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Observing Play

Observations can seem like a daunting task but it does not need to be. Observations are recorded thoughts about a happening you witnessed. There are several kinds of observations depending upon what your goal for the observation is. 

Some things to keep in mind about observations is that they can be objective or they can be a personal account like a Learning Story. One of the most common styles of observation is the anecdotal observation

Playful Fun & Learning

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The template for an anecdotal observation looks like this:

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Another Type of observation is the Program Experience Observation. This observation records your thoughts about an activity or project that has happened and not necessarily about the individual children involved in terms of their development. More so it focuses on the success or challenges of the activity. This is especially useful for educators to reflect upon and develop their planning and professional development.

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A very important but often overlooked observation is the Professional Experience Observation. This is an observation and educator makes of themselves or another educator to help them further their teaching skills. It is a way to take a good look at what we have done and what we want to strive to do. Educators should record and read their observations often. 

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As you can see there is more than one way to observe and record play experiences. The key to making observations useful is to observe often and record your thoughts as soon as you can after the observation session. This helps keep thoughts fresh in mind and be recorded more accurately. Keep copies of your observations. Share them with other educators. Think of your observation records as a type of yearbook that records the events in your year and reminds you what you thought about them.

Want to reference this article? Please use:

Landals Hill, Robin. (2021, September 1). Observing Play. Retrieved January 12, 2022, from

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