Observation Report

Go to the Focused Observation Playlist by Redleaf Press on YouTube. Review the videos (25 total, approximately one hour) on the list, taking note of as many as four of the following items observed and provide short comments on each area checked. You’ll include and elaborate on at least four (4) observed items from each of the five (5) areas of the checklist in part three, the Observation Report.

Observation Components Comments
   I. Teachers/Caregivers  
   Do caregivers appear warm and friendly?  
   Do caregivers seem calm and gentle?  
   Do caregivers speak to children in an appropriate, nurturing manner?  
   Do children seem to enjoy being with caregivers?  
   Do caregivers treat children as unique and special?  
   Do caregivers demonstrate patience in helping children solve problems?  
   Do caregivers talk to children and encourage them to express themselves through words and language?  
  Do caregivers encourage children to express themselves in creative ways?  
 

Do caregivers help children to know, accept, and feel good about themselves?

 
 

Do caregivers help children work independently?

 
 

Do caregivers support a routine with rules children can understand and follow?

 
 

Infant Toddler Caregivers

 
 

Do caregivers seem to provide a pleasant atmosphere such as soft music and warm voices?

 
 

Do caregivers spend time holding, playing with, and/or talking to infants and toddlers?

 
 

Do caregivers provide stimulation by pointing out things to look at, touch, and listen to?

 
 

Do caregivers encourage and support self-help skills in toddlers?

 
 

Do caregivers encourage children to think things through?

 
 

Do caregivers support language learning by talking with them, naming things, reading aloud, describing actions, and responding to the children’s words?

 
 

Preschool Caregivers

 
 

Do caregivers join children in activities?

 
 

Do caregivers encourage children to make their own choices?

 
 

Do caregivers encourage creativity and use of imagination?

 
 

Are caregivers attentive, patient, positive, warm, and accepting?

 
 

Do caregivers encourage self-help skills?

 
 

Do caregivers support vocabulary skills by talking with children, reading aloud to children, and answering their questions?

 
 

Do caregivers respect children’s ideas, values, or opinions?

 
 

II. Health and Safety

 
 

Does the environment appear to be safe and well-maintained? (indoor and outdoor)

 
 

Do materials appear to be in good condition? (indoor and outdoor)

 
 

Are the furnishings in the classroom mid-sized?

 
 

Are there obvious hazards such as dangerous substances, electrical cords, uncovered electrical outlets, cleaning materials, or medications accessible to the children?

 
 

Is the outside area free of litter and obvious hazards such as broken glass?

 
 

Is the outdoor play equipment sturdy and appear to be in good condition?

 
 

Are children supervised by the caregivers while outdoors?

 
 

Is there shade available outside (on the playground)?

 
 

III. Environment (Center/Classroom)

 
 

Does the center/classroom have a clean and comfortable look?

 
 

Is there adequate lighting in children’s spaces?

 
 

Is the noise level moderate/appropriate for young children?

 
 

Is there enough space, both indoors and out, for children to move freely?

 
 

Are there enough caregivers present to give attention to all children?

 
 

Are there places for children to store belongings?

 
 

Are there places where children can go to be alone?

 
 

Is there enough equipment/materials for all children present?

 
 

Are equipment/materials appropriate for the age group?

 
 

IV. Activities

 
 

Are activities age-appropriate?

 
 

Are activities provided for all age groups, including infants?

 
 

Does the schedule appear to be balanced between free time and scheduled (group) activities?

 
 

Does it appear there’s flexibility in activities to accommodate for individual children’s needs/interests?

 
 

Does it appear that children have choices for activities?

 
 

Does it appear there are adequate supplies for children to use?

 
 

Are children able to learn new physical (motor) skills throughout the day?

 
 

Are children encouraged to get along with others, share, and show respect?

 
 

Are children encouraged to learn about their own and other cultures through art, music, books, songs, games, and other activities?

 
 

V. Guidance/Discipline

 
 

Does it appear the children understand and follow simple "rules" for activity/behavior?

 
 

What behaviors did the children display? (positive and negative)

 
 

What methods of guidance have you observed?

 
 

How and when were these methods applied, and for how long?

 

 

Part Two: Research Regulations for Teachers/Caregivers

In addition to reflecting on observations of the program and classrooms, it’s important to know and understand what’s expected by your state licensing agency, such as basic qualifications, training, education, and experience levels. Research your state’s licensing regulations and identify what you need (would need) to qualify for employment in your state, which could include any/all of the following:

  • Child abuse clearances
  • Fingerprint checks
  • Criminal history checks
  • Pediatric CPR/First Aid training
  • Drug screenings
  • Physical health checks
  • TB test
  • Professional development (ongoing) requirements
  • Other requirements as indicates for your state

You will summarize this information in Part Three, the Observation Report, in Paragraph 7. You’ll need to cite your regulations in APA format, as they’re a resource and should be included on a References page at the end of your essay.

Part Three: Writing the Observation Report

After you’ve completed your observation checklist, you’ll write a report on what was observed.

As with all ECE exams, begin with your Title Page formatted in APA style. (Refer to the Sample APA Title Page on the Early Childhood Learning Resource Center: https://pflibrary.pennfoster.edu/earlychildhoodcenter/college. If you are completing the Child Development Training Program, see available resources here: https://pflibrary.pennfoster.edu/earlychildhoodcenter/career.) Format your paper according to the instructions provided in the APA in ECE – Oh My! webinar and Keep Calm and APA! reference page on the Early Childhood Learning Resource Center.

Your completed Observation Report will be written in narrative or essay format consisting of a minimum of 12 paragraphs. Refer to the sample APA paper on the ECE Learning Resource Center page. A template for the project has been provided in the ECE 111 Fundamentals of Early Childhood Resources Box on the LRC page as well. Consider the following outline as you begin writing your narrative essay:

Paragraph 1: After the title of your essay ("Observation Report Project"), introduce the reader to the paper/topic by explaining how the observations were conducted. This paragraph should highlight the purpose of observing a program, as well as what the reader can expect in the report. An example of an introductory paragraph (4-6 fully developed sentences) is as follows:

Early childhood educators should practice reflection of self and others in working with young children. One effective way to do this is to observe early education settings and activities. In these observations, the educator will look for specific criteria from an outside perspective. By completing this observation and report project, an educator will gain knowledge based on practical situations and reflect in detail about the quality of care being offered in the scenarios. Suggestions for improvement are also included.

Please note * this is only an example. The introductory paragraph should be written in the student’s own words and based on the assignment criteria.

Paragraph 2: Summarize at least four items that were marked as observed from the Teachers and Caregivers section of the observation checklist. Describe your observations of the quality of care provided by the teachers/caregivers in detail and support your comments with material from the course resources. The description for this and the following paragraphs should provide the reader with a clear image of exactly what you observed (as if they were with you). This should be written in a complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences.

Paragraph 3: Summarize at least four items that were marked as observed from the Health and Safety section of the checklist. Describe your observations of the quality of care related to health and safety issues and support your comments with information from your course resources. As with paragraph 2, be sure to describe with enough detail for the reader to understand what you observed. This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 sentences.

Paragraph 4: Summarize at least four items that were marked as observed from the Center/Classroom Environment section of the checklist. Describe your observations of the quality of care related to center/classroom environment issues in detail and support your comments with information from your course resources. As with the prior sections, be sure to describe with enough detail for the reader to understand what you observed. This should be written in at least one fully developed paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences.

Paragraph 5: Summarize at least four items that were marked as observed from the Activities section of the checklist. Describe your observations of the quality of care related to activities and materials offered to children in detail and support your comments with information from your course resources. As with the prior sections, be sure to describe with enough detail for the reader to understand what you observed. This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences.

Paragraph 6: Summarize at least four items that were marked as observed from the Guidance section of the checklist. Describe your observations of the quality of care related to guidance in detail and support your comments with information from your course resources. As with the prior sections, be sure to describe with enough detail for the reader to understand what you observed. This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences; however, additional paragraphs can be included if needed.

Paragraph 7: Based on the research completed in Part Two of the project instructions, discuss the basic qualifications/requirements for becoming a teacher/caregiver in your state. Clearly describe (not just list) the requirements, including those that would be ongoing to retain employment (annual training, drug tests, other). This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences; however, additional paragraphs can be included if needed.

Paragraphs 8 and 9: Choose two separate, specific examples of quality interactions between an adult and a child in the classroom/videos. Describe each incident/activity in detail, including any challenges that arose. For each incident explain why/how the adult demonstrated high quality in his/her response to the child. Discuss what you learned in each of these specific incidents as well as what you appreciated about the interaction/response. Provide one suggestion for each incident of how the adult could have done something different and/or better. These incidents should be written in one fully developed paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences each.

Paragraph 10: In this paragraph, address three general examples of high quality demonstrated from your observations. Clearly describe why you liked each example based on principles of quality care including citations from resources to support your findings (how do you know this was high-quality?). This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences; however, additional paragraphs can be included if needed.

Paragraph 11: In this paragraph, address three examples where quality was not demonstrated from your observations. Clearly describe why you believe these were not examples of quality based on principles of quality care and support your responses from your learning materials/research. For each example, provide at least one suggestion on how the situation could be improved and support your suggestion with resources/research. This should be written in at least one complete paragraph of at least 4-6 fully developed sentences; however, additional paragraphs can be included if needed.

Paragraph 12: Provide your overall summary of the quality of care demonstrated in the videos. Revisit the purpose of the project and summarize what you learned by completing this assignment. Share how these observations helped to shape your perspective as an early childhood professional. Include any other closing thought you believe your instructor should know as they grade your narrative essay. 

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