Teachers Roles in Action Workshop Series

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Teachers Roles In Action Workshop Series

Observing Children at Play: Teachers as Scientific Inquirers Observer

A Workshop for Early Childhood Educators
by Judith Ross-Bernstein, Ithaca Prekindergarten Staff Development Initiative

Documenter

Coach

Mediator

Architect

Planner

Contents
Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3 Using Multiple Perspectives..................................................................................... 4 Resources for Further Reading ................................................................................. 5 Ideas to Explore in This Workshop ........................................................................... 5 Workshop Overview.................................................................................................. 5 For This Workshop You Will Need:........................................................................... 6 Activity A: Use this paper to tell us................................................................................ 7 Activity B: “Read Me” ...................................................................................................... 8 Handout B1: Observation and Interpretation: A Two-Step Process ....................... 10 Activity C: Observing and Recording........................................................................... 11 Handout C1: Observing and Recording Children at Play ........................................ 12 Handout C2: Helpful Language............................................................................... 13 Handout C3: List of Adjectives, Verbs, and Adverbs.............................................. 14 Activity D: Saying What You See.................................................................................. 15 Handout D1: Shaniqua, A Descriptive Anecdote.................................................... 16 Activity E: From Observation to Interpretation........................................................... 18 Handout E1: Interpreting Shaniqua ........................................................................ 19 Handout E2: Broaden Your Understanding of Shaniqua: Reflecting from Multiple Perspectives ....................................................................................... 22 Activity F: The Whys and Hows of Observing ............................................................ 23 Handout F1: Why and How to Observe .................................................................. 24 Activity G: Together Make Meaning ............................................................................ 25 Glossary ............................................................................................................................ 26

© Copyright 2001 Ithaca Prekindergarten Staff Development Initiative Additional copies of this workshop are available from: Judy Ross-Bernstein Cornell University G56 MVR Hall Ithaca, NY 14850 Phone: 607-255-0826 E-mail: info@prekstaffdevelopment.org Website: prekstaffdevelopment.org Design by Larry Clarkberg, Ithaca NY.

Introduction

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E

arly childhood teaching requires that teachers wear many hats, thereby acting in a variety of roles (teachers roles in action). By alternating between observer, architect, coach, mediator, planner, scribe and documenter in daily classroom life, the teacher becomes a thinking, vibrant professional, responding to the active learners in her care. Observation is the first and foremost step in the teaching-learning cycle, a springboard for quality practice. Teachers must be inquisitive—asking astute questions and continually wondering, “What makes this child tick,” in order to understand the children in their care. Each child is an ever-changing puzzle for teachers to make sense of. Observation is an art form, which takes practice, skill and persistence. In return for their...
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