Recording Observations

List the header information: Date, time, name (pseudonym – do not use a child's real name), age, and any other information the instructor requires.

Record what you see or hear. Think of yourself as a video camera recording without interpreting. Avoid phrases such as:

  • he/she seems
  • she/he is trying
  • he/she appears
  • I think
  • It looks like
  • he/she likes
  • I feel he/she can't
  • he/she meant
  • she/he understands
  • she/he feels

Include the child's own words. Write it exactly how the child says it.

Be specific. For example say: "David counts 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10" Do not say: "David counts to 10".

Describe what the child is doing. Write: "Maggie picks up a block with her right hand and puts it on top of another block of the same size." Do not write: "Maggie takes a block and stacks on another block."

Know what is important to record. Review your assignment prior to your observation.

All observations must be in paragraph format. Follow APA.

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