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The Learning Ladder II

Home A reading and writing curriculum for Family Child Care Providers, Children and Families

Module 4: Observing and Recording Children's Behavior
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Family Projects

Girl showing work Each time you complete one of the projects below you are doing important work. You are helping parents to develop the skill of observing their child's behavior. These projects will asssist both providers and families to understand and meet the needs of the children better.

This activity is developmentally appropriate for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged children.

Goals of Observation

Parents are your partners in observing and assessing their child's development and growth. Use the assessment tool below to help them improve their observation.

  • Write a letter and send it home to the parents in your program. In the note explain that you are working with the children on their self-help skills (dressing themselves, washing their hands, brushing their teeth, etc.) and you would like to know more information about how their child does these tasks at home.
  • Share the letter with your tutor. Send home a letter and a copy of the checklist.
  • A blank, printable version of the checklist is available.

Child's Name :_____________________________

Self-help task Yes No Sometimes Comments
puts on own clothing        
washes own face and hands        
can toilet self without help        
eats without help        
drinks from a cup with no help        
brushes teeth without help        

Record Keeping

The amount of sleep and rest that the children in your program have at home affects the behaviors you see every day. Prepare a weekly theme on sleeping and resting as a way of keeping ourselves healthy.

  • As a part of your theme, write a letter home to children's families. Tell them that you are covering the theme of sleeping and resting with the children and would like information about their child and how he/she sleeps.
  • After you have shared the letter with your tutor, send it home with the form (below) for parents to read, fill out, and return to you. A blank, printable version of the form is available.

Child's Name: _____________________

1. Usually, how many hours per night does your child sleep?

2. Do you have to wake your child up in the morning or does your child wake up by her/himself?

3. Do you have a night time routine before bed time with your child? Can you describe it:

4. On days when your child does not come to family child care, does your child take a nap?

5. Usually, how long does your child nap?

6. Is there anything I need to know that will make your child's naptime at the program better for him or her?

Developing Portfolios

An "All About Me" at Family Child Care

When we ask young children how their day went at family child care and receive a one word reply, we can understand how frustrating it can be for a parents to talk with their children about their day at your home.

One way to create a bridge of information from your program to home is to work with the children to create drawings and stories about their days at family child care. Then they can bring these home and share them with their families.

  • To start, ask the children to draw self-portraits. These drawings of themselves will be the covers for booklets that will be about the children's day at the center. Using one page per topic, ask the children to draw a picture. Then write down what they have to say about each subject.

    For example:

    1. Draw a picture of your favorite thing to do while you are here at family child care.
    2. Draw a picture of your friends and tell me something about them.
    3. Draw a picture of your favorite toy and tell me why it is your favorite.
    4. Leave a few pages blank at the end of your booklet.
  • Ask the parents to work with your child to draw and have them write the following information about home.

    1. At the top of one of the blank pages, write the title: This is how I get ready to come to family child care.
    2. At the top of another blank page, write the title: This is what I do with my family when I come home at the end of the day.
  • As the books get returned, share them during circle or morning meeting time. Use the books that are returned as a sample of the children's work for their portfolios.

Congratulations! You completed Module 4!
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