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Preschooler Observation Verification




The purpose of this project is to provide the student with an opportunity to see “live” examples of research findings by as they observe children in a day-to-day context by

a) conducting a naturalistic observation of a preschool age child

b) documenting the characteristics of a three-, four-, or five-year-old child as they function within in a nursery school setting

c) comparing the observed behaviors with the norms of development of a preschool age child, and

d) observing and assessing the layout and physical elements of a developmentally appropriate early childhood facility. 

Analysis of the observation notes permits the student to extend their knowledge of topics in the text.


Before you can go to the Nursery School, you must schedule your observation with your instructor

 1.  Choose a date and time from the sign-up sheet to conduct your observation. Be sure to choose a time that best fits your schedule, and give yourself enough time to get to the Nursery School 5 minutes prior to your start time.  You must choose your observation time by 9/4/15 or your instructor will choose a time for you.  If you sign-up by 9/4/15 and conduct your observation on the original scheduling date, you will receive 5 bonus points on your project.

2.  If you miss your observation time, DO NOT contact the nursery school. You will need to reschedule your observation time with your instructor.   Please note:  If you need to reschedule you will forfeit the bonus points (unless you are rescheduling due to snow days at Nursery School or have a memo from Office of Student Life).


Prior to going to the nursery school you should:

1. Carefully review these instructions (especially pages 3 – 5) and read chapters 7- 8 in your text.

2. GO to the Child Development Lab at the WVU Nursery School that is located by Krepps Park (across from the Coliseum; off of Patteson Lane; see map on page 2 of the instructions on eCampus).

-        You must bring your WVU ID, writing instrument, and specific course observation sign off sheet.

-        You may NOT bring in bags (i.e. back packs, duffle bags, purses etc.) If you have a medical condition which requires you to bring a bag you must leave that bag in the Director’s Office for the duration of their visit to the Lab School.

-        Please note that anything brought into the Lab School is subject to a search- this includes large coats.

-        You may not bring any food items or beverages.  AND ABSOLUTELY NO PRODUCTS CONTAINING TREE NUTS ARE PERMITTED IN THE FACILITY.

-        Cell phones may not be used in the classroom unless permission is granted by the Director or supervising teachers.

-        Do not offer any food or candy items to children or staff at the Laboratory School.

3.   ARRIVE about 5 minutes before your scheduled observation so that you can SIGN-IN and become oriented with the facility. You may want to use this time to step outside to the play area in the back of the school and sketch the layout of this area. 

Please Note:  If your observation is at 12:40 pm, you may have to wait a few minutes as the afternoon class members arrive.

3.  SELECT ONE active child to observe. You may ask for assistance with this from one of the teachers.  Carefully observe, and write down all the child's activities, interactions, and statements/questions.  Be primarily objective and descriptive with brief evaluative comments as appropriate.  Note every minute including brief notes about what appears to be stimulating the child’s behavior, the child’s responses, and also write few comments for your use when you prepare your report.

4.  REQUEST the signature of one of the staff members at the Nursery School.  Locate Dr. Bobbie Warash, the Director of the Nursery School, or one of the designated teachers, to get their signature on the yellow sheet to confirm your observation time and date.  YOU MUST OBSERVE YOUR CHILD FOR ONE HOUR.  Students who leave before the hour is up will receive a significant point deduction on their paper

5.  PREPARE your written report according to the instructions posted on eCampus.  Please remember this is a REPORT, so you should number your paper according to the instructions.  Please be sure to include the log sheets and your sketch in your report.  There is an example of a completed report posted on eCampus for your review.  Your completed report is due no later than 14 days after your observation date.  Remember that Saturday and Sunday DO factor into the 14-day time limit.  After 14-days have passed, your report will be subject to a late penalty.

VERY IMPORTANT: DO NOT phone the nursery school for any schedule changes.  If an unforeseen event such as illness prevents you from keeping the time and date of your observation, you must check with your instructor either in class or by e-mail as soon as you can to arrange for another observation time.


1. Develop a 5-6 page report starting with typing the section heading then number and answer the question.  There is no need to type the question.  Answers should be well-developed with correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation. (Reports such as this are written in past tense). 

All content must be organized with your responses in the EXACT order listed in these instructions and should be numbered as on the instructions (see sample on eCampus). Projects that do not adhere to these formatting instructions will receive a point deduction and returned to the student for re-formatting.

Print the report in black ink, 12 point using New Times Roman or a very similar font, with 1.5 line spacing and 1 inch margins.

2.  The original, hand-written log with signatures from the NS staff should be attached to the end of report. The log must be written in English.

3.  Your sketch of the inside and outside of the Nursery School should be attached to the report.

4.  Staple your report and place it in a pocket folder.


Title: Preschooler Observation Verification
Length: 15 pages (4172 Words)
Style: APA


This is to confirm that.........................conducted the observation on............................for one hour at the West Virginia University Child Development School On..........(Date)........From.............(time)....................................

My signature confirms that the above information is correct

.............................(Signature of the Nursery School Dirrector or Designated Teacher)

A Nursery School Report on Harrison

First Name of the child: Harrison

Sex: Male

Physical Characteristics

  1. Harrison is a fairly tall boy for his age. His height soars at about 37 inches though he barely surpasses my waist. As such, his height comfortably falls within the range noted in the text.
  2. Harrison has broad ears that project outwards. His body weight is normal for a boy his age. Another unique physical feature noted about Harrison is the wide gap between his front teeth.
  3. A keen observer will discover that the boy has a heavy tongue that at times make it harder for him to express words with letters like ‘s' and ‘th'. This is common, though, for a preschooler and can easily be outgrown.
  4. Harrison’s state of health is average. He has a physical scar on his neck that probably resulted from burns or a medical condition at a tender age. Also, he has a characteristic walking style. His slight climbing can be as a result of a broken left knee early in his life. He is blonde; light skinned and is prone to sunburns. It was easy to spot some paint marks on his hands, but as soon as he realized this, he washed off the dirt in his hands without being instructed by the teacher.

Motor Development

Gross Motor Skills

  1. Running -- This is one of the most evident gross motor skills that Harrison has. Given that Harrison is athletic, it became hard to spot him slowing down for a rest. The boy chases his peers all over the playing field most of the time. There was not a single instance that the boy lost control as he raced, and he could not be slowed down by a teacher either. Some of his colleagues could periodically slow down to gasp some air and to rest, but Harrison never did.  This sets him apart with regards to his exceptional gross motor skill.
  2. Racing a toy car-- This was Harrison’s most dominant hobby. From the activity, gross motor skills became evident in his ability to negotiate corners with ease. Also, he could independently slow down when he was descending the slope. He did not require a secondary assistance during braking. Racing dangerously portrays his trait as adventurous and a thrill-seeker. He was also in the lead of the toy racers pack, which implies that he was well skilled enough to consolidate his dominance.
  3.   Using his hands to eat: while this might sound a normal activity, but for a preschooler like Harrison, using hands to eat demands higher brain power. As such, an edge in gross motor skill to aid the activity will come in handy. Most of Harrison’s peers found it hard to keep up with his pace and use their hands while eating. Only a handful of his colleagues could manage such gross motor skill demands. Additionally, he drunk the water he had asked the teacher without being assisted. It was remarkable that he hardly spilled the cup of water. He was also able to ask for another cup of water.
  • Harrison’s exceptional skills might not come as a surprise to an observer, especially given his heightened level of activity. He is an above average student and multi-talented. Besides the above evidence of gross motor skills, he was capable of participating in other demanding games and class work including playing with puzzels, playing music and hide and seek. Other activities included having snacks and reading stories. From his abilities, it is clear that Harrison is not an idle indoors person.
  • He can hardly be spotted idly curled in a corner because he always looks for something to do. Besides, his flexibility can be attributed to good physicality and stamina.
  • Because Harrison was at his best when engaged in indoor activities, it can be concluded that he was limited by the school curricula, which demanded that the kids should learn how to read and write. However, Harrison was seen struggling to perform more mentally challenging indoor activities like painting. Besides, the materials to aid kids in painting were inadequate. At times, the children would use paint brushes in turn because those in good condition were in limited supply. This only made it harder for Harrison to maximize the utilization of his time in the class.  

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