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Reflective Essay: Should There Be Pilot Tested?

First, an anecdotal record can be defined as a short written story of one incident that is developmental significance (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 151) The story is short and records the child’s or children’s age. In addition, the developmental significance is stated. The second method is a checklist (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 158-172). A checklist is a list of behaviors/ noticeable behaviors. A checklist is easy to use and leaves little room for bias. Checklists can be used to determine changes over time in how a child behaves or changes and grows.

Checklists are easy o read and fill out. One other important thing is the checklist should be pilot tested. My checklist was pilot tested. The third method I used during my observation is the ratings scale (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 178-194). Rating scales talk about the quality of what was observed. The quality is determined by use of the word such as “never”. In my rating scale never was defined as “not observed during the observation”. Each of the terms I used were clearly defined and had been pilot tested.

The fourth method I used is called a running record (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 112-129). Running records are written in the present tense and are a record of everything the child does for a specific length of time. My running record lasted for nine minutes. During my running record, I just recorded the child’s naturally occurring behavior. Data and Significance First I will go over my anecdotal records. First to deal with the topic I chose a cognitive development related to memory. Two of these anecdotal records show the development of cognition.

Grace 4;6 after Grace picked out the book she wanted read to her, the caregiver was reading “the cat in the Hat” to Grace. After the cat fell down Grace said “I bump head”, talking about an event that happened in the past. Psychosocial development — self-concept. Cognition – memory. Grace 4;6 When 13-month- old Luke arrives, Grace runs over to her caregiver and touches the red vest the caregiver is wearing. “Luky too! ” She exclaims. Indicating that Luke is also wearing a vest. Luke is wearing an orange vest. Cognitive development — classification.

The first anecdotal record shows how Grace remembers a situation where she bumped her head like the story although this is an example of self-concept it is also an example of emory specifically recall memory. The second instance also fits in with cognitive development. Grace classified the vests Luke and her caregiver were wearing, even though the vests were different colors. The second method I use during my observation is a checklist. Grace used language to express how she felt. This was very clear from my checklist. One of the things on my checklist was “child demonstrates ability to problem solve”.

And I did not notice this during the observation. Everything else on my observation except “child expresses anger by talking” was noticed. Grace did not talk about feeling ngry because she did not get angry the whole time of the observation. In fact the more I thought back on it, don’t remember a time when Grace got really angry. I have seen her get frustrated though, and she usually makes a groaning sound when frustrated. I was really glad that I could see the development of theory of mind in this checklist. Grace expressed how she felt about stuff, disappointment, pain and showed sympathy.

These are all great indicators that Grace is developing theory of mind. She understands that she must communicate how she feels to her caregivers. The third method he rating scale was an expansion in analyzing Grace’s memory. The only thing I did not observe during the entire time I was observing was to see her sing a song from memory. Everything else on my ratings scale was observed at least once. The rating scale demonstrates that Grace shares memories and talks about what happened over the previous day or week at least 3 to 6 times during the observation.

Grace also asked for her mother at least seven or more times during the observation. Grace had been sick and her mom had stayed home with her for the past couple of days, so she was used to being with her mom nd talked about her a lot. While the caregiver was reading a book to Grace, once or twice grace told what would happen in the book before the page was turned. As far as I know, Grace had not seen this book in over one month. So remembering what happened in the story demonstrated that she could recall things from one or several months previous.

Grace remembered things that have happened from two to ten months ago about 3-6 times during the observation. I was not entirely sure when of the things she talked about happened. But I know enough about grace to make educated assumptions. For example, I know that around one year ago, her family went to Disneyland because we did not babysit her that week. So when she talks about that event, I know that took place around ten months previous to the observation. The fourth and final tool used was the running record. It indicates to me that Grace is asked “why”.

This is an indicator that Grace is developing cognitively. She is asking questions and this is great. In the future if she asks me “why? ” and I am a participant not an observer, I might turn why questions on her and ask her. “Why do you think Luke is not here? ” This would be a way to find out hat she is thinking. Future Plan/Goals After doing the assessment, I found out that Grace, who has been having speech problems for several years, was finally assessed by an audiologist. The audiologist determined that Grace is (at least from the initial assessment) is deaf in one ear, but as normal hearing in the other.

This recent development changes my goals for Grace. As a sign language interpreter who has several friends that are hard of hearing, I will encourage Grace’s parents to incorporate sign language as well as speech therapy and hearing aids. They are very open to this and I am grateful. In light of this new development, I will be making sure to teach her more sign language and give her access to a visual language. One unease I have is about Grace’s is language development. I read an article entitled “Language and Literacy Development of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children: Successes and Challenges” (p. 5).

The authors discuss how children who are deaf/hard of hearing develop language and literacy. They also discuss how children who have hearing loss struggle with language development. This is defiantly a concern for Grace. Even though she seems to understand, she struggles to communicate and express herself. I have to guess some of what she is saying by context. I know speech therapy and a maybe hearing aid will help with improving her speech. I also believe sign language would be another great way for her to progress in language.

In addition, if I would analyze Grace in the future, I would plan to focus on psychosocial development. I would specifically choose self-esteem (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 96-97). Grace comes home and tells her mom that “other kids say I talk like baby”. Grace’s mom feels heartbroken by this comment. Grace could be struggling with her self-esteem connected to how she peaks. The parent cannot just tell her “You speak fine”. Grace has to feel that she speaks satisfactory herself. Speech therapy hopefully will aid with her speech and ultimately her self- esteem.

Conclusion What one of the reasons it is critical to observe children and early childhood education is because caregivers can often times notice when something is wrong. Caregivers can be less influenced by the Halo effect because they are aware of it (Nicolson & Shipstead, 1998, p. 308). Of course, some caregivers are influenced by the Halo effect, but being aware and checking biases lessen this. With past observation of Grace, I had serious, repeated talks with her mom and dad that I thought she was not saying enough words for her age.

Each time they mentioned this to the pediatrician, he said her ears were fine and no further testing was needed. It was not until Grace was three years old and three months that finally the pediatrician agreed that her speech was delayed and this signified possible hearing loss. If the pediatrician had listened to the parent’s concerns and ordered the tests sooner, this would be beneficial for Grace in many ways. One of the most important reasons to observe hildren is to make sure he/she is not showing signs of delay or disability.

Communicating concerns to parents is also critical because parents might spend far less time with children during an average weekday. Another way to aid Grace is to understand her family context. Her mother has a Master’s degree in Sociology. She works for a big company resolving conflicts between adults. Her father was in the military for many years before getting out, getting a good job and marrying her mother. Her mother has two children from a previous marriage that are both attending private elementary school. All of this information s what Worthan calls funds of knowledge (Worthan, 2016, p. 6).

These funds of knowledge give me an advantage by letting me know that Grace is in a stable environment with well-educated parents. They both work full time, but spend as much time as possible with Grace and her siblings. I also know that Grace’s mom works to provide services for Deaf and hard of hearing employees of her company. Unlike most parents who have a hard of hearing child and never meet anyone who is Deaf or hard of hearing, Grace’s mom has had some exposure. One further thing about Grace is that I now know her strength as far s being able to hear.

I know that her left ear can hear. This is very useful to know. If I am sitting on her right side and talking to her from several feet away, this is likely not a good idea. Grace also cannot be expected to tell me she cannot hear me. Instead, as the caregiver, I will have to be aware of her strength and support her by moving. I will make use of knowing her left ear is the one that she can hear from by communicating with her from that angle. To back to the start of my paper, an associate told me how she thinks observing children is boring and unnecessary.

The fact of the matter is, observing children can be one of the best ways to find out if they are delayed, have a disability or are progressing at an average rate. Consider with me for a moment that Grace had not been diagnosed with the hearing loss until she entered kindergarten. My guess is that Grace’s speaking skills are around one year delayed for her age. In two more years she could be two or three years delayed in speaking. If she had entered kindergarten without any kind of intervention, not only, could she likely be at a disadvantage cognitively, but also, the likely also her self-esteem could be very low.

This would have put her at a great disadvantage when compared with her peers. The good news is Grace’s family has the resources to visit the pediatrician often and he finally recognized her speech delay as needing intervention. To sum it all up, it is critical observing students in early education situations are. Educators need to be aware that observations are priceless. These methods, which seem like a boring task in a child development class, can actually help children to thrive in the education system.

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