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This week, your observation, too, will take you into the world of young children 2-6 years old.

There will be much to observe as the actions and interactions of these young children occur on many more active levels than those of infants and toddlers. Before you observe, review the examples of development in the three domains on your child development chart, your readings, and the video for this week. By taking the time to study the resources carefully, your observation will be guided by a clear focus on early childhood development.

Download and review the following documents to complete your assignment (Note: These same documents will be provided in each week that you are required to conduct an observation.):

When you have finished your observations and completed all required written elements as outlined in the instructions, submit your completed Observation Worksheet by Sunday of Week 5.



Age range:

Type of setting (e.g., family child care; center-based program):

Name of principal caregiver:

Contact phone for principal caregiver:

Number of caregivers for the “room” in which you observe:

Number of children in that “room”:

Date/time of observation:









Personal Reflection: 1-2 Pages.

For help in writing the Reflection: Please refer to the Guiding Questions in Part 3 Personal Reflection on the Observation Instructions document in the Application area.

Please write under the square that is called “Part 3: Personal Reflection.” It is easier to do the Reflection if you type under the square so that you are able to write with graduate-level writing requirements of fully-developed paragraphs. Please indent the paragraphs and double space.

Part 3: Personal Reflection


For each observation you participate in, you will complete an Observation Worksheet. This worksheet is divided into three parts. The following instructions will guide you through the assignment.

Part 1: Running Record of One Child

As part of your observation, you will complete a Running Record. This type of documentation, of your observation, involves recording a detailed description of events or behaviors in a real-time sequence.

Choose a child on which to focus.

Observe that child for 30 minutes.

As you observe, write down everything that happens with regard to this child and his/her interactions with others and the environment. Be as objective, and as detailed, as possible. In order to record as much as possible about what is happening, you will need to use “Quick Notes” (i.e., personal shorthand). Some people prefer to take notes by hand, some prefer to use laptops. If you take notes by hand, be sure to have a good supply of paper with you.

At the end of the 30-minute observation period, take time to write out your “Quick Notes” in full sentences. (Note: Writing out your observation notes, immediately after you finish your note taking, will help you retain more information in your “Write-Up.”)

Review your “Write-Up” and ask yourself if your observation revealed any overlap between developmental domains (e.g., interactions between biosocial and cognitive domains). At the end of your Running Record of One Child, briefly describe which developmental domains, if any, overlapped and how this overlap manifested itself.

Note: Record both your “Quick Notes,” your complete “Write Up,” as well as an example of the interplay between developmental domains on your Observation Worksheet.

Part 2: Running Record of One Area of Development

For this part of the assignment, you will observe all children but focus on only one area of development, such as those you pinpointed for your Child Development Chart (e.g., the use of tools or objects, verbal communication, or social interactions between children).

Select the area of development on which you will focus.

Observe all children for approximately 30 minutes.

Every time you observe this area of development, write down everything that you observe—as it happens. Be as objective, and as detailed, as possible. In order to record as much as possible about what is happening, you will again use “Quick Notes” (i.e., personal shorthand).

At the end of the 30-minute observation period, write out your observation notes in full sentences.

Part 3: Personal Reflection

The purpose of this segment is to analyze your observation experience from a personal point of view. This portion of your assignment should be 1- to 2-pages in length. Use APA format. See the last bullet: You need to cite your sources as in-text citations in APA format, and you need a reference list at the end of your document. When you do the Personal Reflection for Part 3, you could type directly in the square or you could type below the square. You are only allowed one submission in Turnitin—so you must do all of the work as one submission.

It is easier to do the Reflection if you type under the square–because APA format is required. Use the following questions to guide your thinking.

What were some of your expectations prior to beginning your assignment?

In what ways does your actual observation experience compare to your expectations?

How are you adjusting to your role as observer?

Were there times when it was difficult for you to remain objective?

In what ways do your observations, and activities at the observation site, allow you to better understand the development of children in that specific age range?

Are there any issues that might be difficult to understand given the relatively limited time you spend observing?

What touched you, aroused your curiosity, and/or made you think?

Use APA format. Cite your sources as in-text citations in APA format. Include a reference list at the end of your observation form.

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