What makes a quality observation of a child’s learning?
Observing children at play is a joy to behold for many people. We could be walking in the park and notice an older person on a bench just watching children at play, smiling quietly to themselves, or see a parent notice a toddler’s interest and follow their lead. There is a freedom about children at play, a sense of deep engagement, of activity and fascination. Complete absorption. So how do we capture this state of being in a quality observation?
One fundamental aspect to quality observations is to give them time. To watch and see where the child’s play is taking them with their own self-directed learning and discovery. We do not have to write down everything that they are doing or take lots of photographs to capture each new thing they do, but we do need to notice. Step back and really look and listen to how the child is connecting with their environment, with objects, people and places. Then make some notes on their learning.
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