An intentional teacher is a skilled and thoughtful observer. With each observation, whether a running record, anecdotal note, video recording, checklist, frequency counts, learning story or work sample, they are watching and listening, and considering what do I know about this child, and how can I best support this child? As teachers gather and organize their observation data, they begin to see each child for who they are as an individual, and as a member of the classroom community. With that information, intentional teachers can set realistic expectations of what children can do. Ideally, teachers will utilize the documented data to develop developmentally appropriate activities and to create an interesting and stimulating learning environment that is designed to promote play, socialization, growth and development. Now that you have been introduced to some of the tools and techniques that are used to gather information and document a child’s development, in the next chapter, you will delve deeper to review the concepts of typical development and atypical development, and you will learn about some additional tools that can be used to track a child’s development.
Bentzen (2009), Seeing Young Children: A Guide to Observing and Recording Behavior. Thomson Delmar Learning, Clifton Park, NY