Remember your observation notes should provide the following detailed information about the child:
- child’s age,
- physical appearance,
- the setting, and
- any other important background information.
You should observe the child a minimum of 5 hours. Make sure you DO NOT use the child's real name in your observations. Always use a pseudo name for course assignments.
You will use your observations to help write your narrative. When submitting your observations for the course please make sure they are typed so that they are legible for your instructor. This will help them provide feedback to you.
A qualitative observation is one in which you simply write down what you see using the anecdotal note format listed below.
A quantitative observation is one in which you will use some type of checklist to assess a child's skills. This can be a checklist that you create and/or one that you find on the web. A great choice of a checklist would be an Ounce Assessment and/or work sampling assessment depending on the age of the child. Below you will find some resources on finding checklists for this portion of the case study. If you are interested in using Ounce or Work Sampling, please see your program director for a copy.
For both qualitative and quantitative observations, you will only write down what your see and hear. Do not interpret your observation notes. Remain objective versus being subjective.
An example of an objective statement would be the following: "Johnny stacked three blocks vertically on top of a classroom table." or "When prompted by his teacher Johnny wrote his name but omitted the two N's in his name."
An example of a subjective statement would be the following: "Johnny is happy because he was able to play with the block." or "Johnny omitted the two N's in his name on purpose."
Child Observation: Case Study Of An Elementary Student With Aggressive Behavior
The student that I am observing for my case study is a very imaginative student in our classroom. I believe this because I can say one word to this student and he can come up with a whole story just from that word. When he works one on one with a teacher, he is very cooperative and polite. I recently noticed that if a fellow classmate were struggling with a particular concept, he would try to give them hints towards the answer.
There are quite a few patterns of behavior that have been interfering with this student’s school success. The one that I would like to focus on for this case study is this student’s aggressive behavior. We have been in school for approximately 9 weeks now, and each week we have seen some type of aggressive behavior from this student. This behavior is not accidental, it is intentional. He is not only being aggressive towards other students in the class, but also towards the teachers and the principle of our school. An example of this behavior was last week during our “jobs” part of the day after lunch. This boy was sitting in his listening spot on our gathering carpet and suddenly turned around, grabbed another students’ head, and slammed it into the hard floor. When I removed him from the rest of the students shortly after this incident he started to kick and hit me.
I had originally assumed that these behaviors were only occurring at school towards people that the student was unfamiliar with. However, when the mother began coming in to take this student home, he was also kicking, hitting, and biting her. When these behaviors occurred towards his mother, nothing was done in response to this behavior from the mother. It was basically just ignored.
When these behaviors occur in our room like the one mentioned above, we immediately tell the student to apologize to their classmate and then, depending on the situation, we will either have him sit right by a teacher or he is completely removed from the rest of the class and has to sit at a table by himself. In order to prevent this behavior from occurring and harming the other students in our class, we have pulled this student out prior to large group activities to work one on one with a teacher. During these times he is working with educational material, he is not just playing. What my mentor and myself I have noticed from this behavior is that he is a completely different student in this atmosphere. What I mean by this is that when he has the full attention of the teacher, he is very polite, he will cooperate with the teacher and he is very helpful. When he is engaged, he will work hard on whatever the task is and contribute in a meaningful way.
The reason I believe this intervention is effective for this student and helps to decrease his aggressive behavior, is because there are times that he becomes aggressive in order to gain the attention of either his peers or a teacher. For example, during a group discussion he will call out answers and my...
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