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Welcome everybody to this webinar. This is one of several webinars. Weve presented on on the assessment of young children.
We hope that youve been able to join in the past for some of those webinars but if you havent we do record and host our webinars on pearsonclinicalcom. Childhood you can find all of our previous webinars at this url for today during this one hour webinar. Im gonna focus on assessment of the whole child and what i wanna talk about is how a weakness in possibly one developmental area can impact the childs performance in other areas and therefore to illustrate the importance of assessing the whole child we also want to describe best practices in early childhood assessment and certainly one of those best practices would be the focus on the whole child to get us started.
I wanna think a little bit about early childhood development. When you think about the development of young children. What are some of the factors that might be instructed when were thinking about the assessment of early development.
So i wanna get us started by thinking a little bit about the things that young children do and suddenly. I think in previous webinars in the early childhood series. Weve talked about the fact that young children do amazing things we talk about the fact that they dress themselves they brush their teeth.
They wash their hands maybe they run and climb and hop and kick and bounce a ball. You might see them riding a tricycle you might see them picking up books and reading books. They might be using crayons and pencils you see them interacting with their peers interacting with us as adults.
You might see them doing multiple things simultaneously like theyre walking and talking at the same time they may be telling you how many objects they see without counting they might use grammatically correct sentences. One of the things that i want us to consider is that as were noticing the things that children are doing sometimes we tend to focus on the actual content of the task and not as much on all of the skills and abilities that are involved in performing those tasks. So just to illustrate the concept.
I wanna think about maybe a little child. Ill call jenny here. Who is making a necklace with beads and certainly when you think about the actual product.
The content of that task. Its going to be that necklace and when you look at the picture. You could see that she has some blue beads at the top theres some red beads in the middle and some white beads down at the end.
But when you think about all of the skills that are involved in actually making this necklace with beads maybe she first started off by thinking by thinking about the pattern that she wanted to create she then paid attention to all of the beads she maybe sorted the beads by colors she used visual discrimination visual perception maybe she used eye hand coordination fine motor skills to add each bead to the lace. I dont know maybe she even counted to make sure that she had the same number of red white and blue and she wanted them in a certain order. Maybe blue red and white again when you think about the actual content of the task.
You also want to think about all of the other abilities that are involved in actually accomplishing that task when you think about a child whos reading. A story for example think about the fact that she has to pay attention to maybe.
The pictures and the words on the page maybe again. Shes using visual discrimination. Maybe to look at the order.
In which the letters and the words appear. But certainly also visual acuity is important the importance of being able to see maybe. Shes able to either use your finger to track the words along the page from left to right or maybe.
Shes actually using eye movements to track. But again she might be looking at words. And she might be associating a word with a picture gaining meaning from the words.
Maybe. She sees a word that she recognizes and she says it out loud with excitement in her voice. Again think about all of the skills that you capture when the children is reading a story.
Similarly. If a child is counting blocks and writing the number is she counting one at a time is she counting with one to one correspondence when she gets the final number. Shes able to associate that number word with a number symbol is she doing so accurately.
Shes also using again that eye hand coordination fine motor skills in order to actually write the number same thing when you think about using a magnifying glass to investigate think about all of the abilities. All of the skills that are involved starting with the attention the sensory motor whether youre thinking about the visual acuity visual discrimination visual perception down here where youre thinking about three little girls interacting with each other maybe they are talking to each. Other one person is talking the other two are listening.
Theyre using social language. Thinking about that joint referencing and turn taking waiting until one child finishes speaking before you start to respond same things with drawing and painting think about the visual component to that task think about the output. The demand of the task.
Where the child is actually producing maybe some kind of drawing maybe using specific colors. Maybe the child linked the color that he or she wanted to use and actually grabbed the correct color again writing a story. When you think about writing youre certainly thinking about the output demand of the task.
But in writing a story. I think implicit in the description of the activity. Really are two specific kinds of tasks so youre thinking about the writing the physical writing which is the production demand the fine motor or the visual motor integration abilities.
But youre also thinking about the language thats involved when youre thinking about producing a story. So think about all of the things that young children do certainly in terms of the task itself.
But also what performance of a task tells us about all of the skills that are related or that are integrated to perform that task so when you think about all of those component skills that i reference certainly all of those component skills are captured by several of our professional associations. Certainly. The national association for the education of young children has talked about the importance of focusing on childrens development in certain specific domains certainly youre thinking about the importance of physical development.
Whether you are thinking about the development of large and small muscles. The small muscles involved in the writing for example. The fine motor skills also thinking about the importance of healthy habits.
And the importance of being able to apply skills in order to take care of ones daily needs in order to function effectively in ones environment. Another important and interrelated area. Certainly is my ability to interact appropriately with adults and peers.
So how i feel about myself the self concept is important how i behave am. I able to follow directions how i relate to others and again certainly captured next to social emotional development. According to naeyc are those self help skills.
How are you using your social emotional development or those skills in order to take care of your everyday needs and then certainly i think approaches to learning is an important domain. And ill talk a little bit more about especially self regulatory behaviors. But when you think about early development certainly as early as infancy and if you have young children you know that you have two children and those two children really display different dispositions different styles of interacting with you of interacting with the world so as early was infancy.
We notice that children display certain styles of learning. Some children seem to be born well organized they seem to be bursting with initiative. Other children might require more structure and encouragement again when children enter your classroom.
Think about what they bring and what we can do as teachers in order to help them to discover their own capacities as learners. So when you think about approaches to learning think about children working on an activity for example knowing when to ask for assistance maybe being able to begin the task and persevere until theyve completed. The task again approaches to learning are really important when youre thinking about early learning learning and early childhood.
Classrooms and then certainly when youre thinking about some of the thinking. When i talked about the fact that she thought about the pattern that she wantad to construct cognitive abilities. The ability to focus and sustain attention the visual discrimination the visual perception certainly the ability to classify and put things in a certain order.
Those are important thinking and reasoning abilities and often the way that we know children or thinking. And reasoning. Appropriately is because they either use language.
They tell us they use expressive language and certainly as were presenting directions. They demonstrate understanding of language.
So listening comprehension and oral expression are important components as well and youll notice. Similar domains captured by the individuals with disabilities education act. Certainly when you think about the physical development again think about the sensory issues visual acuity hearing acuity visual discrimination visual perception but also making sure that children are learning healthy habits in terms of taking care of their personal needs.
But also that we as caregivers are ensuring that theyre eating a healthy diet that we make sure that they are getting regular immunizations and those kinds of things so physical development is highly important when you think about communication for example. The production of language has a significant or motor component social emotional. What children do is highly related to how they feel about their ability to perform a certain task cognitive ability the ability to think and reason and adaptive behavior those self help skills that are mentioned by naeyc what i wanna point out when you think about all of these domains whether you think about the domains captured by idea or by naeyc.
The important concept is that these domains are highly interrelated. So sometimes i may ask a child a question and expect the child to give me an answer. However.
The child may actually be able to respond correctly. Accept. The fact that the child has a cleft palate and that motor weakness may actually prevent the child from producing language.
If i instead give the child a different method to actually demonstrate his or her knowledge. The child might be able to show me that he or she does know what a certain word means so i want you to think about the interrelationship of all of these domains as we move forward to talk more about the assessment of the whole child. But before i look at the assessment of the whole child.
I wanna think just a little bit about children in their early years. And i want us to think about the factors that would enable children to perform those complex behaviors that i described earlier. So what are some of the factors that facilitate development of complex behaviors.
And perhaps for us as teachers. What are the possible developmental outcomes. When such facilitative factors are absent during a childs early years because one of the things that we know is that not every child entering your classroom will actually have experienced those facilitative factors before they enter your classroom.
So when you think about those factors. I want us to consider some of the work by ross thompson. An article published in a journal.
The future of children in 2001. Dr. Thompson talked about research that focused on those factors that will facilitate development of complex behaviors.
And he talked about certainly. The factors that would facilitate the development of the body.
I talked about idea and naeyc the physical development for example. So you are thinking about factors that would facilitate physical development motor coordination health and youre thinking about a parent or caregiver. As first of all being able to protect children from any harm.
Maybe in the environment. If i live in a home for example where there is lead paint that might not be facilitative of the development of my body. Youre thinking about me as a parent or caregiver making sure that i provide my children with a healthy diet.
An adequate diet. I mentioned the immunizations those are important making sure that we have our childrens vision and hearing screened. So that we can identify any possible deficits make sure that children receive their health care.
Make sure that they are in a safe environment. And then when you think about the development of the childs mind youre thinking about the childs ability to think to use language and concepts and problem. Solve and one of the things i think thats really important again.
If youre working with young children. We know that young children quickly. Understand words that they hear sometimes they understand words that we did not intend for them to hear.
But language. Certainly is important because it allows children to maybe express their own ideas to explain their conceptual knowledge. And they can share their ideas with others their parents their caregivers.
So i think language is really important because language allows children to access their thinking their knowledge of concepts. As well as their problem. Solving skills and i think when you think about the third component.
Here the development of the child as a person youre thinking about the childs interpersonal relationships relationships with adults and peers certainly. The ability to understand social language. That give and take the pragmatics of language.
If you will and then also to be able to express ones emotions depending on the context. So its certainly important for us as parents as caregivers who are working with young children to make sure that we focus on those literacy skills as well as on some of those conceptual skills. Including number concepts.
But its also important for us to focus on these i can get here to focus on these social and emotional skills that allow children to develop their curiosity. Their maybe self confidence to become eager learners maybe to work with others that cooperation and self control are really important when youre thinking about early childhood programs now all of these the development of the body. .
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