Observation Dialogue: Child Care in a Learning Community Part 2

Naming the Observation from the Child’s Perspective:
Abraham: 3 years 10 mths

Traci names her observation: “Looking for a spot in the group…trying to find a way to get into the group.” Abraham stays on the outskirts of a group overhearing their play…hangs around then begins a copying activity, miming and following Chris…Abraham continues to observe and copy children all the ways outdoors…he’s looking for a way to fit in.

Jason names his observation: “The Fire Chief makes the orders.” He concentrated on the dialogue between Abraham and a new friend. Abraham drives while Paul pushes…Abraham tells Paul how to lift a child-sized Little Tykes Fire Truck and then helps him to complete the task successfully. Abraham continues to give orders and Paul complies…the children have a dispute and resolve it with humor.

Traci: Abraham can be so quiet…my whole observation, he hardly says a single word.

Jason: I never see him as quiet…except when he first arrives and when he wakes up after resting.

Amy names her observation: “Playdo and Friendship,” where Paul saves a seat for Abraham. Stemming from this observation, Amy points out that although Abraham voices himself about an issue of concern, he doesn’t necessarily follow through. We wonder, “Is it because he doesn’t know how to follow through? Is it because he achieved his ultimate goal, friendship, and the other issue becomes a non-issue for him?” Something to look at in future observations: When Abraham is faced with conflict, does he resolve it or withdraw? Does Abraham stop at stating the problem?

I name my observation: “Looking for friendship and finding it.” I note that the children delight in the words “Yo Yo Captain…” like a secret language or game they have played before…Abraham has the ability to interrupt and resume dramatic play at will in order to ask a reality question like “Why is there a wet spot on the floor?…or to make a point or comparison with his friend like “We look the same.”

Jenn names her observation: “Balancing my building project and my friendship with Paul.” Abraham insists on completing his own construction before entering into block play with Paul. This is where the ‘Stabilizer’ comes into play. Together the boys build a fort around the garage that they made to protect their work from a young toddler.

Jason notes that ‘stabilizer’ might have roots in recent cherry picker conversations. Teachers point out that Abraham is full of factual information and feel that he is interested in collecting facts…he certainly asks questions in rhythmic fashion. We also noticed that it seemed important to Abraham to follow through on tasks he sets for himself, whether it is reading a book or building a garage or making a snake with Playdo.

Generally, we note that children copy each other as a way of engaging in relationship with others. Paul copies Abraham’s language. Abraham kinesthetically copies Chris. Paul and Abraham can enjoy copying each other in fun.

Overall Name: “Stabilizer…Stabilizing life.” (We feel Abraham was basically seeking, finding and developing friendships and balancing them with his own personal agenda. Note here that Abraham’s parents questions pertained to social behavior…we feel we have a great deal of healthy documentation to provide them).