Gathering Information about Children
Experiences will include routines tasks that support self help skills and promote confidence and self esteem, such as providing children with opportunities to do things for themselves; e.g. feeding themselves, learning how to use a potty, pack away or help set up the table
Experiences will also include range of open-ended, child directed play opportunities e.g. blocks, puzzles, dramatic play and sand and water play
Planning should reflect on the service philosophy and policies
Significant part of observing is gathering information about each child's background (family, cultural and social), development and learning style. Ongoing observations will build on this baseline knowledge and is used to inform future planning decisions about the child.
Observations require carers to: > tune in - to look and listen carefully to what children so and how they do it. Listen to what children say and be aware of their body language. Look at facial expressions - they will reveal feeling e.g whether the task is frustrating or enjoyable
> Gather Incidental Information - much of the information you gather about children's development will be acquired incidentally as you are working with the children throughout the day. Try to make a habit of keeping a notepad and pen handy to jot down information
> Be conscious of why you are observing - e.g. you may be seeking specific information about the child or a group of children; you may be assessing how children use particular equipment or play spaces; or you may be assessing how children manage routines.
> Talk to other carers about the information gathered so that observations contribute to the 'collective' knowledge about a child or a group of children. It isn't logical to expect the same amount of documentation to be collected for a child who attends one day a week