Early Childhood Classroom Observation Tool. This Early Childhood Observation tool was developed by the National Academy of Early Childhood Programs, a division of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Evaluating and Monitoring Your Program.
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Teachers speak with children at eye level, often, throughout the day.
Teachers talk and listen to individual children during activities and routines.
Teachers actively seek meaningful conversations with children.
Teachers give one to one attention to infants,during feeding and diapering, allowing time for infants’ responses.
Small group interaction
Open ended questions
Critical thinking skills
Curriculum guided by children’s interestsTeachers interact frequently with children showing affection, interest, and respect.
Teachers foster the development of age-appropriate self-help skills such as picking up toys, wiping spills, personal grooming (toileting, handwashing), obtaining and caring for materials, and other skills.
Remember that cultural perspectives of family or community may influenceexpectations for independence.
Provide safe places for independent play.
Allow toddlers opportunities for self selecting of toys, and feeding themselves.
Provide job resposbility for Three’s ,Fours, and Five’s to help in daily routines such as setting the table for snack and lunch; helping prepare snack items; helping in the cleaning and washing of the table; and picking up the toys and putting them back in the proper place.
Teachers use children’s mistakes as learning opportunities, describing the situation and encouraging children’s evaluation of the problem rather than imposing the solution.
Anticipate and eliminate potential problems, redirecting children to more acceptable behavior or activity.
Listen to and acknowledge children’s feelings and frustrations and respond with respect.
Guide children to resolve conflicts and model skills that help children to solve their own problems.
Encourage appropriate behavior, patiently reminding children of rules and their rationale as needed.
Apply logical or natural consequences in problem situations.Teachers facilitate the development of responsibility, self-regulation, and self-control in children.
Teachers support children’s emotional development, assisting them to be comfortable, relaxed, happy, and involved in play and other activities.
Preschoolers have opportunities to work individually, and in small groups.
Large group gym, and music are appropriate.More than one option for grouping is available to children most of the day.
A balance of child-initiated and teacher-initiated activity is provided. The amount of time spent in large-group, teacher-initiated activity is limited.
Unit blocks and accessories
Puzzles, manipulative toys
Picture books, audio recordings/tapes, musical instruments
Art materials such as finger paint and tempera paints,crayons, safe scissors, and paste
Dramatic play materials such as dolls, dress-up and props, child-size furniture, puppets
Sand and water toysDevelopmentally appropriate materials and equipment for are available for preschoolers.
Unit blocks and accessories such as figures, signs, cars, trees
Complex puzzles and manipulative toys for counting, sorting
Picture books and early readers
Audio recordings/tapes, musical instruments, computers with complex art projects
A variety of dramatic play materials and props
Board games and cardsDevelopmentally appropriate materials and equipment are available for Kindergartners.
The use of passive media, such as TV, films, videos, is limited to curricula and is developmentally appropriate.
No child is required to view the program.
Teachers discuss what is viewed with the children to develop critical thinking skills.Active media that children can control such as:
Teachers provide a variety of developmentally appropriate activities and materials that are selected to emphasize concert experiential learning and to achieve the following goals:
Talk to, sing to, and play with each baby on a one-to-one basis.
Interpret infants’ actions to other children to help them get along in group.
Create space and time for children to play with blocks together.
Provide opportunities for sharing, caring and helping other children.
Explore ways to respond to biased comments and behavior.Develop social skills
Provide activities to label. Classify and sort objects by shape, color, and size.
Extend children’s thinking and learning during activities by adding new materials, asking open-ended questions, ,offering ideas, and suggestions, joining in their play,and providing assistance in problem-solving.
Plan walking trips to provide new learning experiences.
Encourage water and sand play.
Provide opportunities to learn math and science concepts through sand and water exploration,constructing with blocks, and working with levers, pulleys, scales, and other simple machines.
Involve children in observing and investigating natural events and objects, sorting, and classifying, searching for patterns, noting differences and similarities, and drawing and discussing what they see.Encourage children to think, reason, question, and experiment.
Look at simple books and pictures.
Talk in a pleasant, calm voice, using simple language and frequent eye contact while being responsive to the infant’s cues.
Verbally label objects and events within the infants experience.
Respond to sounds that the infants make, imitating their vocalization.
Describe children’s and adults actions and events that occur in the child’s environment.
Respond to toddlers’ attempts at language in supportive ways, such as expending their utterances and answering their questions, and engaging in meaningful conversation about everyday experiences.Encourage language and literacy development for infants and toddlers.
Provide time for conversation, ask children questions that require more than a one-word answer.
Add more information to what a child says.
Label things in the room, use written words with pictures and spoken language, and provide a print-rich environment
Use flannel board, puppets, songs, finger plays, and rhyming games.
Encourage emerging interests in writing, scribbling, drawing,copying,and using invented spelling.
Actively increase children’s vocabulary daily.
Develop book-handling skills and familiarity with the conventions of print.
Develop the full range of strategies for reading.Encourage language and literacy for preschoolers and kindergartners.
Provide open carpet space as well as hard floor for crawling.
Provide low, sturdy furniture for children to pull up self or hold on to while walking.
Provide accessible outdoor activities for infants.
Provide simple objects infants may reach for and grasp.
Allow nonmobile infants to move and breathe comfortable, lying freely on their backs while looking about, kicking, reaching, practicing eye-hand coordination.
Provide for toddlers objects for carrying, such as baskets, large empty plastic bottles, and balls.
Provide toddlers simple puzzles, nesting toys, stacking toys, and pop-beads.Enhance physical development and skills for infants and toddlers.
Provide creative movement activity using obstacle course or activity song and records.
Provide fine-motor activities such as as complex manipulative toys, pegboards, puzzles, lacing cards and wood working.
Provide art materials for drawing, modeling, and writing.Enhance physical development and skills in preschoolers and kindergartners.
Discuss good nutrition while the children are having snack or lunch.
Encourage health practices such as washing hands, brushing teeth, regular exercise and rest.
Talk about visiting the doctor, nurse, and dentist.
Infants/toddlers describe routine health activities as they are implemented.
For preschoolers and kindergartners study topic such as the human body, nutrition, and life skills.
Allow children to help prepare, and cook the snack, while using good health practices.
Invite parents to join in the preparation of food that represents their culture and family.Encourage and demonstrate sound health, safety, and nutritional practices.
Provide time and space for dancing, movement activities, and creative dramatics.
Do musical activities such as singing, listening to a variety of styles of music, (classical, rap, rock , etc) and playing instruments.
Most art activities are offered as a process rather than to produce a product.
Provide opportunities for children to represent ideas and feelings and learn fundamental concepts and skills in the fine arts.
Provide visits by artists and materials representative of a variety of cultures.
Develop appreciation for the arts by taking trips to galleries, concerts, and cultural events.
Infants/toddlers enjoy pudding play, water play, Jell-O play.Encourage creative expression, representation, and appreciation for the arts.
Materials are durable and in good repair.
Materials are organized consistently on low, labeled, open shelves to encourage independent use by children.
Extra materials are accessible to staff to add variety to usual activities.
Materials are rotated and adapted to maintain children’s interest.A variety of age-appropriate materials and equipment are available for children indoors and outdoors.
Like snowflakes, no two children are alike.
If we allow children to show us what they can do rather than merely accepting what they usually do, I feel certain we will be in for some grand surprises. Mem FoxTo feel valued, to know, even if only in a while, that you do a job well is an absolutely marvelous feeling. Barbara Walters