Observe an infant or toddler (birth to 36 months) for 30 minutes as they interact with the world around them.Create a running record observation; analyze sequences of actions and behaviors to help you make inferences about what you see.Categorize and discuss observed behaviors and actions through the lens of the developmental domains.Procedures:Choose an infant or toddler (birth to 36 months) to observe. Make sure you have parental consent to observe the child for this assignment.Observe the child playing for at least 30 minutes. Use the running record format (attached copy below) to take detailed notes about the sequence of actions and behaviors as they happen. During the observation all of your notes about what you see happening will go in the left hand column. A sample of a running record can be found in figure 4.4 on page 74 of your textbook.After the observation is over, review your completed notes (left hand column) and make inferences about the actions and behaviors that you observed (in the right hand column). You might want to use this section to connect actions or behaviors to the developmental domains. One trick I have used before is to highlight all of the cognitive actions in yellow, motor actions in blue, language in orange, etc. This helps you to prepare for the next step.Using your running record notes to write an observation report (essay format) discussing the child and what you observed related to his/her stage of development in each of the developmental domains. You will write at least a half page of information for each domain (see formatting directions below).Observation Report Formatting Requirements:All reports must be typed (12-point, single spaced, Time New Roman font).Your first page must be a Title Page (no page number). In the middle of the page, include:Assignment title, your name, course name, and the date. (5 points)On the next page, begin your report by introducing your subject (5 points):Name of child (can be fictionalized)Age of childDescription of the setting and anyone else presentAfter the intro, you will summarize the observation based on the developmental domains. For each domain, describe the actions and behaviors you observed. What do they tell you about the child? This should be at least 1/2, but no more than 1 page per domain. Use separate headers for each of the following sections:Emotional Domain (5 points)Social Domain (5 points)Cognitive Domain (5 points)Language Domain (5 points)Physical Domain (5 points)End your paper with a reflection about what you learned during this assignment. This is not what the baby learned, but what you are taking away about observation or development from this assignment. (5 points)Submit your completed Running Record Observation notes (10 points) and your Observation Report. You do not need to retype your running record notes. Just take a picture of each page and upload it for credit.View and download a copy of the Running Record Observation Template.docx here.Sample of Previously Submitted ObservationView and download an Infant Toddler Observation Report Sample.docx or Running Record (Handwritten) Sample.pdf for reference and to help answer some of the questions you might have.
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(Your Name Goes Here)
ECE 46
Infant and Toddler Observation
October 26th, 2015
Infant and Toddler Observation Assignment
A 23 month old boy, who for the purpose of this assignment we will call Bruce, was
observed for approximately twenty minutes. Bruce was observed during class time in his early
childhood center where he spends his days with his three care teachers and around twelve other
toddlers. The room is set up with various centers including an interactive science center, block
center, music and movement center, and reading center. Bruce spent the majority of his time
during the observation in the indoor play center – a carpeted set of stairs leading to a platform
with manipulatives and a wide wooden slide attached. The room is set up largely with neutral
tone colors and does not appear to be too overwhelming for the toddlers in it.
Emotional Domain
In terms of emotional development for a typical 23 month year old toddler Bruce seems
to be right on track. There were a couple of instances in which Bruce began to show awareness
of others and their feelings. When sliding down the slide and bumping into another child,
causing that child to tumble down the slide, Bruce looked at him and said “uh-oh”, pointing at
the child and looking for a care teacher. The child in question was okay, as he landed on the
gym mat at the bottom of the slide, but Bruce showed concern for him, knowing that he could
have potentially been hurt. In another instance, a boy slid down the slide head first into a pile of
blocks at the bottom of the slide. Again, the child was okay but stayed on the mat with his head
down for a few moments. During that time, Bruce went to him and touched his arm while
looking at him. Bruce appeared to be checking up on this boy, making sure that he was not hurt.
This simple empathetic behavior typically begins right around the 24 month mark, implying
Bruce may be slightly ahead of the curve (Wittmer and Petersen, 2006).
Social Domain
Throughout my observation of Bruce he constantly approached other children to play
beside them. There was very little communication happening but plenty of signs showing that
Bruce was at the beginning stages of social interaction. At one point, Bruce approached a child
who was playing with a marble maze. Without any verbal communication between the two,
Bruce just began picking up pieces and dropping them in the maze, watching as they traveled
down. Each time a ball or marble made it through the maze, Bruce would get a big smile on his
face and pat his knees repeatedly, looking at the other child as if to look for approval. The other
boy continued his play and smiled back at Bruce each time but outside of that remained fairly
independent. The two boys were engaged in a similar activity and took turns dropping a ball
down the maze, occasionally acknowledging each other’s success – a type of play that would be
categorized as parallel play with mutual regard (Wittmer and Petersen, 2006).
As mentioned above, Bruce also showed signs of empathetic behavior. When first
approaching the science center, there was a girl playing with a wooden tower that had ramps all
the way down. She was dropping various items down the tower, watching them travel down via
the ramps and Bruce toddled over excitedly. He grabbed an item to put down the ramp but in
doing so pushed the girl out of the way. It seemed unintentional and after his item made it to the
bottom of the tower, he got excited in the same way he did with the marble maze. When he
looked back in the girl’s direction she had already moved on and Bruce seemed to look a little
disappointed. It seemed as though Bruce was hoping to play alongside the girl rather than by
Cognitive Domain
Bruce was observed thinking quite a bit while he was playing. There were multiple
instances where Bruce would stop what he was doing and just observe his surroundings. Bruce
would watch the other children, look intently at the toys he was playing with, and watch what
happened when he dropped marbles or balls into the mazes that he played with. While Bruce did
not stay focused on just one activity throughout the observation, he did show a desire for
repetition. While at the slide, he continuously climbed up and down the stairs, occasionally
varying the way he got up, while at the science center he repeatedly dropped the same toy down
the wooden tower, and while at the marble maze he watched the ball fall through it over and
over. Additionally, while at these areas, it was clear that Bruce had an understanding of cause
and effect. Each time he dropped a ball down the maze, he watched intently as it traveled down
and then celebrated either to himself or with the child nearby when it made it to the bottom.
Language Domain
It was interesting that in many other domains Bruce seemed to be slightly above average
in terms of development, but I was unable to observe his language development as clearly. The
only time I heard Bruce communicate verbally in fact was when he slid into another boy on the
slide, knocking him down, and saying “uh-oh”. It could have just been a coincidence that I did
not hear Bruce talk outside of this one instance but it does not mean that Bruce was
uncommunicative. Bruce was still able to communicate with his peers through his facial
expressions and gestures. Bruce showed joy, excitement, and approval of others when he smiled
and patted his knees and empathy when checking up on his peers who could have been hurt. He
also offered a ball to the boy playing with the marble maze as if to say “here, it’s your turn.” For
a very brief period of time, Bruce was playing peek-a-boo with his care teacher laughing and
smiling at her, communicating that he enjoyed what was happening.
Physical (Motor) Domain
In regards to physical development and gross motor skills, we know that infant and
toddlers will practice skills over and over until they master them (Wittmer and Petersen, 2006).
Bruce is a clear example of this repetition and desire for mastery. Each time Bruce tried climbing
the stairs, he did so very deliberately, and each time he seemed to explore new possible ways of
getting up. He repeated the same action over and over as he explored his body within the
environment and pushed himself to master the action of climbing up the stairs. It is important to
note that Bruce’s environment was set up nicely by his care teachers to encourage this type of
exploration, allowing the children in the room to move freely and over different types of terrain.
When coming down from the stairs Bruce almost always used the slide, however, one
time I observed him climbing down the stairs. When coming down the stairs Bruce moved very
slowly and held on to the side of the structure, reaching for each step with his foot and feeling
around for it before committing. Even going up, Bruce still needed to use his hands on the steps
most of the time, which is completely normal for a child his age. According to our text, the
typical age for a toddler to begin taking steps one at a time begins around the 24 month mark. It
seems like based on his current progress and persistence, Bruce will have no problem meeting
that milestone.
Conclusion and Reflection
No matter how many times I do something like this – observe for a class or when I get a
chance at work to just sit back and watch my campers – I am always pleasantly surprised by how
much you notice. It is great getting to watch a child and apply what is being taught while also
getting to know them a little bit better. In my role at camp I am constantly trying to build in time
for my counselors to just step back from the group for a moment and just watch them interact
with each other and the activity and this just reinforces my desire to do that for them.
Wittmer, D., & Petersen, S. (2006). Infant and toddler development and responsive program
planning: A relationship-based approach (3rd ed). Upper Saddle River, N.J.:
Pearson/Merrill Prentice Hall.
ECE 46, Infant & Toddler Development
Santa Monica College
Age of Child:
Description of Physical Environment:
Description of Child’s Behaviors/Actions:
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ECE 46, Infant & Toddler Development
Santa Monica College
Description of Child’s Behaviors/Actions:
Modified 082815
ECE 46, Infant & Toddler Development
Santa Monica College
Description of Child’s Behaviors/Actions:
Modified 082815
ECE 46, Infant & Toddler Development
Santa Monica College
Description of Child’s Behaviors/Actions:
Modified 082815
ECE 46, Infant & Toddler Development
Santa Monica College
Description of Child’s Behaviors/Actions:
Modified 082815

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