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1.9: Observation and Documentation Dos and Don’ts

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    Whether performing a planned or spontaneous observation here are some helpful tips to ensure you are recording quality evidence:

    Table \(\PageIndex{1}\): Observation and Documentation Do’s and Don’ts

    Observation and Documentation DOs:

    Observation and Documentation DON’Ts

    1. Note the date, time, setting,
    2. Note the child (or children) involved
    3. Record only the facts – in a concise (to the point) manner
    4. Record the facts in the order as they occur and exactly as you see it
    5. Collect vivid details and quotes
    6. Use a variety of Observation Methods
    7. Observe with an open heart, an open mind and a clear lens, free of bias
    8. Be attentive and alert, and use all your senses
    9. Note what the child CAN DO rather than what he cannot do
    10. Keep a low profile and respect the children’s space while they are playing
    1. Do not interfere or pressure the children to perform
    2. Do not assume or state your opinion while recording evidence
    3. Do not record anything you do not see
    4. Do not label behaviors, actions or feelings
    5. Avoid using subjective, bias or judgmental terms
    6. Avoid using exaggerations and conditional words
    7. Do not summarize information
    8. Avoid using generalizations or vague terms

    This page titled 1.9: Observation and Documentation Dos and Don’ts is shared under a CC BY license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Gina Peterson and Emily Elam.