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Aracele Melgoza

201 Observation, Assessment, Documentation and


Support of the Young Child
Fall 2014
Professor Mrs. Benita Hunter

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Michael was chosen in order to conduct a case study on the development of children. He
was born on September 18, 2010 in Nigeria. Michaels physical characteristics are clear and
stand out from the other children his age. His eyes have a light brown tint which differentiates
him from most of his peers. His hair is black, curly but it did show a hint of brown hair towards
the hairline. Michaels hair was well maintained evident by his short hairstyle. As for Michaels
background, he is religious and participates in the Boys church every Sunday. He lives with his
mother and his two year old sister who also attends the same daycare center. His father passed
away on August of 2014. He attended a CPS developmental class for a month and stopped when
his father passed away. Michael also has a deep voice and is very sensitive.
Michael began his schooling at Little Tykes II Inc., located on 1723 W. 35th Street, from
the age of three. This specific daycare consists of four classrooms categorized by certain ages.
Two classrooms are dedicated for children age three to five, one classroom is dedicated for
children age one to two, and the last classroom is intended for infants 18 to 24 months of age. In
addition to being categorized by age group, the classrooms are color coded in order for parents to
easily navigate the daycare. Michael is a part of the 3-5 year old group located in the purple
room. Michael appeared to be a mature child and stood out from others, which is why he was
selected for this observation.
On September 4, 2014, Michael was closely observed in order to detect whether or not he
was developing his social skills appropriately. During circle time, Michaels teacher sung the
Good Morning Song which impelled her students to begin clapping their hands. Michael,
however, stood up and began dancing and singing the song which allowed an observer to assume
that he liked attention, but he also wanted to stay involved in morning activity with his peers.
Once circle time was over, the reviewing of shapes, numbers, and the alphabet commenced.

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Michael asked the teacher Teacher, are you reading a book today? I want you to read! The
teacher then prepared everyone for story time by clapping her hands and asking her students to
quietly form a circle. Michael excitingly helped and took charge of forming a perfect circle to
enclose everyone in together to listen to the story.
Once the circle was formed and all of the students sat quietly the teacher began reading
the book. Michael became very excited and surprised everyone as he quickly stood up while
moving his arms in circular motions. He said Im a ballerina like Grace! Look at me! Yay!
Yay! After observing this behavior from Michael for a second time it was clear that he enjoyed
imaginative play with others as he took the roles of the characters in the book. The next activity
prepared for the children was located on their tables. They were instructed to write anything they
wanted in their journals. Michael then asked his teacher Teacher, may I draw when I finish my
journal? His teacher responds Of course you may Michael. What is it that you will be
drawing? Michael responds Im drawing a picture for my mommy!
In the art area, Michael used colored pencils and white paper to begin drawing. He then
noticed his peers coming to the art area and he seemed pleased and happy to see that they were
finished with their journals. He appeared determined to finish his drawing when he suddenly
looked up and observed a child hit one of his classmates, in the kitchen area. Michael becomes
concerned and upset which prompted him to run directly to their location. He told both of the
children Stop! Do not hit! The aggressor ignored him and continued to repeatedly hit the other
child. Michael yelled No! Stop, you hurt him! Now I am mad at you! Im telling teacher!
Without wasting another second Michael ran towards the teacher and told her Hurry teacher!
David hurt Christian, he is crying!

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It was evident that Michaels conflict resolution skills were developed as he sought the
help of an adult when it became clear to him that he would not be able to resolve the issue
himself. He also demonstrated empathy by stepping into his friends shoes and realizing that if he
was in that situation he would like someone to help. Michael demonstrated that he was doing
very well in the social domain until, on the following day, Michael proved to have a slight social
domain problem when faced with an unfamiliar situation. In addition, Michael demonstrated he
was in the initiative vs. guilt stage of Eriksons psychosocial theory. Michael enjoyed exploring
possibilities and he decided what to do next which is a part of this stage. His teachers allowed
him to explore which slowly helped Michael become more independent.
On September 5, 2014, Michael was again observed from 8:30 to 11:30. Upon arriving to
the daycare Michael immediately noticed that his teacher is missing. He asked Where is my
teacher? I want her. Another teacher explained to Michael that his teacher will not be there
today because she had a doctors appointment. Michael began to stomp the floor while showing
evidence of rage by opening his mouth and exaggerated shoulder movements. He yelled I want
my teacher now! Michael was not comfortable in situations where he was required to be
independent. He was not yet emotionally independent and thus he threw a tantrum when he was
left alone with an unfamiliar adult. Due to his constant questions, however, this day was
dedicated to observing how Michaels cognitive development was coming along.
Michael continues to ask questions in order to determine the health and well-being of his
teacher. He asked his mother Mommy is teacher getting an ouchi? His mother responds to him
that she is not sure but that medicine will be given to her. This calmed him down and convinced
him to stay at the daycare. When his friends arrived he told them Teacher went to get an ouchi
at the doctor! She is not here! However, when his friend told him he was hungry and that they

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should go get muffins for breakfast, Michael quickly agreed. Due to his quick shift of attention,
Michaels attention span observation was placed on a higher priority.
Once he thanked his teacher for the muffins and milk, Michael and his friend decided to
play in the block area. Michael decided to stack the blocks in a house formation. He told his
classmate Im making my house. My house is big! His peer responded Mine too! Mine is
blue. What color is your house? Michael responded Brown, it has big stairs and two trees.
After Michael and his friend finished their structures they both ran to the drama area. Michaels
sculpture was inspected for clues of cognitive development. Upon examining Michaels sculpture,
it was clear that he was developing very well in the cognitive domain. He created a pattern using
light brown and dark brown blocks which he carefully stacked as to avoid collision. In addition,
he placed the larger blocks first before continuing with the addition of the medium and smaller
blocks. This led to the conclusion that Michael was able to sort objects and arrange materials by
size and color.
In the dramatic area, Michael began to look for a costume to wear. He went through
several costumes before choosing a doctors costume. Michael remained still while holding the
costume before finally throwing it to the floor with anger. The teacher noticed Michaels
behavior and decided to investigate what led him to throw the costume. The teacher asks him
Why did you throw the outfit to the floor, whats wrong? He responded I am angry. I do not
want to play. I miss my teacher! The teacher explained to Michael that she understand exactly
how he is feeling. She told him of the day her friend did not go to school and that it helped to
look at her friends cubby. Michael asked how it helped her as a way to determine if she was
telling him the truth or if she was lying to him.

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Due to his constant asking of how? and when? it was clear that Michael was
developing appropriately in the cognitive domain. However, Michael did fall under Jean Piagets
preoperational stage. He demonstrated signs of egocentrism when he was unable to view his
peers point of view. He was able to see what others did wrong but when he did something he
was not supposed to he did not seem bothered. When Michael was told he did something wrong,
such as not sharing, he threw tantrums. His teacher provided Michael with the option of reading
a book which would help him calm down during his tantrums. The teacher read the book to
Michael and it is concluded that he needs work understanding others.
Michaels social development was observed for a second time on September 10, 2014 due
to the tantrum observed on September 5, 2014. Michael became frustrated while drawing his
mommy. Not knowing how to relieve his anger, Michael went over to the block area and
knocked over his friends tower. The teacher noticed Michaels behavior and told him I know
you feel angry Michael, but it is not okay to take your anger out on your friends. You made your
friend feel sad because he worked so hard to build his tower and you just came by and kicked it.
Michael, is it okay to hurt your friends? Michael nodded his face to indicate that what he did
was not right. Michael apologized to his friend and offered to help rebuild the tower.
On September 11, 2014, Michael threw another tantrum after he noticed one of his peers
take the book he read in the morning. He told the child That book is mine! Give it back, give
me! Michael began pulling the book away from his peer but the child also fought back. Unable
to take the book away, Michael threw himself on the floor and began kicking and crying while
moving his hands back and forth. At this point, it was clear that Michael demonstrated
challenges in the social domain. His tantrums in this domain came from the inability to

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accomplish a task and the fear of losing an object that reminded him of his mother. The book
was special to him because his mother read it to him every night.
On September 9, 2014, an opportunity arose to help evaluate Michaels physical
development. While playing soccer the teacher taught Michael how to kick the ball in order to
make a goal. Michael quickly learned and asked if he could invite his friends to play with him.
The teacher answered Sure, why not? Michael then called his friends and began to teach them
how to play as well. Michael told his peers The ball cannot go that way; you need to make a
goal in the middle. They took turns attempting to make a goal and when it was Michaels turn
he jumped in excitement and said Yay! Yay! I made a goal. I know how to play soccer! This
observation proved that Michaels ability to kick and coordinate the path of a ball was very
strong.
In addition, prior to outdoor play, Michael demonstrated evidence of being able to
correctly hold a pencil. He placed a firefighter outfit from the dramatic area on a flat surface.
Michael then took a paper and pencil and began drawing the outfit. He first drew the hat before
drawing the shirt. After holding the pencil in the same position for a while he chose to hold it in
a different way. He then continued drawing a house and scribbled around the house to represent
a fire. The teacher then came near Michael and asked him What did you draw Michael? He
answered a house on fire while pointing at the image. After making these observations it was
concluded that Michael was very strong in the physical domain and no further actions were
required.
On September 10, 2014, Michael was observed for any complications in the language
domain. Michael began to converse with one of his peers while they both sat in the block area.

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Michael asked his friend Do you miss your mommy? The child responded by saying Yes, my
mommy is at work. Michael then said My mommy works too. She is coming for me and my
sister. We have a car that takes me home. The child continued the conversation and said I
dont have a car, I go on the bus. But my dad has a truck, hes at work. Michael enjoyed having
back-and-forth conversations with his peers. He spoke in sentences of more than five words
which showed a healthy development in this domain.
On September 12, 2014, Michael demonstrated the ability to converse not only with his
peers but with his teachers and adults as well. After noticing Michael in the block area, his
teacher asked him Are you supposed to be here Michael? Your area is not here, I believe.
Michael responds I know teacher. Look! Teacher that building is big like my house. The
teacher then began asking him open-ended questions. She asked him What color is your
house? Michael answered My house is big and brown. I have long stairs. I go up. Due to this
observation, it was concluded that Michael did not require any assistance in the language
domain. Those around him were able to completely understand everything that Michael said and
asked. Michael was able to understand what was said to him and he was able to provide clear
answers to questions.
In addition, Michael showed interest in learning new words on September 9, 2014. He
tells his teacher Good morning, its nice outside! I saw a school bus outside. His teacher asked
him Where did you see the school bus? Michael responded My mommy was driving outside
then a bus was next to our car. Then mommy drives fast and stops on the stop sign and then I
saw the school bus by the stop sign. The teacher told Michael You are very observant Not
knowing what observant meant, Michael said Whats obserI cant say that word. The
teacher explained to him what it meant to be observant and she taught him how to pronounce the

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word. His vocabulary increased by as many as four to six words a day which proved he was
advancing very well in this domain.
Michael experiences challenges in each of the domains except for the physical and
language domain. His constant tantrums proved to show complications in the social domain. He
became upset each time he was placed in a situation where he would be required to be
independent. In addition, when things did not go his way, Michael became upset and ran around
the room or stomped his feet on the floor. Positive ways to address this problem include
providing words and techniques which will help Michael when faced with social problems with
peers, explaining what his peers feel when they are given orders by conducting a puppet play or
reading a book on the topic, and by providing a visual chart of the order of activities or routine.
Another way to ensure that Michael is making healthy improvements in this domain is to create
activities about sharing and taking turns by providing a variety of books about the topic and
placing the books around the classroom.
In the cognitive domain, Michael showed weakness in the ability to engage in activities
he was not interested in, solving non-social problems, identifying alphabet letters, and recalling
time and place. Different methods can be implemented during Michaels day at the center in
order to help him succeed in this domain. Such methods include working one on one with
Michael to improve his thought process, providing different writing materials to encourage him
to write his name, and creating a visual schedule to assist him when recalling time and place. As
a way to help Michael identify alphabet letters the teacher can provide lace letters, alphabet card
games and sensory activities involving the alphabet.

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Lastly, while observing Michael, it was clear that he was doing perfect in the creative arts
domain. He demonstrated signs of imaginative thinking and self-expression in many of the
categories. For example, in the social domain, Michael enjoyed moving like the ballerina in the
book Amazing Grace. He was also developing his creative processes when he decided to draw
his mommy. He experimented with different colors and lines in order to get the desired drawing.
When drawing the firefighter, Michael chose to scribble lines around the house to represent a fire
instead of using lines to create flames. Michael also demonstrated he was capable of imagining
when he dressed as an astronaut on September 19, 2014. He said Im going to fly and began to
open his arms as if he was flying. His development in this domain helped Michael overcome
obstacles in other domains. When he threw tantrums he often did something creative to relax
such as drawing or pretending to be a character in a book.
Further time was required to observe the effects of Michaels, fathers death. Due to his
fathers death, Michael could have experienced several delays in his development. It is possible
that his constant tantrums when faced with a situation of letting go of a person or object could
have been a result of his fathers death. In order to prove this as a fact, more information would
have to be obtained as to what occurred on the day of his fathers death. Information would be
required as to what Michael was told on that specific day and his reaction over the course of the
following months.
Michael expressed signs of fear when his teacher was not present on September 5, 2014.
However, more observations would be required to be certain that he was afraid of losing
anything or anyone he was attached to. Observing Michael on a day when his best friend was not
present would have allowed for evidence of a challenge due to his fathers death. Michael also
disliked when his peers touched any object of emotional value. Perhaps allowing Michael to

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bring an object from home and observing his reaction when his peers wanted to use it would help
conquer this challenge. Making these observations would allow an observer to determine
whether or not his fathers death had an impact on Michaels development.