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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Why Observe Children? In the next chapter, we explore ways to use observation with early learning guidelines. Recommendations for integrating the two will show that teachers can be focused on supporting children’s growth and development while they pay attention to the expectations in such state documents. Observation Practice #1: What Can You Learn by Observing a Child? Purpose: To identify what can be learned by observing a child for a brief period of time. What to Do: Watch Video Clip #1. As you watch this very brief clip, consider what you are learning about this four-and-one-half-year- old girl. Since the video clip is so brief, we suggest that you watch it more than once to make sure you capture as many details as possible in your observation. Guiding Questions: After viewing, generate a list of the child’s capabilities, skills, social interactions, personality traits, and behav- iors that you observed her demonstrating. In addition, consider these questions: • Were you surprised at how much you learned in a short observation? • If you had a history with this child, do you think you would have seen things differently? In what ways? • What curriculum plans might you make based on what you learned? Be prepared to share with others the list you made about the girl as well as your thoughts about the questions above. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 15