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Sandra Candelas

Child Dev- 143

Professor: Hunter

Observation of a Preschool Classroom

Date of Visit: July 1, 2014 Directors Name: Mrs. Erin Cloyd
Name of School/Program: Richard Daley Child Development Lab School.
Address: 7500 S. Pulaski Rd. License Capacity: 60 Phone # 1(773) 838-7524
Number of Children in Classroom: 20 Ages of Children: 3-5
Centers website Address:

1) During my visit at Richard Daleys Child Development School, I observed children
during free play and teacher guided activities. When I arrived, children were having breakfast.
Ms. Nancy, the head teacher, was conversing with her students. As the children were eating, she
asked a question about the weather. One of the children made a statement that when the sun is
out you have to go play. Ms. Nancy, was accepting of the childrens answers. Ms. Nancy said it
was gloomy outside, and the sun wasnt out. The teacher allowed children time to finish their
meal .After they were finished, they moved on to circle time and sang a good morning song.
They also sang a song about the months of the year, which in my opinion, involves both science
and Math. Months involves time which is a Math concept and the fact that the months involve
seasons, fall under Science. According to Charlesworth (2013), it takes children a while to
understand the concept of time. Therefore, it is important for teachers to provide children with
every day activities of such kind. Moreover, as children the children the months of the year song,
they placed their hands on opposite sides of their bodies as if they were performing the
Macarena song type of movement. I thought that was a very nice way for children to
remember the 12 months. After the song activity, she instructed the children to sit back down.
She introduced her next activity with a question: What is Summer school? Children had no
answer. She told them to look at the picture that she had drawn and asked them what they saw in
the picture. The students articulated that there was a sun, children, trees, a school and a car.
After the class finished answering, the teacher discussed that summer school means school in the
summer time. She pointed out that children dont use winter clothes during summer school. She
asked them to stand up and observe each other. She pointed out how every child was wearing
summer clothes because the sun is out, and it is hot outside. The teacher is using an inquiry
approach as a strategy for children. Questioning and observation are basic science skills.
Furthermore, she transitioned children into free play. Before she allowed children to go to the
centers, she asked what was summer school. Every child had different answers, and they
proceeded to the centers they chose.
As the children were busy playing, I observed a boy and a girl playing with fruits; they
were both sorting the fruits by color and shape. The boy sorted out red strawberries while the
little girl sorted out purple grapes. Two other children were playing with colored, small blocks,
and they were stacking them up. This particular skill builds their concept of spatial sense while
also allowing them to sort by color. The other boy and girl from the class were playing with
jungle animals, and they were putting a jungle together. Ms. Nancy set up a matching game at
the table and invited two of the boys to play the game. Only one of the two boys approached her
and played the game. I liked how Ms. Nancy carefully explained the child the rules of the game.
After about twenty minutes, the teacher announced they were having a visitor for story time. The
teacher gave children a two minute warning that free play would be over. After free play, the
children proceeded to circle time. The librarian introduced herself, and she said, My name is
Patricia, and I am going to read a couple of stories. She read the title of the story, A Sick Day for
Amous McGee, and then proceeded to read. Children had many opportunities for Math and
Science during my observation. The teacher used approaches in instruction that had problem
solving and inquiry. Furthermore, the materials in the centers, gave children hands on learning
that built on both current and past concepts being taught.
2) The developmental skills that were addressed during my observation included:
Language, the teacher had conversations with children while they had breakfast; Physical,
children moved around centers and worked with materials that provided fine as well as gross
motor development; The teacher also had a song activity were students danced the months of
the year which provided gross motor skills; Cognitive, the teacher got children to think by
questioning them during group discussion as well as breakfast time and by having children
play a matching game during free play . Emotional, activities that children selected provided
some kind of relaxation; Children were exposed to various materials that fit their personal styles
and needs which helps students develop an understanding of self, a self-regulation skill;
Creative, children manipulated the materials using their own creativity; They were able to sort
out materials as they pleased and pretended what they wanted; Social, children had conversations
with the teacher and with one another during at free play; As children socialized, they learn
from each other.
3) Richard Daleys College Child Development Lab has 10 curricular centers. The
dramatic, sensory, block, art, manipulative, computer, writing, science, language and the
playground. The dramatic play area has been turned into a pretend classroom this summer.
Besides having the pretend classroom, they have a kitchen set, table with pretend food, a phone
for children to use, glasses, a camera, calculators, writing materials, clipboards, pretend clothes
and shoes, books, and letters in a container.
The block area has, unit bocks, hallow blocks, trucks, cars, and musical instruments, such
as, maracas, drums and sticks. The sensory area has a sandbox and the materials consist of
measuring cups and sand tools for children to play.
They also have an art area with easels, paints, paint brushes, water colors, crayons,
markers, scissors, color tape, white paper, manila paper, line paper, colored crayons, picture
stamps, chalk and magazines available for children. The manipulative area has puzzles with
different kinds of themes such as, animals, lunch foods, hygiene, monkeys, kangaroos, and
turtles. There were colorful sorters for children to manipulate. Sorters included, fruits, cubes,
dinosaurs, shapes and bears. The manipulative area also has games, such as, memory matching
games, nuts and bolts, dominoes, and roll and match a shape game.
The computer area has different software available for children to use, and as children
turn on the computer, they were able to pick an e- book of their choice. Within the area, there
was a radio with headphones for stories and music. The writing area contains books, lined paper,
manila paper, colored pencils, letter stencils, chalk, colored pencils, magnetic boards for writing,
pictures of letters, crayons, books, magnetic numbers, text tile letters, and magnetic letter tracers.
The science area has encyclopedia books, view masters to view animal cycles, Magnifier
discovery board with different objects such as small rocks and feathers, Sound cylinders,
magnetic zoo habitats, magnifying glasses, sound cylinders, goggles, binoculars, and color
cylinder mixers for observation of color change. Plants are also in the science area for
observation. The language arts area is a loft with a downstairs and upstairs area. The lower area
is the listening center where a couch is available for children to sit and listen to cd books and
music. Upstairs has bean bags for children to lay down and read books. There are over 20 books
on the shelf. Last but not least is the playground area where children get to exercise gross motor
4) I think that children are drawn to certain activities depending on their own personality
and what they like. At times, children are drawn to materials that have a connection with what
the teacher discussed in earlier lessons. Teachers incorporated materials in the centers that relate
to lessons and themes. Children reinforce concepts being addressed when teachers plan the
environment in connection to themes.
5) During my observation, all areas of the centers were available for children. The teacher
had no restrictions. As she transitioned children to free play, she asked what area they would like
to play in.
6) The teacher interacted with children during free play. For example, Ms. Nancy played
a matching game with two of the children and taught them the rules of the game. She also
questioned children during group discussion. She provided cues of her questions and also
respected their answers. After children answered her questions, she had a discussion about what
she had drawn and what summer school meant. She was available to answer the childrens
questions and stood by during free play if children needed her help.