I conducted my observation of young children assignment at the Learning and Play Preschool and Daycare. Learn and Play is located in Michigan. Their slogan is “Where We Cherish Your Children.” Their program offers child care with a preschool experience that helps build each child’s self-esteem and prepares them for school. Lean and Play strives to aid in a child’s overall development through nurturing, positive guidance, developmentally appropriate practice and play. They believe that a child’s desire to learn is heightened when incorporated through play and the use of creative arts. They have learning centers in each classroom that are set up to focus on all of the areas of a child’s development. They offer full-time and part-time care for children two weeks through twelve years of age.
I observed the toddler’s, ages two to three years old, and ages four to five. I observed on Monday, June 27th from 9am to 11am and Tuesday, June 28th from 9am to 11am. On Monday I observed the two and three year olds. The teacher said that she usually has around nine children in her classroom. On this day she only had three children due to various reasons. There were two boys and one girl. The boys are three years old and the girl is two years old. When I entered the classroom the teacher introduced me and told the children that I would be joining them in class today. When I first got there only the two boys were there and the little girl came in a bit later. One of the first things I witnessed was a fall by one of the boys. He fell while running in the classroom and bumped his head. He cried hard and looked to the teacher for comfort. She told him, “That is why we do not run in the classroom because you can get hurt.”
During my two hours of observation the class did free play time, circle and story time, and then arts and crafts time. During free play time the two boys were playing together with a big toy truck. The one boy seemed to dominate the play and act as “the leader”. The little girl joins the class by this point and the teacher slowly encouraged her to join the other boys in free time play. She was obviously shy and a little unsure of the new person in the classroom. The children were instructed to move to the building station and build with blocks. These blocks were able to be pulled apart and be placed back together. The little girl stacked the blocks 5 high several times and then knocked them down. She also then lined them in a row of nine. She helped clean up the blocks with directions from the teacher. While one of the boys was playing with the blocks he was talking to himself, although it was too quiet for me to hear what he was actually saying. He was making the blocks “fly” around too. The other boy put the blocks on his hands through the holes in the center. He was pretending to be a boxer and punching the air. The little girl says, “Those aren’t gloves they’re blocks silly!” Everyone in the room laughed and the boy enjoyed the attention and kept pretending. The other boy is very helpful and cooperative. He helped the other children put their toys away after free play was over.
Next, was circle time. During this time the children sit in chairs in a circle and are facing a large board with a big calendar, shapes, colors and letters to interact with. The teacher started a basic preschool class and told all the children to sit in their chairs and keep their hands to themselves and pay attention. All three kids had great interaction with the teacher and where all shouting out answers to her questions. They happily sang along with the little songs that she had made up for the days of the week and the months of the year. They were pleased with themselves that they knew the answers. They knew what letters started their first names and even knew the letters that started their classmates names. They easily followed directions, provided appropriate answers, and could answer routine...