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Megan Grable

ECED 398
Week 3 Environmental Observation and Reflection
February 1st, 2020

Part 1 - Observation and Notes-January 29th

Infant Toddler Learning and Development Domains


Domains What are some (2) strengths of What is missing, or what would What one outcome for young
the environment in supporting be great to see in the children would you like to see
this domain (hint: which environment to support this better supported in this domain?
foundations or competencies domain? Describe one or two State your outcome clearly and in
are well supported). Describe environmental elements in each measurable terms, include a
the strengths and your domain that could be better supporting foundation and
rationale. (Rationale can be supported and describe how rationale. (But use the frameworks
found in the Frameworks they could be improved. to find and support your
volumes.) (Environmental strategies which environmental strategies)
support specific strands or
substrands can be found in the
Frameworks volumes.)
Social and Pictures of the children and I would have liked to see more I would like to see more reciprocal
Emotional their families are hung up pictures and evidence of play with other children. This would
Domain around the room. This is an emotions in the classroom. In the look like children being able to
example of providing materials frameworks, this is labeled under share materials with one another
that support relationships and Provide materials that relate to with prompting from the teacher.
the development of social feelings and emotional This can be found in the
understanding. “Include pictures expression. “Offer books, stories, Foundations under Interactions with
of families, teachers, and songs, and pictures about Peers, “At around 18 months of age,
children in the environment, feelings. Display throughout the children engage in simple back-and-
classroom photos of different forth interactions with peers for
displayed in the children’s play feelings—possibly around a short periods of time.” (CDE, 2009,
area.” (CDE, 2012 pp. 67) mirror, where children can see 18)
their own faces and photos of
There is ample space for the various feelings.” (CDE,2012, p.
teachers to sit on the floor with 68)
the children. “Children need
comfortable places where they
can be close to a teacher to look
at a book, do a finger play, or
have a quiet conversation.”
(CDE, 2012, p.66)
Language and There are many books in The classroom has high ceilings I would like to see more expressive
Literacy multiple areas of the room that and at times the sounds echo language for the children. The
children have access to. This is through the classroom, raising supports in the class would be
supported in Engage infants the volume. In the frameworks, having engaging materials out for
with books and stories. this is under Moderate access by the children and the
“Children can begin to explore Background Noise teachers easily accessible for
books at an early age, and “Background noise in the interaction.
developing an interest in books infant/toddler care environment Foundation: Expressive Language
builds a strong motivational should be moderated through The developing ability to produce
base for literacy learning in later materials that absorb sound and the sounds of language and use
years.” (CDE, 2012, pp.89) through thoughtful arrangement vocabulary and increasingly complex
of equipment.” (CDE, 2012, utterance, “At around 18 months of
The reading nook, in particular, pp.89) age, children say a few words and
is very welcoming for both use conventional gestures to tell
children and teachers to sit and others about their needs, wants,
read a book together. Arrange and interests.” (CDE, 2009, pp. 49)
the environment to support
language development and
communication. “The
environment should be
arranged to make it easy for
infants to communicate back
and forth with adults, look at
books...” (CDE, 2012, pp.89)

Health I observed a tooth brushing The child-sized sink is behind a I would like to see an increase in
routine that the children all locked (for them) door. If I child children washing their own hands,
followed. The children each had needs to wash hands, they have clearing their spots at the table and
their own toothbrush and place to have a teacher open the door cleaning up after themselves in the
to sit to brush their teeth. They for them, though The sink is classroom. Under Cognitive
were able to brush down low for the children to development Foundation:
independently with the wash their hands when they are Understanding of Personal Care
materials given. The children prompted with all the materials Routines “At around 18 months of
had access to their cubbies and close by for them to access. This age, children show awareness of
were able to pull out their is an example of the importance familiar personal care routines and
jackets before going outside. of Self Efficacy which is under the participate in the steps of these
Both of these are routine for Social-Emotional Development routines.” (CDE, 2009, pp. 82)
them. section. Increased access to the
child-sized sink would improve
self-efficacy when a child has
I also observed the children dirty hands.
modeling taking care of babies
as well as cooking and
pretending to eat food. The
materials for this level of
pretend play were out for the
children to access. This is
supported by the cognitive
development section. “Select
toys and arrange the
environment to support pretend
play.” (pp. 110)
Physical In the classroom, there is a While there were motor I would like to see more challenging
Development climber and a soft slide foe the experiences for the children, fine motor materials such as lacing
children to use and are directed there weren’t opportunities for cards, snap blocks, and art materials
to for climbing opportunities. much sensory play with fine out for the children to use when
They also have an outside area motor. The sensory table was they would like. This would lead to
with climbers, push cars, and empty most of the time and an increase in fine motor skills. “At
areas to walk and run. Provide when it was opened it was a big around 18 months of age, children
safe but challenging spaces project, instead of a daily are able to hold small objects in one
where children can move, both occurrence. Offer variety in hand and sometimes use both
indoors and outdoors. “Different sensory and motor experiences hands together to manipulate
levels to explore, such as a small and materials. objects.” (CDE, 2009, pp. 98)
ramp or a few steps; soft areas “When providing sensory
where they can sit and rest; and materials such as water or sand,
reachable, interesting objects to consider the variety of props you
explore.” (CDE, 2012, 131) put out and the different skills
that can be practiced with the
Consider the arrangement of various items.” (CDE, 2012, pp.
furniture and space in 132)
establishing physical boundaries
for moving and exploring.
“Strategically placed shelves and
large furniture can define and
limit areas of play and rest as
well as areas for foot traffic.”
(CDE, 2012, pp. 131)

Mathematics Keep toys in places that are I would like to see more creative I would like to see more toys that
easily visible and accessible. positioning of the toys, displayed necessitate problem-solving skills to
“Low baskets (wide-woven or on tops of the shelves, and paced complete, such as wooden puzzles,
plastic) and clear plastic bins are inside of the dollhouse to engage snap blocks, and lacing beads.
easy for infants to see and allow the children in more exploration. Problem Solving “At around 18
the children to select play Arrange the environment to months of age, children use a
materials readily.” (CDE, 2012, encourage exploration. “Arrange number of ways to solve problems:
107) some of the toys in an interesting physically trying out possible
way to engage and extend the solutions before finding one that
Offer toys that support an mind of the curious toddler.” works; using objects as tools;
understanding of spatial (CDE, 2012, pp. 108) watching someone else solve the
relationships through nesting problem and then applying the
and stacking. “As they explore same solution, or gesturing or
nesting, toddlers discover that, vocalizing to someone else for
based on similarities and help.” (CDE, 2009, pp. 69)
differences in size and shape,
some objects fit together and
others do not.” (CDE, 2012, pp.
109)
Science In the classroom, there are I would like to see more materials
many toys on the shelf for I observed the children picking up and an environment that supports
exploration. The children were items and walking around the Attention Maintenance. This would
engaged with the toys out. room with hem, a few different be ample space to focus on
There was also a stash of other containers that they can put different activities in the schedule
toys that are kept away to bring these items in, it would be and varying the materials when the
out when the children show a better. Especially while outside, children show a need for new
need for more challenging having the children collect and materials. “At around 18 months of
materials. “Consider both then store their findings would age, children rely on order and pre-
novelty and predictability when be beneficial. “Offer toys that dictability in the environment to
preparing the environment.” support the collection and help organize their thoughts and
(CDE, pp. 107) storage of treasures.” (CDE. focus attention.” (CDE, 2009, pp. 81)
2012, pp. 110)
There were several toys that
offered cause and effect such as
magnets, sound puzzles and pop
up toys. Offer toys that support
cause-and-effect
experimentation. “toddlers
enjoy the challenge of complex
cause-and-effect toys that
require advanced thinking to
understand how objects work.”
(CDE, 2012, 109)

Responsiveness Items labeled in English and I would like more use of the Foundation: Social Understanding
to diversity, Lushootseed language alphabet Lushootseed language in the The developing understanding of
culture, and including colors, numbers, and a classroom, incorporated in daily the responses, communication,
language few animals. speak, replacing simple words emotional expressions, and actions
like a coat-“kepu” and hands- of other people “At around 18
There are multiple ethnicities “cialesh” months of age, children know how
featured in the books on the In Epstein’s work, they talk to get the infant care teacher to
shelf, including books about about the importance of having a respond in a specific way through
Jewish holidays, native counting, culturally diverse classroom. gestures, vocalizations, and shared
and babies of different races. “Diversity applies to who and attention; use another’s emotional
The baby dolls in the classroom what we are every day.” (Epstein, expressions to guide their own
are varying colors. The pp. 15) responses to unfamiliar events, and
classroom features pictures of learn more complex behavior
the children in the class and through imitation. Children also
their families, representative of engage in more complex social
the community. interactions and have developed
expectations for a greater number
of familiar people.” (CDE, 2009, pp.
33)
Part 2 Reflection

Answer the following questions with as much detail and care as possible.

1. What did you learn about intentionally supporting learning and developmental outcomes for children through the
environment?
I learned that we need to keep in mind all the different areas of development when we are structuring a classroom. When
we place items in an area we need to be intentional about what skills each material is building upon and how we can feature
them for the maximum efficacy. We need to create an area where the children can play with one another and places where
they can be alone. “Arrange the room to include both areas where large groups can assemble and enclosed areas with
comfortable furniture conducive to more personal interactions.” (Epstein, pp. 55) We want materials and the space to
support multiple developmental domains at once. Children should be able to access the materials independently as easily as
is developmentally appropriate.

2. What is one way that you might specifically use the CA Preschool Frameworks, and resources such as Esptein (2014)
to create and improve an early education environment?

I think by looking at the suggestions in the frameworks, we can see some ideas on what to add to a center to make the
activities and environment more meaningful. One suggestion I liked was “Make a small book (with loose-leaf rings or ribbon)
that displays pictures of children in the group. Provide multiples of popular toys so children can engage in parallel and
associative play; doing so also reduces peer conflict.” (CDE, 2012, pp. 69) By using this suggestion I can create a more
meaningful area that supports social-emotional development and peer relations. I think the inclusion of children’s art would
be beneficial to the environment. There were a few examples of this, but I would have liked to see more of it being down
lower at children’s eye line. Epstein talks about the importance of this, “Seeing concrete reminders of their work prompts
children to recall and reflect on what they and their peers have done. It can also lead them to expand on their ideas and
pursue an interest or a project on subsequent days.” (Epstein, pp. 15)
Works Cited

California Infant/Toddler Learning and Development Foundations, 2009,


https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/itfoundations2009.pdf

California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework, 2012,


https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/itcurriculumframework.pdf

Epstein, A. S. (2014). The Intentional Teacher: Choosing The Best Strategies For Young Children’s Learning. Washington (D.C.):
National Association for the Education of Young Children.