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The Process of Observation in the Classroom

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The process of observing one child for half an hour allowed me to almost see the thought process that is going on in their head. The pre school aged girl I observed started off playing by herself but as the video progressed you could see her changing her mind and wanting to play with others. As you see her become more comfortable with the environment and herself it seemed to comfort her into playing with a larger group. When the video began she seemed like a very quiet little girl but as the video progressed you could see her opening up after interacting with others in her class, she began to talk and show emotions to others and her teachers and it allowed me to see what she was learning and observing while she was playing in the classroom. This allowed me to connect the different developmentally appropriate activities she was doing and how she was learning from them in her environment.

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For observation I chose to observe two young boys around the age of three in the first video for this section but watched the video two separate times to observe each child. The first boy I observed was the one in the rain boots and blue shirt. One big difference I noticed about how he interacted was he was not very happy when someone would try and take or play with something that he was playing with, at one point he even became physical with another classmate. The violent interaction was something that I did not witness with the other child I observed in the class, the young boy with the white and blue baseball tee. Learning to interact with others in and their emotions is important at this age, you could see the little boy in the baseball tee could tell that the other boy was mad which is why he hit him, he then decided to give the other boy a break before playing with him again. At the same point the boy with the rain boots was told that his hitting was not ok and to tell his friend that he was sorry, the child could see that his friend was upset and acknowledged that as well. Both became upset when someone did try and take something, they believed was theirs away from them and verbally got louder until they received their object back. Both boys showed their ability and want to play alone and also with others in the class. I noticed that the boy with the baseball tee seemed to play with a larger variety of objects in the classroom vs the first child I observed who was more fixated on one or two toys. The boy in the baseball tee played with a lot of objects that he then pretended to eat and drink, showcasing his cognitive ability to put a past experience and object with the present.Both children communicated very well with one another when they were playing together and were able to talk about what they were doing and playing. I believe observing how children communicate between one another during play is important because at this age you have different levels and communication abilities. Being able to make sure a child is learning to communicate is important because if not that is when intervention may need to happen to figure out issues that I child might be having with being able to communicate with others. 

After observing both children separately it was interested what I missed with each child after concentrating on just one child each time that I watched it. I went into the video knowing that children all learn differently and that all kids at the same age might not necessarily be at the same levels, cognitively, emotionally or physically and after observing and contrasting between the two videos that was even more apparent. I went into this observation specifically with the idea of watching children interact in a classroom but really child and classroom observations are great for not only helping children and assessing their needs but to also look at what is working in classrooms and what sparks learning and development and how important it is to have a classroom that is suitable to all types of learners.

There are several educational uses observation in the classroomand that is what I experienced with this assignment. By observing classrooms, you to really see what takes place in classrooms, what is working and what is not. You get an idea of how a classroom is working to increase children’s development at different levels. We learned a lot about the importance of play this past semester and I while I was doing my observations, I really connected back to our first few weeks of class when we learned about psychological theories and theorists that showed how play and interactions played such an important role in a child’s development. Specifically, the relationship between social interactions through play and their development which was theorized in multiple theorists like Piaget and Erickson while also connecting to Piaget and Erikson who all agreed that a child uses play for self-teaching. 

 All of these theories came through while do my observation. Play contributes to the growth in many areas of a child’s life cognitively and physically through the exploration of motor and sensory skills that happens during play, and social and emotionally by learning to play with others.The classroom observations were a great way to connect what we learned this semester to actual child development that was developmentally appropriate.  

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