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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Why Observe Children? 9 Using information for planning You may decide that in the areas of social, language, and physical capabilities all that you and your colleagues need to do is support Angel. In the cognitive area as demonstrated by his counting, you may decide to do some specific counting activities to see if Angel can indeed count higher quanti- ties of objects and maintain the one-to-one correspondence. You may offer him many opportunities to play with and count manipu- latives, to count the children in the room, and to count as he jumps on a trampoline or swings on a swing outside. Learning about Children’s Personalities When observing children, you can see their personalities in ac- tion and identify ways each child functions in the world. Using this information helps you support each child’s integration into the community of your classroom. Read the following observation note about Kassandra, and write down what you are learning about her personality. Kassandra (3 years, 11 months) Kassandra has been absent for a few days, and when she comes into the classroom, she goes up to her teacher and says, “Hello! I’m back! Did you miss me?” The teacher replies, “Yes, I did! And I’m so happy to see you back and feeling better.” Kassandra then goes up to one of her peers and says, “Hello. See, I’m back, and I’m not crying. Let’s go play!” Using information for assessment You can see that Kassandra has a positive sense of self. The egocentricity (or self-centered nature) of an almost-four-year-old is evident, as is her confidence in her teacher’s and friend’s concern for her. She uses language to express herself well. You could refer to developmental checklists to help you recognize that the skills she demonstrates in this observation are at her age level. Using information for planning If you have a history with Kas- sandra, you would know that she has had problems in the past with feeling sad and crying when she arrived at your program, especially COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Peggy W: By observing the children, I can learn about their temperaments and personal preferences. As I observe, I watch for what a child is able to do, how the child does it, and to what extent of excitement, pleasure, curiosity, or calmness the child does it in. This gives me a good picture of who the child is and what he or she enjoys.