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PLAY OBSERVATION Shafer 1

Gia Shafer
Prefessor Westfall
ECE 252
1, October 2017

1. Description (5 points)
The Beetles Classroom consists of child ranging from 18-24 months. The classroom is clean and

cozy. There is evidence of children’s projects and photos posted on specifically labeled boards:

creative art, writing, math, science, enrichment. The windows are open allowing fresh air to

circulate within the classroom. At 3:40 there are eight students and three teachers. It is a time of

transition from afternoon snack. Ms. Gem is changing diapers, Ms. Alexis is assisting hand

washing, and Ms. Autumn is sitting in the large group area reading books with children. The

classroom is arranged with centers, dramatic play, blocks, tabletop manipulatives, library, large

motor, and a cozy area. After hand washing, Ms. Alexis does not give any direction to the

children, but all of them migrate over to Ms. Autum’s story, getting their own books and

participating in “What does a cow say?” Some children stay focused and interested, and other

children begin to lose interest leaving to go to other areas of the classroom, playing with other

items.

2. Cognitive play (25 points)

a) All materials were available and age-appropriate, there was nothing out of reach, and all

centers were open. Block Center consisted of bins of plastic animals, soft plastic cars, soft-

wooded large blocks, bight misshaped links and large mega blocks. Library Center has a mirror

and a low bookshelf with a variety of large and small hard cardboard books. Dramatic Play

includes a little plastic table and chairs for students to sit at, kitchen materials, babies, dress up
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clothes, and items from home. Manipulative are kept on a tall shelf and in individual bins. This

area includes links, musical instruments, puzzles, and large trucks. The large motor corner

consists of soft climbable mats and stairs.

b) Children chose to spend time in library with Ms. Autumn, dramatic play and blocks.

c) Books, blocks and dramatic play items were all equally played with in the 30 minutes of my

observation.

d) In the library area, some children were interacting and participating with Ms. Autumn. Ben

was vocal answering the animal sounds, Sloane was reading her own books, turning pages,

sticking out her tongue, and placing the book on her head and laughing. Wolfie and Harper were

gathering books from the library, bringing them to Ms. Autumn and trying to sit on her lap. Nora

and Zain were in Dramatic Play Zain was cooking on the stove, and Nora was sitting between

two babies patting their backs. Alysha and Tommy chose blocks and played with the animals and

cars. Tommy was stacking two large blocks and crashing the car into them making them fall

over. Alysha mostly wanted the animals and was carefully examining them. In the library area,

some children were interacting and participating with Ms. Autumn. Ben was vocal answering the

animal sounds, Sloane was reading her own books, turning pages, sticking out her tongue, and

placing the book on her head and laughing. Wolfie and Harper were gathering books from the

library, bringing them to Ms. Autumn and trying to sit on her lap. Nora and Zain were in

Dramatic Play Zain was cooking on the stove, and Nora was sitting between two babies patting

their backs. Alysha and Tommy chose blocks and played with the animals and cars. Tommy was

stacking two large blocks and crashing the car into them making them fall over. Alysha mostly

wanted the animals and was carefully examining them.

e) The children were learning literacy, animal sounds; teacher-directed play and child-directed
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play, cooperative play, independence, self-help skills, nurturing, cause and effect, how the world

works around them, communication, sharing, and practicing both large and small motor skills.

3. Social play (20 points)

a) Once Ms. Alexis was finished with handwashing she placed objects on the table as options if

children wanted to participate. At one table she set playdoh, trays, rollers and cookie cutters. At

the other table, she placed paper, markers, and crayons. She positioned herself between the two

tables to assist children. Tommy saw the playdoh, screamed and ran to the table leaving the

blocks and cars he was playing with. He quickly positioned himself in the chair and began

squeezing and rolling playdoh. He starts pulling it apart in small pieces on the tray then uses both

hands to rub the playdoh in a back and forth motion. Tommy does not look up at the teacher and

does not look around the classroom at his peers.

b) During Ms. Autumn’s reading Ben left the group and got a big truck, he placed his hands on

the truck and quickly pushed it across the room while laughing. He stood up looked around. Ben

left his truck in the dramatic play area went to get another large truck. He takes the truck to

Wolfie, attempts to hand it to him when he loses his balance and falls down. Ben says “truck”

and ran to his truck and began pushing it across the room. Wolfie watched him and then began

pushing his truck across the room. Both boys are smiling and laughing often mimicking each

other.

c) The play materials help determines the level of social play by providing open-ended, child-

directed play that was suitable for each child's needes. There was an opportunity for teacher lead

play in the library where children interacted together and also read their own book close to the

group. Dramatic play, block center, playdoh and creative art table included rich materials were
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provided to meet the individual needs of the children. They can engage in both solitaire play or

parallel play. Also, children, emerging on cooperative play were allowed create their own play

by taking the trucks off the shelf creating their own game.

d) The adult interaction was perfect. Ms. Autumn read to the children and interacted through

story capturing the students interest. Ms. Gem was diaper changing, explaining what she was

doing and creating an intimate, individual conversation. Ms. Alexis talked to each child as she

was assisting hand washing and then providing support and encouragement at the playdoh and

art table.

4. Conclusion (10 points)

a) What I learned from this observation is how much learning is going on in a room filled with

toddlers. I witnessed teachers letting the children choose their educational path, and the children

enjoyed it. They did not have to conform and all sit at the table or rug for story time. They were

able to express their interests and move freely from one are to the next. Nora was allowed to

bring her baby doll to the art table and not forced to choose one activity or the other. Ben and

Wolfe were allowed to run in the classroom pushing their trucks in a run path they created.

Tommy was able to play and explore on his own, entertaining himself. Other students remained

listening to the stories and bring Ms. Autumn more books to read. Every child was engaged and

happy!

b) Give at least 2 recommendations for play activities/materials

for the group you observed (including actions of caregivers).


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1. While at the art and playdoh table Ms. Alexis could have asked more open-ended questions or

stated what she saw “Tommy I notice you are pulling the playdoh apart in "little," "small," or

"tiny" pieces labeling language and building complex vocabulary.

2. All the materials provided had a plan and purposeful intention behind them except for the

manipulative shelf, that was a mix of everything. I would recommend the teachers collaborate

assessing the children's interest and place items children want to engage within that area.