One of the important parts of being an Early Childhood Educator, is observing the children in your classroom. Mother Goose Time has come up with several different ways over the years to satisfy different states and educators. Including the new online system Childfolio. This new system allows you to take pictures of the children within the system and immediately share them with parents, while also tagging them with the learning objectives and goals the children have reached. This has the ability to free up time for educators and help to create a paperless environment. I am test driving this system this year. But since I am not sure of how well this will help me and because I am an FCC Provider I need to still keep physical files on all the children in my care. In my next blog I will discuss exactly what I do for my physical files.
This post I will be talking about what I observed during different activities and why it was important.
This project is actually from the Steam (SCIENCE. TECHNOLOGY. ENGINEERING. ART. MATH) Stations portion of the curriculum. I decided to use it as an assessment. I changed some of the way the STEAM Station was operated so that the children would still fulfill the intention of the Migration Map project and have fun.
I gave them Melissa and Doug city blocks and had them build a city. At first they spread them all over the floor and it looked like a traditional city. Then one of the children took over and became the city planner. He decided that the city must be in a straight line. So we ended up with a town named Straight town. They then were given paper and crayons to create their maps.
Observation: The things I was looking for is how the children played together, if they worked together to build the town. How they used their language skills and if they were increasing their vocabulary by using any of the new words they were introduced to this month.
The second part of the observation was about what the children drew for their maps. Did they actually draw the buildings? Did they draw shapes to represent the buildings? Were they bored during the activity? Because if they were then that means they are not ready for these types of activities.
Findings: The children loved the entire project. They worked very well together. I noticed that one of my youngest 3 year olds is a natural leader and can lead the room into any new game he has decided to play. It was no different with this project. They quickly assembled 2 different towns, together and used many of the vocabulary words introduced and also the concept of manners when it came to putting up the town signs. The drawings varied due to ability levels. Some of the pictures were just scribbles, but others were shapes that we have been learning to recognize and draw.
This is not the usual type of observation or examples taken from the children to show their progress. But I believe that with so many of the activities that Mother Goose Time ha that are hands on, these are some of the best and natural ways to discover if they are progressing or if they need extra help. They will count because they want to count, and they will do it the best they can, they will recite songs, letters and sounds because they love the sounds and they have created a game.
Mother Goose Time gives some of the best activities for natural observations. While it is important to collect evidence, it should never be forgotten that learn through play is the best way to teach children and it stands to reason that the best type of observations is those activities where they are able to be themselves.
Have Fun Teaching!
*I receive Mother Goose Time in exchange for an honest review