The pictures above and below show how our teachers use observation to learn what our younger toddlers know and can do.
Above the children are throwing a ball at a picture of a turkey. Through observation the teachers can see each child's coordination, balance, how they are paying attention, following simple directions, interacting with each other, and managing their own behavior to name a few.
Below, the teachers took bottles and filled them with various items. The teachers can observe the children explore the bottles, how they interact with their peers while exploring, using words to explain what they see and what they are doing, and much more.
DCDC is still on the search for high quality Preschool Teachers. If you know anyone with an early childhood degree looking to work at one of the best centers in the area please tell them to email their resume to email@example.com.
- Dec 24th & 25th- All DCDC Programs Closed
- Dec 26th-28th & 31st- PS Bloom Rd Closed, Full Day SACK, Wall St open
- Dec 31st- Wall St and SACK closing at 4:30 pm.
- Jan 1st- All DCDC Programs Closed
- Jan 2nd-PS on Bloom Rd open, make up day.
- Jan 21st- PS on Bloom Rd Closed- Full Day SACK open
- My Toddler and Me Classes will resume on January 9th.
Why we observe children at DCDC?
Commonly heard responses are that early care and education (ECE) professionals observe children to monitor progress, to complete required assessments and screenings, and to identify learning or behavior problems.
Observation is a core piece of the assessment process and continuous quality improvement (CQI) planning. ECE professionals use observation to document a child’s learning and to inform teaching practices. But another reason for observation is to spark learning and development.
Observation helps ECE professionals look at their interactions with children, and discover how important interactions are as they get to know and support children. Observation is a way to connect with children, to discover their connections to others and to their environment. Children who feel cared for, safe, and secure interact with others and engage in their world to learn. They are more likely to gain skills, and to do better as they enter school.
We use observation as a way to:
- Gain an objective view of a child. When you really see the child, you get to know her and see more of her abilities, interests, and personal characteristics. Knowing each child helps us to plan individualized and developmentally informed activities. We can look at what the child does and says without evaluating or labeling.
- Find ways to build each child’s self-confidence. Reinforcing success and effort. He may not be successful in all things but he can learn from failure as well as success. Encouraging persistence, curiosity, taking on challenges, and trying new things.
- Strengthen relationships as we learn more about the child. Talking to her about what she likes, and discussing shared interests to connect with her. Taking her moods and approaches to situations into consideration, we can let her know that we understand her perspective.
- Observe to engage a child with us, other children, and the learning environment. Setting up the environment with activities and materials that appeal to him, addressing his individual needs, and supporting his development.
- Reflect on observations to assess each child’s progress, understand her needs and personality, improve our teaching practices, and plan curriculum. Putting ideas into practice to enhance learning and relationships.
- Verify questions and concerns about a child. Talk to families and staff about him. Follow up if development or behavior is not typical.
Help Your Preschooler Gain Self-Control
When asked about school readiness skills, many teachers say children who succeed in kindergarten know when and how to control their impulses. They can follow through when a task is difficult and listen to directions for a few minutes. These skills are linked to self-control. Children can develop them at preschool and at home. Here are a few ways families can help children learn self-control.
Finish what you are doing, then respond to requests for attention. For example, if you are on the phone and your child asks for something (and it’s not an emergency), let her know you need to take time to complete your conversation. This is a good way to let your child practice waiting for a short time.
Do activities together that require following directions. For example, put together a model, play follow the leader, or cook or bake: “I’m going to read the recipe aloud. Listen carefully so we will both know what to do. I’ll read them again as we do each step.”
Help children understand how long they will have to wait for something and suggest activities to do while they wait. Say to your child, “Grammy and Grampy are coming over before dinner. Would you like to draw some pictures to give them?” or “As soon as I put your sister to bed, I will read you some stories. You can choose three books for us to read together.”
Work with your child to complete a puzzle that has a few more pieces than he or she is used to. Set up the puzzle in a place where you can work on it for several days, if needed. Celebrate together when one of you puts the last piece in place.
Plant some easy-to-grow marigold seeds in a pot or in a garden. Check together every day until the plants pop up. Over time, watch the plant grow leaves and flowers.
Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack, Teaching Young Children 4 (2): 23
© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education