Nursery School Observation Essay, Research Paper
Early Childhood Activities Observation # 2
1) Identify the Focus
2) 10 Expectations
1- I expected that before any activity in which food was handled, prepared, or eaten, (snack time) the teacher would direct and encourage the children to wash and dry their hands (Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, George S. Morrison, 259).
2- I expected for the teacher to include the class in cleaning up after meals and or snack (Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, George S. Morrison, 261)
3- I expected that the teacher would allocate extended periods of time (at least one hour) for children to engage in free play (DAP in Early Childhood Programs, NAEYC, 126).
4- I expected for teachers to use proactive guidance, in which teachers and children anticipate possible problems and consider acceptable solutions (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 31).
5- I expected for health and safety limits to be identified and enforced (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 31).
6- I expected for group activities to be at a minimum, such as circle time (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 33).
7- I expected the teacher to calm children when the need arises (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 29).
8- I expected the class to be guided by consistency, structure, and routine (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 30).
9- I expected for the teacher to be a good role model (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 42).
10- I expected the teacher to listen to her children and talk with them (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 36).
Type of School- Nursery School
Type of Program- ?
Age of Children- 4
(include some traits) Very hyper, short attention span, some very shy, and very loud.
Number of Children- 7
Number of Adults- 1
12:30 P.M 1:15 > Arrival/ free play
1:15-1:40 > Dance time
2:50-3:00>free play/ dismissal
Floor Plan- see next page
The class room had very little visible materials. Everything was put away in drawers and compartments. I saw crayons, pencils, books and puzzles, records and tapes, blocks and toys. The room was decorated accordingly to the season, spring, along with Easter eggs and bunny rabbits. What I found very unique was when you looked up at the ceiling, the light was an orange-yellow glowing ball. This represented the sun and there were models of the planets and stars revolving around it. As you went down the wall the paint got lighter and lighter until it was a very pale baby blue with painted white clouds. Very cute.
What did you see?
When I walked into the room the first thing I noticed were the unique decorations on the ceiling and walls. The second thing I noticed was that it was Mathew s birthday and he got to wear the birthday crown for the day. I could tell from the expression on his face that he felt very special for wearing it. As children were arriving they would join the class at the table and play with toys that were scattered on the tabletop. While they were playing, the teacher was asking them questions such as How was you vacation Micheal? Where did you go again? What did you do there? What were your favorite things to do? Why? How about everyone else? Has anyone else ever been on an airplane before? What did you like about it? What didn t you like about it? What did you get for your birthday Mathew.
Several kids were absent that day. At 1:15, they began dance time. They gathered in the center of the room and stood at the edge of the carpet. Dance time was a chance for the kids to visit the world. They played songs from Ireland while dancing the Irish gig, they went to Mexico where they danced around a sombrero, they went to Egypt where they walked like an Egyptian. and they went to Australia where they all jumped around like kangaroos. Then they put there heads down on their table and rested for five minutes. After eating cupcakes in celebration of Matt s birthday it was time for Who wants to be a millionaire? during circle time. Besides the usual calendar, pledge of allegiance, and a short story, they had some pretty fun and interesting activities during circle time. The game was called Who wants to be a millionaire? played a little differently from the original television game show. The kids loved this game because the teacher would ask them a question such as, What s inside our bodies that helps us breath? or, What does the heart do in our bodies. and if they answered correctly she would reward them with fake money that looked real and really amused them. She would try and give everyone a chance to answer but there was a very shy and quiet girl that would hesitate before speaking, and then there was this very loud boy who would yell out the answer before giving her a chance. The teacher told him to stop but didn t take any further actions which caused him to repeat his behavior. Then the class participated in coloring Mr.Blood as their project for the day and after cleaning up they played until they all got picked up and went home.
5. Reflections: expectations +observation= reflections
Personally, I think this is a great school. Compared to my previous observations, I found this one to be the closest to developmentally appropriate practices. I enjoyed seeing the teacher interacting with the children and getting down on their level instead of constantly standing over them and making them feel inferior. I noticed that the teacher would get involved in their conversations and make them feel special by actually being interested in what they had to say. (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 36). I noticed that the teacher kept a daily routine and had no problem directing the children from one activity to the next because they were used to it by now (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 30). One thing that I thought should have had a stronger approach was the situation with the little girl being nervous and afraid to answer and participate in the Who wants to be a millionaire game. If the teacher would ve taken a step further by disqualifying the boy who was misbehaving it might have had a better effect (A Child Goes Forth, Barbara J. Taylor, 29). I was happy to see that the children were engaged in cleaning up after activities and snack (Fundamentals of Early Childhood Education, George S. Morrison, 261). Group activities were not kept on a minimum. They had group activities though out the entire day. I, on the other hand, do not believe that it was DIP mainly because the kids were interested and actively involved in each activity. Overall I believe that this is a pleasant environment for a preschooler and that Teacher was a patient, caring. and understanding person that helped her students develop self-esteem and self discipline.
Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015
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Understanding life span and how one develops physically, psychology and cognitively is important. For the purpose of this assignment, the subject used for the observation was a 16 year old male named James. He is currently living with his parents and has one older sister who is attending college out of town. James is in the 11th grade and will be turning seventeen in just a few weeks. He appeared to be a fairly well rounded young man who makes good grades in school and loves playing football. Most of his free time is spent working out as he works to improve his football skills. In addition, he is spending a great deal of time going to skills camps and is just beginning the recruitment phase for college football. This observation took place at his home on a Sunday afternoon.
The ages between 12 and 19 are identified as the age of adolescence. During this period of development, there are many changes that take places within an individual. One of the greatest changes that occur is physically. As children begin to mature and development in their teens, there is a significant growth in weight and height. It is not unusual for females to gain about 20 pounds a year and males 25 pounds a year during the peak of their growth spurts. This is the stage known as puberty when the physical body moves from being that of a child to adulthood. Females will have development in their breast as well as the start of their menstrual cycles. For males, they begin to develop a more masculine look, including body hair and the growth of the testes and scrotum. This physical maturation is the result of changing levels of hormones in the body. When puberty begins there can be psychological consequences for either early or later development. Boys who mature early have been found to more independent and self-confident. For girls, early maturation can have the opposite effect. On the other side of the coin, is the late maturation which for males can lead them to be more frustrated while for females, females have more self-confidence. For James he had a tremendous change in his physical appearance around the age of 12. His mother and he showed me some pictures in which James was, for lack of a better description, a butter ball. He was stout and round. He began to experience physical growth as he began to get taller. At the same time, his baby fat began to disappear. James stated that during this period he also became interested in working out and getting into shape. Part of the reason for this desire he said was because when he was 11 years old, he experienced some really bad headaches. While having those headaches, which were very similar to migraines, he was not able to do much. He would go to school but have a difficult time concentrating on his school work. For the past four years, James has developed physically to that of a young man. He stated he currently is 6 feet 4 Â½ inches tall and weighs 260 pounds.
The psychosocial development during adolescence is often viewed as a struggle as young people what has been identified as a movement towards independence. Among the issues that individuals between the ages of 12 and 19 experience the struggle with sense of identity. During this stage individuals will typically feeling awkward or strange about one's self and one's body. This is just a part of accepting the changes that are taking place. While not sure of themselves, many adolescents will focus on self, alternating between high expectations and poor self-esteem. They will also feel pressures to fit in with their social group and as a result their interests and clothing style will be influenced by peer group it was obvious that James is well grounded with good friends. His mother talked about his group of friends and how just about every Friday night between 8 and 12 of them usually wind up at one of their homes, just hanging out and having a good time. At the same time, James has a girlfriend who is typically goes out with on Saturday nights. They go to the same school and have several classes together, so every now and then; James stated they might study together. I got the impression from talking with James and his mother that James is pretty much a normal teenager. He has his friends, family and his sport, football.
Parents often have difficulty understanding their children during this stage of development. One of the signals that a child is going through adolescence is moodiness. Nothing makes them happy. Also, children tend to show their independence by speaking up for themselves. They may not always agree with their parents and will express themselves. Adolescents realize that their parents are not perfect which can come as a shock to some. It causes friction in the parent-child relationship. This is when adolescents want to show their independence. It is a difficult time for both the parents and the adolescents as their world evolves and changes as adolescents test the rules and limits they have. As children mature they develop their own ideals that may not be the same as their parents. It is difficult for parents to realize their child is growing up. When adolescents experiment with thins such as sex, smoking, alcohol and drugs it can be a real testing time for everyone. The one fact that his mother made about James was how independent he is. It has been difficult for her and his father to realize he is very much his own person. Since he started to drive, James has had much more freedom than ever before. However, his mother stated she and his father trust their son and so far he has not done anything to make them not trust him.
Cognitively, adolescents acquire the ability to think systematically about all logical relationships within a problem. The transition from concrete thinking to formal logical operations occurs over time. As with physical development and psychosocial development, cognitive development among adolescents varies from each individual based on his ability. Some adolescents may be able to apply logical operations to school work long before they are able to apply them to personal dilemmas. When emotional issues arise, they often interfere with an adolescent's ability to think in more complex ways. The ability to consider possibilities, as well as facts, may influence decision making, in either positive or negative ways. James is rather good student. He typically makes all B's and some A's. He stated that school is not that difficult and that he does not have to spend hours studying every night. He did state that when it comes test time, he puts in more time preparing for them.
During early adolescence, the use of more complex thinking is focused on personal decision making in school and home environments. The early adolescent begins to demonstrate use of formal logical operations in schoolwork. The early adolescent begins to form and verbalize his/her own thoughts and views on a variety of topics, usually more related to his/her own life, such as which sports are better to play and which groups are better to be included in. The focus of middle adolescence often expands to include more philosophical and futuristic concerns. The middle adolescent often questions more extensively as well as to analyze everything more extensively. The middle adolescent thinks about and begins to form his/her own code of ethics regarding what is right and what is wrong. During late adolescence, complex thinking processes are used to focus on less self-centered concepts as well as personal decision making. The late adolescent has increased thoughts about more global concepts such as justice, history, politics, and patriotism. It is also by late adolescence that the individual has developed idealistic views. As the adolescence stage is coming to a close, the late adolescent begins to focus thinking on making career decisions as well as what his role will be as an adult in society. James is at the age where he is looking ahead to college. One of the facts that were shared was the opportunity to play college football. Taking that in consideration, James is spending a great deal of time going to spring games and events called junior days when high school players are invited to college campuses to meet coaches and learn more about football programs. He is taking this journey rather seriously as he wants to make the right decision about college. The years between 12 and 19 are a significant period of growth and development as the individual becomes his or her own person. It is a difficult time as the adolescent is often challenged by what he/she learns. However it also the stage of life that helps to define who the individual is.
Human growth and development theories have many similarities as well as differences. One of the theories that is very detailed and provides a great deal of information is the one developed by Erik Erickson. In his theory, Erickson described eight stages of development that have what he called crisis for psychological growth. According to this theory, each individual must go through the crisis in each stage before moving on to the next stage of development. In addition to the crisis for each stage, Erikson also provided an age range for each stage and the steps that take place in each stage. Stage one of Erikson's theories of human growth and development is Basic trust versus mistrust and occurs during infancy. In this stage, Erikson argued that the foundation for human growth and development can be found. At this stage, infants are getting used to the world and the way their parents bond with the infant is critical to the development of trust. This is the stage when the infant is dependent upon the mother for basic needs such as feeding and being comforted, teething, sleeping Erikson believed that there had to be a balance of trust and mistrust so that infants can develop hope which leads to the infants' ability to be open to new experiences as well as having some wariness regarding the discomfort or danger that may arise. Stage two is defined as Autonomy versus Shame and Doubt by Erikson. This stage begins around the age of one and continues until age 3. During this stage, children gradually come to understand that they can control their own actions. This when children begin to show signs of independence. There is much more self control as well as signs of willpower on the part of the child. According to Erikson, a blend of autonomy, shame and doubt will lead to will, the knowledge that, within limits, children can act on their world intentionally.
The third stage of Erikson's human growth and development theory is Initiative versus guilt. This takes place between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. This is the stage when children begin to exploration and discovery, adventure and play. Usually between the ages of 3 and 4, parents allow their child to take on more responsibilities such as dressing themselves. This is also the stage where children begin to identify more with adults, especially their parents. Play begins to have a purpose as children explore adult's roles and also begin to explore their environment on their own. They ask a lot of questions during this stage as well.
The fourth stage occurs between 6 and 12 years of age according to Erikson. He identified this stage as Industry versus Inferiority. During this stage, children experience learning, creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge, therefore developing a sense of industry. This stage is also a very social stage of development which can lead to experiences with unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority with peers. It is also the stage when there are issues with competency and self-esteem. Erikson was of the opinion that during this stage, relationships change as parents are no longer considered to be the complete authority as they once were. Instead there are outside forces such as school and the neighborhood which impacts how an individual develops opinions and ideas.
The fifth stage was identified by Erikson as Identity versus. Role Confusion, This is typically the stage of adolescence and occurs between the ages of 12 and 18. During this stage, the shift moves from the concept of what is done to us to what we do. This is when there is a great deal of growth with one's own identity. In this stage, Erikson stated life gets more complicated. Not only do individuals search for who they are but they struggle with issues of social interactions and moral issues.
Intimacy and Solidarity versus. Isolation is the sixth stage. Erikson stated that this is the age of young adulthood as it begins around age 18 and continues until age 35. In this stage, it is a period when individuals are seeking mutually satisfying relationships, it is the stage when many get married and start families. If this stage is successful, individuals experience intimacy on a deep level, if there is failure with establishing families then individuals often experience isolation and distance from others. It is the stage where having satisfying relationships is critical. Friendships and marriage are the most significant relationships individuals can have.
The seventh stage Erickson called generatively versus. Self absorption or Stagnation. This stage is actually middle age and starts at age 35 and continues until around age 65. During this stage, Erickson stated work is most crucial. He observed that middle-age is when individuals tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work as well as with issues surrounding our family. During this stage individuals are also perceived as being in charge. This is a role that is longed for as one develops and matures. The significant task in this stage is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity. In this stage individuals often fear inactivity and meaninglessness. Major life changes occur as children grow up and leave home and other relationships evolve and change.
The eighth and last stage of Erikson's human growth and development theory is called Integrity versus. Despair. This occurs during late Adulthood from age 65 and older. It is during this stage that Erikson stated individuals look back on their lives and what they have accomplished. If the individual looks back with happiness and are content, feeling fulfilled with a deep sense that life has meaning and they have made a contribution to life, they experience what Erikson calls integrity. Some adults may reach this stage and despair at their experiences and perceived failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering "Was the trip worth it?" The strength comes from a wisdom that the world is very large and at this stage individuals have a detached concern for the whole of life, accepting death as the completion of life.
One of the reasons that Erikson's theory is so good is the fact that he was able to tie together important psychological development across the entire life span. He also recognized that one's environment played a significant role in one's human growth and development. Erikson felt the course of development is determined by the interaction of the body, mind and cultural influences.
In the case of James, he is in the fifth stage that Erikson described. This can be a difficult time for anyone who is trying to discover who he/she is. In spending time with James, I was impressed with how well he seemed to know who he is and where he is headed with his future. While he has not decided on his future career goals yet, he does have ideas about either eventually getting a degree in Accounting so he can work at his father's firm or maybe major in education and become a high school teacher and football coach.
Overall I found James to be a typical teen age male who is enjoying his life as it is for now. He has a supportive family who is encouraging him to continue to play football while expecting him to make good grades in school. It was evident from this observation that this is close knit family who enjoys being together. At the same time, James has his own life with his friends and his own interests. It would appear that James is on track to develop into a young adult with many possibilities in his future.
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Spending time in the four elementary classrooms was a great experience. Observing the students from the different grade levels taught me a lot on how a child can change over a couple year periods. Just by watching I learned a great deal about being in the profession and the advantages and disadvantages of teaching the elementary grade levels in general. Teaching a 1st grade class is a whole different then being a teacher and in a 6th grade classroom. It is almost like they are two different professions because the way you approach teaching to the students is very different. The children are at very different levels in their life and act the age they are in the classroom. This experience actually changed my mind on what grade level I thought I would like to teach at and what was most compatible to me. The observing project was designed to show myself and other students how different it actually is to be a teacher in the primary and intermediate grade levels and the experiences they deal with everyday.
While visiting Mrs. Davies' classroom the first thing I happened to notice was how small the children actually were. There were 18 children in the classroom and there was a wide range of different cultures. They were very lovable and full of energy. When I came in they were reading a thanksgiving story with the student teacher. They seemed to be very excited about everything going on in the story and asked a lot of questions. Once they were finished with that they all worked independently on a turkey art project, their picture poem or read a book. While looking around I noticed that they had great imaginations and understood what they were doing. Sometimes they had to be reminded to stay on task and be quiet but for the most part they were good. Mrs. Davies used different rhythms and sayings to get them to calm down. They were called "two fingers", "shake it out" and "big ears". They seemed to work very well and showed she had good control over the classroom. After this they did K/W/L's about thanksgiving on the carpet. They seemed to understand what they were being taught because the students asked a lot of questions and got involved and answered what they knew by raising their hands but at the same time they were all a little antsy because they knew their snack break was soon. The whole time I was observing there was a teacher aid helping her teacher out through her lessons. Overall, I really enjoyed watching this 1st grade class in action.
There were many advantages and disadvantages of the 1st grade level that I noticed while observing. I liked how they were very attentive and eager to learn. It was like they could not wait to learn something new. They also adored the teacher and showed a lot of respect for her. This is not always the case in higher level grades. The students needed to be reminded that they were doing a good job on assignments and projects because they seek appraisal from their teacher and like to be rewarded for their good deeds. Mrs. Davies was very good about this by giving out stickers and candy or prizes. This is something that will be easy to do but one must remember to reorganize all the students. At this grade level they were easily adaptable to routines and like to help out with everything around the classroom. The disadvantages of a 1st grade classroom were they are always on the go and usually do not sit still long so there is never a moment you can look away or take a break. Sometimes it can almost feel like you are babysitting because the children are very needy at this age. A 1st grade teacher also has the same children all day so the teacher has to keep them busy so they will not get bored, antsy and let their mind wander. 1st graders can sometimes be hard to control at times and especially by one self so I hope if I ever take that position that I have a teacher's aid helping me.
The next classroom I observed was in a different building 3-5 Kelley Elementary school. It was Mrs. Eckert's' 3rd grade class. She introduced me and they all listened closely to what she had to say. I think they liked to have a new person in the room. There were 10 boys and 11 girls and they were all a variety of cultures. I happened to come while they were making butter for the thanksgiving celebration for the end of the day. They all met on the carpet and had a chance to shake a jar of ingenance to make butter. This activity was very interesting. Some were acting very mature while a few boys got in trouble for fooling around so they had to sit at their desks. The students worked very well and interacted positively during this activity and listened to what Mrs. Eckert had to say. They seemed very interested in the project too because it was more hands-on. While they were participating in this activity I looked around the room and there were many art projects and pictures around that the students did and this showed they were very creative. I would like to observe a 3rd grade classroom again while they are doing a regular normal lesson to see how they react to that too.
The advantages were similar to the 1st grade classroom. According to my observation I noticed the 3rd graders also love to learn new things like the 1st graders. They were too adaptable to a routine and they stuck with it. They too looked up to the teacher and listened while she was speaking. The students needed to be reminded that they were doing a good job on their projects and tests because they seek appraisal from their teacher and like to be rewarded for their good deeds. Mrs. Eckert had students of the week charts and they got to be line leader if they were. There was a new student every week for this award. The disadvantages seemed too be a little different. The students had to constantly be told to calm down or listen. They were wild and hyper but I'm not sure if it was because it was a "party" day or not. A disadvantage for the students was this is a new school for them and in 3rd grade is when they started to have frequent tests and which was more then in the primary school. At this age it was noticeable that they got off topic quickly especially if they got bored doing their work so the teacher had to stickler and get after them to get it done. Mrs. Eckert made teaching a 3rd grade class very stressful.
The next classroom I observed was right down the hall in Kelley School. It was Mrs. De Porter's 5th grade class. There was an equal number of boys and girls of a variety of cultures. They were in a middle of a math lesson and going other an old math test when I arrived. They were very mature for their age and sat well at their desks. Only a few students seemed