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Observing and Assessing Children

Learning Story
Assignment #3

Shannon Gray
Wednesday April 13, 2016
Heather Kay
EDUC 85 Observing Competence In Young Children

Part 1: Learning Story

Down they Go
Dear J,

Today I introduced you to a sensory bin full of different objects. The bin
contained toilet paper and paper towel rolls, different sized rocks, bells,
buttons, cotton balls and jewels. The sensory bin immediately caught your
eye. You ran over to the bin and began moving around the different
objects in the bottom. You picked up the toilet paper and placed in front of
your eye. I wondered if you were putting the tube up to your eye because
you were thinking of different ways you would play with it or if you were
using it as a telescope.

J, you seemed very concentrated as you explored the different objects

in the sensory bin. You picked a big rock up with your left hand while
holding the toilet paper tube in your other hand. You dropped the rock into
the tube but since your right hand was placed near the bottom of the
tube, the rock landed in your hand. You continue to repeat this action until
you realized that your hand was blocking the rock from falling. You moved
your hand up closer to the middle of the tube and dropped the rock again
through the top. As you dropped the rock through the tube, I noticed that
you watched the rock fall all the way down. After the first rock hit the bin,
you seemed to enjoy the sound it made and continue to repeat the action.
You seemed very excited about your accomplishment.

You continued to explore the sensory bin in many different ways. You
grabbed the different materials and placed them down the tube as you
watched the objects roll down and listened for it to hit the bottom of the
bin. I wondered if you noticed the different sounds each materials made
when they hit the bottom of the bin. You took the toilet paper rolls and
placed it over your mouth. You began to talk and make noises through the
tube. You and your friend C used the tubes to communicate to each other.
I wondered if you noticed that when you talked through the tubes it made
your voice louder or if it made your voice sound different. Jeren you were
so focused and concentrated during this exploration!

What it means:

J showed me that he was able to explore the objects independently. He

explore the objects in many different ways. He was the leader in showing the
children around new ways to play with the objects. He showed the children
that they could see and talk through the rolls because they have a hole in
the middle. He also showed them that when you drop different objects down
the tubes they will make different noises when hitting the bottom.

Opportunities and Possibilities:

Since J shows the enjoyment of watching different objects fall down

something and hear the end noise, I would offer him clear plastic tubing.
The plastic tubing would allow for him to see the objects fall all the way
down. I would switch the sensory bin from being empty to filled with
water, that would allow for him to hear the different noises the objects
make in each bin. J might also enjoy collecting different materials and
going on a walk to find grates where they could drop the different
materials in.


In the observation of J exploring and participating in the sensory bin,

connects to the ELF document because he was exercising his cognitive
skills as well, as his physical skills. He maintained his attention to the
sensory bin and his explorations. He problem solved his way through his
problems by himself by using all of his senses.
Toddlers (14 months to 3 years) Pg. 33. 4. Cognition - 4.2
Problem solving: solving problems by trial and error,
seeking out adults to help meet goals
J was exploring with the different objects in the bin. When he was
experimenting with the objects going down the tubes he had to problem
solve because he had his hand too low of the tube. Every time he would put
the rock down the tube it would keep falling into his hand. He had to readjust
his to meet his goals of dropping the rock into the bin.

Toddlers (14 months to 3 years) Pg. 36. 5. Physical - 5.3

Senses Sensory exploration: using senses in exploration of
properties and functions of objects and materials
J at the beginning of this experience was exploring the sensory bin with
all of his senses. He used his hands to swoosh all the objects around in the
bin. He touched all the objects before using them as if he was examine their

Toddlers (14 months to 3 years) Pg.33. 4.Cognitve 4.1 Self-

regulation: maintaining attention for increasing periods of
J was at the sensory bin exploring the different objects for a period of
time. He explored and experimented in many different ways. He ignored all
the distractions that were going on in the room. Jeren stayed at the sensory
bin until he had finished all his explorations.

Part 2: The Interview

Host Educator: Madison (Maddy) Loucks

Me: Which observation methods do you use at your center?
Maddy: At our centre we do anecdotal, learning stories and take
many photographs. We sometimes need to use developmental
checklist for certain children.

Me: How often are observations done?

Maddy: Observations of the children are done daily. We have an
observation book in our room that we write in daily.

Me: How do you include families?

Maddy: To include the families of the children in our care we post our
observations from our activities up on the walls in the hallway. We also
discuss the observations with the parents at pick-up or drop-offs, when
giving messages about the childrens day.

Me: What is the process of your observations?

Maddy: First we observe the children then write it in the book. We will
prepare activities based off of the observations. We take pictures
during the experience and do a learning story based off it.

Best Start Expert Panel on Early Learning (2014) Excerpts from ELECT.
Queens Printer for Ontario