I observed children at ABC Child Development Center in the 3 year old classroom on March 1, 2010 from 8am until 11am. The classroom had a very diverse composition in the classroom, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, Native American, and Asian (Vietnamese). In addition to diversity the ABC child development focus on maintaining a child centered environment that allows children to learn at their own pace. The classroom had 2 teachers and 24 children in attendance during the observation. The classroom has blue walls and displays of the children’s artwork around the room for Saint Patrick's Day and also spring. The classroom had 8 centers for learning and activities. The centers were arranged at the children’s eye level and lower to ensure easy access. The centers included art, science and sensory, music, blocks, dramatic play area, library, quiet zone, and a safe place center.
The class started with breakfast which included, toast, bacon, fruit, and milk. During breakfast all of the children were allowed to pour their own milk and serve themselves one scoop of fruit. As the children were eating they talked among themselves about how their mommy would come back at the end of the day. The girls began arguing about whose mother would return, they shouted at one another, “No my mommy is coming back!” the other child replied, “No my mommy is coming back not yours!” The teacher ended the argument, but as the debate about which mother would return ended, the boys began using pretend guns with their toast. Three of the boys had chewed their toast into the shape of guns and again the teacher had to redirect the boys because the child care center does not allow children participate in any violent activities. As the teacher redirected the boys, they all stated, “we are not making pow pows”.
After breakfast the children began their morning hygiene routine of going to the restroom, washing hands, and brushing teeth. The boys went to the restroom first and finished within a few minutes. The girls took longer in the restroom than the boys, because many of the girls were talking to one another while they were in the restroom. While the girls were in the restroom many of them were talking about their dogs. One girl stated the she was going to bring her dog “Peetie Joe” to her ABC school for show and share. Another student said,” Oooh ma ma ma, you can’t bring Peetie Joe to my ABC school and I am going to tell”.
As hygiene time ended the class sat around a rectangle carpet to begin circle time. Circle time lasted 20 minutes and consisted of 2 songs (Ram Sam Sam and 5 Little Monkey’s), a flannel board story (Brown Bear), and pretend play (hunters in the forest). After the circle time children were allowed to choose a center activity. Many of the children went to the dramatic play area that included a kitchen, a dress up area, and a construction table. The kitchen had a sink, refrigerator, stove, table, and many plastic foods. Five children were in the kitchen making lunch for the day. One of the students took a baby to the kitchen table and the students began telling the baby to make a happy plate so she can have treasure box. One of the students began to pat the baby on the head as he told the baby doll, “Eat all your food so you can be strong, okay.” The children in the dress up area were wearing fireman uniforms that consisted of red fire hats, jackets, and pants. The girls and boys in the area pretended to stop a fire. The children made pretend fire hoses with their hands and sprayed the walls which were the buildings that were on fire.
The remainder of the children went to the art area that consisted on two cafeteria style tables and benches that would seat 30 children. One table had green paint, gold sequins, and clovers. The children were supposed to paint the clovers greens and place sequins on the clovers. All of the children at the table completed their projects...