Application: Child Observation Project: Part 1—Introduction




Throughout this course, you will be learning about the process of assessment, the role of observation, and the importance of considering children as individuals. You will also be participating in a Child Observation Project, which will support your learning in all of these areas.

It is important to keep in mind that observation and assessment provide tools for gaining knowledge about individual children. Assessment and observation of young children can serve many different purposes. In this Child Observation Project, you will be looking at a specific area of one child's development and learning. However, the focus of the project is on the process of observation and assessment"”from partnering with families, to planning for effective assessment, to utilizing observation and assessment skills, to compiling and processing assessment data"”each of these are valuable observation and assessment skills that you will be able to apply in future work situations.

Each week's Application makes up a component of this course project. In preparation for this project, read the following overview and use this information to help you set up specific dates and times in order to meet your assignment deadlines.

Click here for an Overview of the Child Observation Project

Part 1: Identify Your Child

The first part of your Child Observation Project requires that you select a child as the focus of your project and obtain parent/family permission. This child could be the child of a friend, a neighbor, a niece or nephew"”however; it cannot be your own child. As you select the child, keep in mind that you will need to work with his/her parent/close family member during Week 2 and observe him/her twice during Week 3 for approximately 45 minutes each time. In the process of confirming the family's participation, make sure that the parent/family member is comfortable with the project and understands the purpose, which is for your educational development. Note: Out of respect for privacy and confidentiality, do not use the full name of the child whom you are working with or the names of any family members. You may use initials, first names, or fictitious names.

Plan

Review pages 33-35 of Assessing and Guiding Young Children's Development and Learning, focusing on how assessment can be utilized to monitor children's development and learning.
Implement: Take the First Steps

Based on what you have learned about assessment so far in the course, write a letter that you can share with the child's parents or family members that explains the role of assessment in monitoring children's development and learning, and gives an overview of what the Child Observation Project involves.
Obtain parent/family member permission for their child to take part in this project.
Note: By the end of this week, you should have identified the child whom you will be using for your Child Observation Project. Your work with this child will begin during Week 2.

Reflect

Consider:

The scope of the Child Observation Project and what will be expected of you throughout the course
What you have learned about assessment so far in this course
Your hopes for the project as far as your own professional growth


For this assignment, submit:

The letter that you wrote to the parents/family members summarizing the role of assessment in monitoring children's development and learning and detailing the Child Observation Project
A summary of your reflection (cite specific examples from the Required Resources to support your thinking and ideas)


Assignment length: Minimum 2 pages
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