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Observations in the Early Years

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by alyssa_prokic, Oct 2, 2017.

  1. alyssa_prokic

    alyssa_prokic New commenter


    I am currently working on developing the observation procedures in the EYFS setting I work in. We currently use mainly narrative observations but are looking to expand this to maximise the use of observations for planning and assessments across the foundation stage (Age 2-5).

    What observation format do you find best to use in your setting?

  2. Teachallover

    Teachallover Occasional commenter

    I love to do a group event sample, especially at this time of year focusing on PSED. I read the idea from Penny Tassoni. Every 5 minutes for an hour you record with a symbol what each child is doing (wavy line if they are wondering, a dot if standing still, two arrows pointing to each other for interacting, a triangle if engrossed, WH washing hands etc). It's really interesting over time to see if a patten is developing of what each child is doing, whether they are constantly changing or engrossed in the same activity for 35 mins etc. I then enjoy revisiting this observation in the spring and then summer term.
  3. grumbleweed

    grumbleweed Star commenter

    I don't believe there is a one size fits all. I think a range of tools in your toolkit, considering when is the right tool for the job is my personal reference.
    So, narrative observations get into detail about what makes a child tick and is good for characteristics.
    Wow or snap shot observations catch those moments that surprise or delight or tell you something you didn't know.
    Well being and involvement (leven scales) are good for settling in, children you have concerns about or areas of learning to see how children are engaged in a particular area.
    ABC observations if there are behaviour concerns
    sampling as suggested above
    tracking observations ..god for children who flit.

    So in my opinion there isn't a 'one answer' to your question. For me it's right tool for the job.
  4. alyssa_prokic

    alyssa_prokic New commenter

    This is a really interesting idea, i have done time sample observations for individual children in the past but have not used them for a whole class/group focus before but I feel like this would be very useful in my setting. Thanks!
  5. alyssa_prokic

    alyssa_prokic New commenter

    Thanks for your ideas, I definitely agree that it is good to have a good range of options to suit each different context, child, activity and stage of development. We are currently working in the EYFS setting to amalgamate the best ideas to use as our toolkit basis.

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