Angel (4 years, 10 months)
At snack Angel saves a chair and calls to his friend Luis, “You
sit here next to me!” He takes three crackers, counting out,
“One, two, three,” as he puts them on his napkin. He uses a
knife to spread peanut butter across each one. He calls out,
“More juice, please!” In conversation with his friends, he says,
“At our farm we have chickens and goats. And the goats are
very loud. I have to cover my ears because they are so loud.”
Angel covers his ears with two napkins, and his friend Luis
does the same, but Luis uses his crackers. Both boys laugh.
We identified the following capabilities that Angel is demonstrat-
ing and organized them into the major areas, or domains, of child
development. We encourage you to consider others as well. Do you
notice that every major area was exhibited in this short observation?
• Cognitive development: counting to three with one-to-
one correspondence, figuring out to cover his ears with his
napkin, using language to ask for more and to express his
• Physical development: sitting on a chair at a table, spread-
ing peanut butter with a knife
• Social development: asking his friend to sit with him
• Emotional development: talking with and enjoying his
friend Using information for assessment Assessing Angel’s capabilities
means relating his actions to what you know about children his age.
Turning to early learning guidelines, developmental checklists, or
other sources of information, you could determine that Angel is
functioning right at age level in his social interactions with his friend,
his use of language to express himself, and his ability to use his fine-
motor skills to spread with a knife. You may note that counting to
three with one-to-one correspondence is at the level of a younger
child. Developmental checklists indicate that an almost-five-year-old
should be counting a higher quantity of objects.