Observation

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FS 120
Preschool Observation

You may go to our Child Development Center on campus, or a preschool in the local area that is on the list I will supply you. The list is of facilities that the department knows are quality preschools. You will need to make arrangements, in advance, for your visit. It might be wise to have several options available to you. You should not wait until the lastminute, because it may cause you real problems as to completing this observation.

When you go to the preschool please check in and let them know that you are a Grossmont College student. Try to be as unobtrusive as possible, staying out of the way, and being quiet. You will learn what you need to mostly by observation. Part of being a “naturalistic” observer is to remain aloof, so if a childcomes up to you, let them know who you are and tell them that you are working. Being a naturalistic observer also means to go somewhere and observe children you are unfamiliar with. Do not go to the same class/school where you may work or classroom that your child attends because you will have too much information and cannot be without knowledge/prejudice. Do not engage in a lot of conversation,because that hinders your ability to observe in the manner you should. You should NEVER observe your own child or a child you are related to!!!!
Be sure to thank your contact at the school before leaving.

Remember the following when doing and turning in this paper:

Student Learning Outcome: You will integrate and apply current theory, research and developmentally appropriate practices to theobservation, documentation and unbiased analysis of a preschool child’s behavior and language.
This means you will need to relate what you observe to the material within the book and the norms given in the book.
I will not accept the assignment
• If you observe a child not in the age range.
• Your observation is not in a licensed child-care or preschool setting
• You do not turn(e-mail or mail) your raw notes in with the paper.
• You do not provide the completed cover sheet.
When you arrive at the school, check in at the main office or with the teacher, director or person in charge. Let them know you are a Grossmont College Student and why you are there. Have them sign the cover sheet!
Here is what you will observe:

The Setting (8 points)
When you havearrived at the preschool you will be observing in, here is what you will be looking for at the beginning:
1. Give a description of the setting including
• What is your first opinion of what you see – does it represent children or not?
• Is the area geared toward children (furniture, sinks, etc.) or is all of this for adults only i.e. is it age appropriate?
• Describe theroom as if your eyes were your camera
2. What is the mood, feel and sound like in the school? Look at this in terms of the fact that it is a place for children.
3. How welcoming does the school appear to be to families? How are they greeted, what resources are available to them.
4. Does the school appear to respect diversity by using pictures and other materials representing all groups?Does it appear to represent all groups in the staff and children that go there?
5. What happens at the arrival of people - is it welcoming or is no attention paid to this?
6. Does it appear that the rooms are logically arranged and safe for children to play and explore? What safety precautions do you observe?
7. What is the quality of interactions that you see? This can be withstaff/staff, staff/parent, or staff/child.

Remember this area is only worth 5 points and don’t spend a great deal of time on this part…. Some students have spent almost half their paper on this, way too much information. Be concise, please.

The Child (5 points)
You will be observing preschoolers from ages 3 1/2 to 5 years. DO NOT select a child that is younger than 3 years and six months at the...
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