February 2022 Newsletter – Child Observation: Include the Children and Families

Include the Children and Families

Families are our partners and they have opportunities to observe children in completely different settings.  It is important to know if there are differences in how children work and act in different environments. We are not suggesting that teachers assign observation homework to families, but if there is a particular skill in question, family observations can be helpful.

There are many reasons that children may demonstrate skills in one environment but not another. The demands and expectations that exist in different environments play a large role in how children demonstrate their skills. Teachers and family members should discuss developmental skills regularly. They can share the circumstances under which certain skills are demonstrated, including the materials present and prompts used to encourage the skills. Information shared by families can be noted and dropped into the child’s observation folder for future reference.

At a certain age, children may become interested in the pieces of work that are in their portfolios. Taking time to look through a child’s portfolio with them is a valuable experience. Doing so provides children with a chance to look back over their work and notice changes over time.  Children may think back on pieces of work they completed earlier in the year.  They may decide they want to recreate or revise the work, which is an excellent practice.

Talk with children about the work samples you are collecting.  Explain why you are saving the pieces, including the skills you observed the child using.  From time to time, a child may bring you a piece of work that they want to place in their portfolio.  Be sure to work with the child to make a note about why the child wants to save the piece of work.

Prior to family-teacher conferences, organize observations in a way that makes it easy to see progress over time. Share relevant observations and work samples with families during the conference to back up the narrative you are sharing with families.

For the main article Child Observation, CLICK HERE

For the article NAEYC Professional Standards and Competencies for Early Childhood Educators, CLICK HERE

For the article Types of Observations, CLICK HERE

For the article Tips for Collecting Observations, CLICK HERE