte mark please!

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Hi,

 

sorry I took a while to get back to you. This is exactly the sort of observation I was hoping to hear about! Teletext, text messages, key pads are all parts of environmental print. Also please include times when you read stories to your daughter as well as when your daughter reads to herself.

 

This is so exciting - thank you again for your support. So far I think there have been about 40 downloads and I am overwhelmed by members generosity in giving their time. I can't wait to start receiving responses.

 

Very best wishes. :D:o

 

Jane

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  • 2 weeks later...

A few weeks ago I posted a plea for help with research and would just like to send a gentle reminder to all those kind people who downloaded my obs. sheet. :)

 

I appreciate that many people are away and also that holiday time is precious but so far I haven't had any completed responses. :(

 

If a full day obs is too much then just a couple would be fine, just to give me a general over-view.

 

Thank you in anticipation.

 

:o Jane xD

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xD  :wacko:  :(  :o  soooo sorry - I forgot all about finishing it!!

Will do it tomorrow honest guv  :)

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Gawd Bless You M'am. Honestly thank you :)

 

:( Jane :(

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Just found your completed obs sheet - thank you so much it is brilliant and also thank you for making it available on the FSF. I see that it has already been downloaded by several others who having seen yours may be tempted to have a go themselves.

 

Your daughter sounds delightful and I wonder if you were surprised by the extent of her knowledge, awareness and understanding of language/literacy through her day to day routine.

 

I'm sending a big hug to you both :D

 

:) Jane :)

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Thx Jane. I originally posted it as I was too lazy to go to email!! However it did occur to me that in being 'brave' others may be more inclined to do one! I will really try to get some obs on our mindies but up to now I've been expecting Ofsted and now I go back to preschool this week!

 

Our older daughter was the same (and actually so was I) when it came to literacy so it's not unexpected but I found there was just too much to write! Hope it helps you anyway and I'd love to read hte finished research.

Tracey

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