Observe an infant or toddler (birth to 36 months) for 30 minutes as they interact with the world around them.
- Create a running record observation; analyze sequences of actions and behaviors to help you make inferences about what you see.
- Categorize and discuss observed behaviors and actions through the lens of the developmental domains.
- Choose an infant or toddler (birth to 36 months) to observe. Make sure you have parental consent to observe the child for this assignment.
- Observe the child playing for at least 30 minutes. Use the running record format (attached copy below) to take detailed notes about the sequence of actions and behaviors as they happen. During the observation all of your notes about what you see happening will go in the left hand column. A sample of a running record can be found in figure 4.4 on page 74 of your textbook.
- After the observation is over, review your completed notes (left hand column) and make inferences about the actions and behaviors that you observed (in the right hand column). You might want to use this section to connect actions or behaviors to the developmental domains. One trick I have used before is to highlight all of the cognitive actions in yellow, motor actions in blue, language in orange, etc. This helps you to prepare for the next step.
- Using your running record notes to write an observation report (essay format) discussing the child and what you observed related to his/her stage of development in each of the developmental domains. You will write at least a half page of information for each domain (see formatting directions below).
Observation Report Formatting Requirements:
- All reports must be typed (12-point, single spaced, Time New Roman font).
- Your first page must be a Title Page (no page number). In the middle of the page, include:
- Assignment title, your name, course name, and the date. (5 points)
- On the next page, begin your report by introducing your subject (5 points):
- Name of child (can be fictionalized)
- Age of child
- Description of the setting and anyone else present
- After the intro, you will summarize the observation based on the developmental domains. For each domain, describe the actions and behaviors you observed. What do they tell you about the child? This should be at least 1/2, but no more than 1 page per domain. Use separate headers for each of the following sections:
- Emotional Domain (5 points)
- Social Domain (5 points)
- Cognitive Domain (5 points)
- Language Domain (5 points)
- Physical Domain (5 points)
- End your paper with a reflection about what you learned during this assignment. This is not what the baby learned, but what you are taking away about observation or development from this assignment. (5 points)
- Submit your completed Running Record Observation notes (10 points) and your Observation Report. You do not need to retype your running record notes. Just take a picture of each page and upload it for credit.
View and download a copy of the Running Record Observation Template.docx here.