Application: Observing Toddler Development When you took EDUC 4205, Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Infant Settings, you practiced honing your observation skills. Because observation is such a vital component of assessment and planning, you will now have an opportunity to further develop your skills as you observe in a toddler setting. Remember, objectivity is essential. Try to take the perspective of individual children, and keep in mind that you are observing toddlers and their teachers at a particular moment in time, without the benefit of knowing the history of the child and what has come before in the setting. For this Application Assignment, you will focus on the four major areas of development (physical, emotional, social, and cognitive and language). As in Developmentally Appropriate Practice in Infant Settings, the goal of this observation is not to assess the child’s overall development, but rather to practice your observation skills while gaining more information about these developmental areas during toddlerhood. To complete this Application, do the following: Plan •Arrange and confirm a date and time to observe in a toddler setting that serves children between 18 and 36 months. •Think about what it means to be an effective observer in a toddler setting as you review “Observe and Record” on pages 110-112 of the course text. •Consider what you have learned about the four major areas of development. Review pages 392-393 of Appendix A in your course text. •Print out and review the Week 2 Observation Worksheet linked below. Use this sheet to complete either two Running Records (at least 10 minutes each) or three Anecdotal Records. Week 2 Observation Worksheet Click for more options Implement •Use the Week 2 Observation Worksheet to record your notes from your observation. Reminder: If you notice that your presence is making a child uncomfortable, consult the teacher in the room in which you are observing. Reflect Write at least two pages summarizing the following: •How did the observation experience inform your understanding of what it means to be an effective observer? Were there times when remaining objective was especially difficult for you? If so, explain why. •What questions, if any, do you still have about observation skills and strategies? What did you see as the benefits and challenges of the observation method that you selected? •How did the observation method that you utilized enhance your knowledge of the four major areas of development? Did you find observing one particular area of development easier or more challenging than others? Use examples to explain your thinking. •Based on what you have learned thus far in the course and through this Application Assignment, what insights and/or questions do you have about observing the four major areas of development? •Did you feel more competent this time because you had done this type of observation before? In what areas do you still need to grow? What advice do you have for colleagues who are learning to be effective observers? Submit your Reflection to complete this Application. Assignment length: approximately 2 pages
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