CFE 102 #1 Observation Report
You will need to observe a child in the developmental period – infancy (6mo. to 24 months). You may
observe the child of a friend/relative for this observation. You cannot observe your own child. During
your observation, it is suggested that you sit on a small chair in a corner of the room (or yard) so that
you can best observe the child. The purpose of the observation is to be like “a fly on the wall” who
watches but does not interact with the children during the observation period. Therefore, you should:
avoid making eye contact or facial expressions that indicate communication with the
wear comfortable but fairly plain clothes, avoiding things which might be of interest for a
child (like a Mickey Mouse or Sponge Bob tee-shirt);
distance yourself so that you can see and hear the children but are not in their play area
or personal space;
respond in simple sentences to children’s questions about what you are doing, but do
not invite further conversation (e.g. “I’m watching your classroom for an assignment for
my college class.” or “I’m doing my homework.”);
try to avoid staring at any one child so as not to make him/her uncomfortable.
Why is observation of a child important to child development?
You will need to complete the Observation Verification form (attached) for the observation. For the
observational report, you will spend a minimum of one (1) hour observing the selected child. You may
need to complete more than one observation date or setting in order to gather information in all areas
below. During your observation, you will complete a running record (attached). You may also use
anecdotal notes. Remember that you just write what you observe in your running record or anectodal
notes, no judgements should be made.
For example: You see a child crying and throwing a toy after not being able to open it.
Judgement Statement: The child was angry and frustrated because they could not open the toy.
Observation Statement: After attempting to open a toy, the child scrunched their face,
started to cry and throw the toy.
The judgement statement draws conclusions, while the observation statement simply describes what
is being seen. Your running record should only have observation statements.
Running record notes should be written every 5 minutes or as child moves, changes activities, adding
details you want to capture for your written paper. From these notes (anecdotal/running record) and
your interpretation of observations, you will prepare a written report. Your written paper will be based
on facts not opinions/feelings that you might have. You should use chapters 5, 6, and 7 to integrate
the theory and empirical knowledge. Your report should be three typed, double-spaced pages
in length, and address the following:
What is the infancy stage of development?
1. Introductory paragraph: Include identification of the developmental period, age/sex of the
target child, description of the child and date/location of the observation. Describe people
present and the setting briefly.
2. Developmental Areas: Describe examples in each area of development (physical, socialemotional, cognitive, and language, adaptive/self-help) that you observed. (Relate relevant
information from the textbook, developmental checklist, and outside readings that
CFE 102 #1 Observation Report
supports each of your statements. Remember to cite using APA formatting. This would
also require a reference page.)
Some examples include:
a. Social-emotional development: dimension of temperament, attachment, social
referencing, peer interactions, appropriateness of play, perspective-taking, social
problem-solving, responses to a particular stimulus, expression of emotions, empathy
b. Physical development: general health status, reflexes, cephalocaudal and proximodistal
development gross and fine motor movements/activity, coordination, reference or
comparison to motor developmental milestones.
c. Cognitive development: schemes, assimilation/accommodation, cause and effect,
imitation, sounds they make, reasoning and understanding skills, problem-solving,
processing of information, interaction with environment (Piaget), use of materials,
imagination and creativity, curiosity and exploration.
How do you observe a child’s development?
d. Language development: expressive language, receptive language, vocabulary,
use/functions of language, syntax, other communication, and speech quality.
e. Self-help skills/Adaptive behavior: eating, grooming/hygiene, self-regulation, mobility.
3. Describe any guidance strategies and other interactions that adults utilized to promote
children’s physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language development.
4. Describe how the physical environment was arranged and equipped to promote children’s
physical, social-emotional, cognitive, and language development.
5. Observation Paragraphs: Write at least two commentary paragraphs that integrate your
theoretical and empirical knowledge of child development with observed child behavior.
Compare and connect your observations to the information presented in the chapters of the
textbook, developmental checklist and discussions relevant to the developmental stage and
age of child observed. Be sure to give specific elements that connect theories- find the
observable behavior and explanation of how the observable behavior correlates with the
aspect of theorist presented from the text book and class discussions