Observation Paper

1. One kid
3.apply concepts
4.3 domains bio social cognitive psychological
students will complete a child observation using concepts of the course to accurately describe the child. If it is early in the term, write your issue paper first and don’t worry yet about the child observation paper until we get to chapters 8, 9, & 10.

Whiteboard session: Observation Assignment
Watch this whiteboard session before conducting your observation assignment. I’m actually grading on the content of your paper not the length. If you have applied 15 different concepts (correctly) and the three domains, you’re in good shape.

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Helpful hints:

For the best grades on the observation paper, please use concepts that apply to the child’s age group. For example, binocular vision or object permanence is only applicable to infants, not four-year olds. Use concepts you see the child does, not the teacher. If the teacher demonstrates “guided participation,” then that concept applies to the teacher, not the child. However, if a child coaches another child, the “guided participation” concept is perfect.

Use concepts from our textbook. Concepts like “patience” and “obedience” are not given credit.

Also, please use concepts that you can see. For example, lateralization or amygdala are not concepts you can see without a FMRI.
One of the requirements of the observation paper is to write your observation paper in an objective way.

What is objectivity?

Action words (verbs)
What is subjectivity?

Describing feelings & motivations
How can I stay objective in my writing?

Record as it happens (sequence)
Only record what you see & hear
Avoid 1st person (I think, I saw, my opinion…)
Do not assume to know what a child is thinking or feeling. Avoid statements such as; “Rylie was happy.” INSTEAD write, “Rylie was smiling.”
A subjective observation:

Mary is playing with Jane. They are not playing well together because Jane keeps pestering Mary. They play only a short time before Mary goes to play alone. She does not like to play with Jane.
An objective observation:

Mary and Jane are sitting down in the block center and building a block house together. Jane knocks over the house with her hands and smiles. Mary looks at Jane and builds the block house again. Jane stands up, kicks the block house over, and laughs. Mary yells, “Jane! It’s not funny. I’m not going to play with you anymore” with furrowed eyebrows. Mary walks over to the house center, picks up a doll, and sings to it.
Below is some tips on stay objective in your Observation Paper:


Do not include opinionated statements such as, “Oliver is a beautiful child” or “Dillon is smart”

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