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SCHOOL AGE OBSERVATION EDUC 121

SCHOOL AGE OBSERVATION EDUC 121


Lainey Losekamp
Ivy Tech Community College and Education 121

SCHOOL AGE OBSERVATION EDUC 121

Abstract
For this project I had to observe children ages 6 through 8. I observed a Kindergarten class and
over three-fourths of the students in the Kindergarten class were ages six. I observed the class
twice this week on April 1 and 2nd for a total of four hours. I had an observation sheet that
guided me to identify the signs of development in school-age children. I observed the school-age
childrens physical development by observing their small and large motor skills. In this paper
you will find me describing how the children used their fine and gross motor skills in the
classroom and on the playground. I also observed how children worked cooperatively together in
a group project or when playing a game. I also examined the students on their behavior and
actions that supported Erik Eriksons theory on school age children Industry vs. Inferiority and to
see if the students were dependent on the teacher enforcing rules or not. From the last two days
of observation I identified how friendships were formed and how disputes were handled when
someone disagreed. This paper will go into more detail about explaining the different signs of
development with this group of six year old children.
Keywords: Fine motor skills, gross motor skills, Industry vs. Inferiority

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I observed a Kindergarten class at Mt. Carmel Elementary School on April 1st and April
2nd. More than three-fourths of the Kindergartners were six years old. These two days I
examined the students physical, social, and ethical development. I also found evidence that
supported Erik Eriksons theory of Industry vs. Inferiority. Also in this observation I found out
how friendships were formed among these youngsters and how disputes were handled. Most of
the behavior I examined I found would be normal among children the ages of 6.
This Kindergarten class demonstrated their fine motor skills be being able to pick up a
marker and practice writing the letters of the alphabet and numbers. The children were able to
pick up the marker and write the letter but the whole process was not smooth yet. Their letters
and numbers were not mastered yet. When writing a 2, some childrens did like a two while
others looked a Z or was backwards. At lunch most students needed help with opening ketchup
packets or their milk cartons. When going out to recess most of the students were able to zip up
their coats. If one child had trouble zipping up their coat another child would help the other
classmate out. According to Kail, by age 5 most children use their developing fine motor by
being able to zip up their coat (Kail, 2012, pg. 364). As the children when outside for recess I
saw that many of them were running when playing tag. Another group demonstrates their gross
motor skills of six year old girls were holding hands skipping and singing a rhyme
In 1959, Erik Erikson proposed a theory with eight distinct stages on psychological
development (McLeod, 2008, 1). The psychological development he proposed for children ages
6-11 was called Industry vs. Inferiority. At this stage children want to receive adults approval
when achieving a goal and start to develop sense of self-importance in their accomplishments
(McLeod, 2008, 1). Children at this age supported Erik Eriksons Theory on Industry versus

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Inferiority by their behaviors. After the students woke up from their nap, a few of the students
asked me who was the best rester? I simply replied they all did a great job resting. A couple
of students were using building blocks to make a house and they wanted me to look at their hard
work creating a house. They kept asking me if I liked their house and etc. Children at this age did
strive to be industrious.
In this classroom, they have center time and this when different students work in groups
at different centers on different projects. I noticed in the art center students did work
individually on their artwork but if they needed a supply from a classmate they would ask for
supplies. The students would ask, Please can I have that marker? or Thank you! Another
way how the students worked cooperatively on a group project would be the whole classroom
working together when retelling a story. The teacher was telling a story about chickens because
the students are learning about chickens and how eggs are hatched. The teacher picked the
student of the day to be the Momma Hen and the rest of class was going to be the chicks. As
the teacher read the student who was the Momma Hen acted out what the teacher read which
was strutting. The rest of students who were the chicks had to copy what the mother hen did.
The student had to listen and work together cooperatively in order to finish the story. The
students enjoyed doing this project and it was entertaining to watch.
During outdoor play at recess a group of students played Duck Duck Goose. The rules
for this game are the children have to sit in a circle with their legs crossed. The teacher picks
tagger who walks around the circle. The tagger walks around the circle tapping their classmates
head saying duck, duck, duck, and goose to the student who they want to chase them. The Goose
must get up and chase the Duck around the circle. The Duck has to try and run around circle and
sit in Goose's spot. If the Duck gets the Goose's spot, then the Goose becomes the Duck. If the

SCHOOL AGE OBSERVATION EDUC 121

Duck fails to get the spot first but is caught by the Goose and tagged, the Duck must be the Duck
again. All of the children followed the rules very well and they all were very excited to play this
game. When learning a new game the students are dependent on the teachers rules. The rules
for the classroom the students are not dependent on the teacher because it is the end of school
year. The students know the rules and enforce the rules for each other. For example if one
student is talking and the class is getting ready to go to lunch the students ssshh the student so
they can leave. Also they enforce the rules by telling on each other when someone has not
followed the rules.
Sometimes disputes occur when the classroom when students are not sharing or following
the rules. The teacher I observed has the students apologize to each other and go out in the
hallway to resolve their issue. The teacher said this group of students strongly defend themselves
when accused of doing something wrong. She also gives out tickets to children who behave well
and listen in class. At the end of each month students use their tickets they earned to buy toys at
the store the teacher has. This motivates students to behave well.
This Kindergarten class is a very friendly class. All of the students seem to be friends
with each other. They are very affectionate towards each other by giving each other hugs and
holding each others hands. I think at this age children are so friendly because they have an
optimistic view about people and their environment. I also think how these students developed
these friendly relationships with their classmates is because they have to learn how to play and
get along with each other.
This observation has helped me have a greater understanding of school-age
children. I learned a lot from observing this group of childrens social, physical, and ethical

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development. I know have a great understanding of Erik Eriksons theory of Industry vs.
Inferiority by the behavior demonstrated. Not only did I learn more about school-age children
but I observed the teachers creative ideas that I might want to use in my classroom one day!

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Bibliography
Kail, V. Robert. (2012). Children and Their Development. Saddle River, New Jersey. Pearson
Education, Inc.
McLeod, S. A. (2008). Erik Erikson. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/ErikErikson.html