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Emma Young

April 19, 2015

Methods 2
Child Study
Introduction to Child and Classroom Placement:
L.F. was born on April 22, 2009 and has just turned six. She is one of 8 girls her
kindergarten class of 18 at Chesterfield Elementary. L is coming to the end of her kindergarten
year and has made tremendous progress so far this year. L is a creative and focused child who is
ready to succeed in first grade so long as she receives support when she needs it. L is developing
typically but receives some Title 1 mostly because of lack of exposure.
Family History:
Ls family has faced many challenges which may play a role in her development. L lives
with her grandmother, mother, and two younger brothers. Ls father is not involved. In the
beginning of the school year Ls family had no heat and water at their house. The family
struggles financially and receives leftover food from the school to help with costs of living. L is
exposed to second hand smoke at home and the smell is often very noticeable on her clothes and
backpack. According to Maslows hierarchy of needs, childrens basic needs must be met before
they can focus on learning (McDevitt, 2013). The primary level of needs is physiological,
including needs such as hunger, thirst, and bodily comfort. L often has a hard time focusing and
following instructions, these challenges are amplified when she is hungry. L is provided with
snack and lunches each day as well as food to take home to ensure she can focus throughout the
day. The second level in the hierarchy is safety. Having a bathroom routine that L feels safe and
comfortable with has also been an important step in ensuring she can focus on learning at school
and feel safe in her environment.
Medical History:
Due to Ls families background there are several concerns for her health. L is exposed to
second hand smoke which can be very detrimental to development. L has lost three of her teeth
and has caps on four of them. L has shared with the class during dental health month (February)
that her mother has caps on all of her teeth. This is a red flag for us of Ls dental and overall
medical health. In the beginning of the school year L was regularly having accidents at school
because she was afraid to use the classroom bathroom. She now has special permission to use the
bathroom in the nurses office, so long as she lets an adult know where she is going. Using a
sticker chart and having a safe place to use the bathroom has become an important part of Ls
routine to feel comfortable and safe at school.
Educational History:

It has been terrific to watch L grow and learn throughout kindergarten; she has made
terrific accomplishments. This has been her first experience in an educational setting and it has
been very beneficial for her.
Students Strengths, Interests, and Personality:
L is an extremely creative child and is very interested in artistic activities and learning.
She often chooses to work on creative projects such as making paper snowflakes during quiet
choice time. Even in her assigned work, L takes her time and works meticulously; especially on
her coloring. Each week when we make paper puppets for a letter sound, L spends time carefully
coloring and decorating her puppet; often giving it a bow, eye lashes, or something pink. L is
focused on the quality of her work, taking her time and never rushing through it. In addition to
being artistic, L is very interested in nature. L often collects rocks and leaves at recess and enjoys
sharing them with other students and teachers. Lastly, L enjoys working and playing
independently for the most part. She has come out of her shell significantly since the beginning
of the year, but still prefers to work independently for the most part. This allows her to really
focus on what she is working on, a terrific strength for L!
Developmental Profile:
The time between the ages of 2 and 7 has been identified as the ideal years for children
to learn basic physical skills such as balance and hand-eye coordination; kindergartners are
continually growing to be more fluent, coordinated, and competent in physical skills
(Bredekamp, 2009). L has almost mastered most gross motor skills including skipping, throwing,
and catching. However, L could benefit from activities that support her development of her
balance and coordination. L walks with somewhat of a gliding motion often not picking up her
feet. For the most part, L has a relaxed style and is not highly active. In addition to her growth in
gross motor development L is mastering fine motor skills. She is precise when she cuts with
scissors and has very controlled handwriting. L has shown an interest in learning to tie her shoes
and often practices this activity when she is not completely engaged with what she is doing. For
example while sitting and listening to the dress rehearsal for our school concert, rather than get
wiggly like many children, L concentrated on practicing tying and untying her shoes.
Social/ Emotional:
Kindergarten children ages five to six are in Eriksons industry vs. inferiority stage of
social and emotional development. During this stage kindergarten children are continuing to
learn to regulate their emotions and social interactions. In the beginning of the year L was very
shy and was very cautious and reserved each day when she arrived at school. She has grown
tremendously since her first day and is more confident and social with each day. L is generally a
very positive child who is happy to be at school and is interested in participating in most
activities. L is very interested in sharing, particularly when she finds treasure which may be
rocks on the playground or the small circular pices of paper that fall out of a hole puncher. L
often plays and works independently which allows her to focus on her work. However recently
she has been interested in building a relationship with a child in our class (H). H is very
outspoken; quite the opposite from L; however both girls are independent spirits that are not

overly concerned with the acceptance of their peers. On March 5, 2015 L tells H how funny she
is, L sits down next to her and even though they do not talk they work next to each other. A few
day later, I observed L searching for rocks on the playground. After collecting three in each hand
she asked me to help her find H so that she could give her her three rocks. L also selected H to
help her pass out cupcakes at her class birthday celebration. Despite Ls independent nature she
is kind to all of her classmates and enjoys sharing and laughing with them. L is also comfortable
asking for help when she needs it. She and I have developed a close relationship and she often
asks me for help when she feels she is behind from the rest of the class. For example when the
children get ready for lunch or the end of the day, L has a hard time keeping up with the set of
instructions and benefits from taking it one step at a time with support from a teacher. L is very
intrapersonal and does not concern herself much with the opinions of others. Erik Eriksons
theory of physiological development suggests that as children reach school age they experience
the industry versus inferiority stage of psychological development. Through social interactions,
children begin to develop a sense of pride in their accomplishments and abilities. Children who
are positively encouraged by parents, teachers, and peers develop a feeling of competence and
belief in their skills; while those who receive little encouragement or negative feedback will
doubt their abilities to be successful (Cherry). It is interesting to note that while L still takes
pridei n her work, and lovs to share her findings, she is not overly concerned with what others
think. For example she will not follow directions if they counter what she wants to do and she
play independently often rather than seek attention and interactions with peers. Regardless of Ls
independence it is crucial to give her positive feedback and support her interests.
Children in Kindergarten are curious learners who like to know how and why things
happen. At this age level, students are beginning to develop concrete operational thought
patterns and are developing in the complexity of their thinking. L often makes inferences to her
prior knowledge and uses the information she has already learned to build connections to new
material. For example, after we had finished up our unit on three dimensional shapes and had
moved onto measurement, L and I were comparing the lengths of two glue sticks. L makes the
comment that, they are both cylinders! In addition, one afternoon I was listing shapes up on the
white board. Earlier that day, L had been writing in her list book, a new project the class had just
begun working on. L called out, hey is that a list? L is eager to build connections and expand
on her knowledge. She is very curious and frequently asks questions. She doesnt always ask in
front of the whole class but in one on one conversation she is very inquisitive. L works best when
given directions step by step rather than several directions all at once. She works slowly and
takes her time. She typically has a strong understanding of concepts but works carefully and
slowly. Jean Piaget developed a stage theory for childrens logical thinking and reasoning,
distinguishing periods of development characterized by particular ways of thinking and
behaving. (McDevitt, 2013). L is in the Preoperational Stage. During this stage, young children
are able to think about things symbolically. Their language use becomes more mature. They also
develop memory and imagination, which allows them to understand the difference between past
and future, and engage in make-believe.
Throughout kindergarten children focus on developing book and print awareness,
phonological awareness, language, comprehension, letter and word recognition as well as

spelling and writing (Bredekamp, 2009). In addition, there is a continuous goal to foster an
interest in print. L does not often have much time to read a book too herself because she usually
utilizes all the time given in her work. In addition she regularly forgets her library book which
means she cannot take out a new one.
Creative/ Aesthetic:
L is a very creative child who is highly focused on the aesthetic aspect of her work. On
my first day in the classroom with L she asked to add glitter to one of her pictures. On February
17, 2015 L asked me during quiet choice if I could cut her paper into a square so she can make a
snow flake. L will often spend a significant amount of time on the aesthetic part of the work and
may need reminders to stay on task. For example if asked to draw a picture during a math
exercise she will spend more time on the drawing than applying the math skill. At recess, L
enjoys creative activities as well, In the winter she regularly tried to build a snowman. Now that
the snow is melting she enjoys collecting rocks and leaves.
Academic Profile
L is very observant and attentive during literacy activities. She focuses on producing
neat work with very clear handwriting. She still sometimes makes letters and numbers such
as 3 , b, or d going the wrong way. L is very attentive during writing activities. L has shown
in her writing that she is able to distinguish between uppercase and lower case letters. She
enjoys writing text to accompany her detailed drawings and really enjoyed a list making
activity we did. When I wrote a few names of 3 dimensional shapes on the board L asks,
Ms. Young are you making a list? This was a great question since earlier that day I had
introduced L and a few other students to their lists books they would be writing in for the
next few weeks. L can recognize rhyming sounds and alliteration in simple words. L can
blend letter sounds to form short words. L leaves the class room for literacy interventions to
strengthen her skills with the current concepts being taught. This ensures she receive extra
practice other than what she is receiving just in the classroom.
LF also leaves the classroom for math interventions to build her numeracy and number
sense and to reinforce the current concept being taught. L often comes to school without a folder
so we are concerned she is not completing the math practice that is sent home each evening. One
of the main reasons L receives intervention is to give her consistent support and exposure to
skills she may not practice outside of school. L shows quick improvements in understanding
concepts with support. At circle on April 2, 2015 L struggles to answer how many more it will
take to get to ten from 8. However, later that day in her math journal, she understood a similar
question and was able to solve it correctly. L builds on her prior knowledge to assist her in
understanding new concepts. When comparing the lengths of two different glue sticks L
comments, They are cylinders!. L demonstrates her awareness and understanding of math
concepts in her play. One day on the playground L explained the rocks she had in her hand, the
three in my left hand are for H, the three in my right hand are for me.

L is very curious about her world and often asks many questions. March 26, 2015 L asks
during a read aloud of The Giving Tree, Trees cant talk, why does the tree like the boy so
much? L is very interested in nature, so it will be important to foster her curiosity and support
her in finding answers to her many questions.
L really enjoys specials and opportunities to work creatively and independently. She does
not have access to technology at home and really enjoys the games she plays on the I-pad in
library. In addition, L is very happy in art class when she has access to an abundance of supplies.
L is a very active participant in Spanish class as well. On March 31, 2015 the class was playing
the fly swatter game for body parts and L was very quick to correctly identify the body part in
Spanish. The class cheered for her and you could see that she felt very proud of herself.
Academic Strengths:

L works well independently and picks up concepts very quickly with a little extra
support. L is a very careful and neat worker who focuses on producing quality work at
her own pace.
Characteristics of Students Learning Needs:

Needs reminders of what to focus. L may spend too much time on the aesthetic
aspect of an assignment rather than its content.

Do too lack of exposure and reinforcement at home L may need support with
mastering new skills.
Goals and Suggested Activities.

In order to ensure L experiences a healthy development despite economic

circumstances I would like to incorporate learning experiences that focus on healthy
habits into our classroom routine. For example we could spend time reading stories and
activities involving healthy teeth and the tooth fairy since so many children including L
are beginning to lose their baby teeth. L seemed to really enjoy writing in her list book.
This could perhaps be a topic of some of our lists. As L grows it will be important to
ensure she is receiving information and experiences for making healthy choices.

L has made enormous progress in her social development so far this year. She is
beginning to more regularly initiate interactions with peers and has even established a
buddy in the class. I want to continue to support Ls building of relationships by doing
more work in pairs and small groups.

L has made tremendous progress this year and will be academically ready for first
grade by the end of the year. L struggles in areas where she receives little exposure but
picks concepts up quickly with a little support. It will be important to ensure L has access
to learning materials over the summer and is provided with interventions if she begins to
struggle in first grade. With just a little reinforcement and extra focus L is able to achieve
much academic success. In an effort to ensure L is receiving maximum access to a rich
environment that exposes her to literacy and mathematical concepts as well as engages
her curiosity to ask questions. L has expressed an interest in list making. I want to

continue to make lists with children and post them around the classroom. Writing out lists
will also be beneficial in supporting L with following two or more step directions. I also
want to begin to label items in the classroom. This process of labeling would be a great
activity to do with all the children. I also want to begin a book bag system where children
can borrow books. This would be a great way to ensure Ls access to literacy materials at
home. Practicing math with sidewalk chalk outside this summer would be a creative and
engaging way for L to practice math skills before first grade.

In addition to chalk I want to ensure L has access to creative and nature related
activities this summer and at home to ensure she fosters her interest in art and the
environment. I would like to research resources for this to provide her family. For
example ideas for building fairy houses out of things in the yard or going on a nature
scavenger hunt.

Class favorite book collection.

Summary of Development
It has truly been a pleasure getting to know L and she has made great progress across the
curriculum since the beginning of the school year. She consistently puts forth her personal best
effort and works very hard. L is very focused on the quality of her work and works carefully and
conscientiously. In the beginning of the year L way a very quiet class member and It is terrific to
see her becoming more comfortable and even perusing friendships with classmates. L is a very
slow and meticulous worker which sometimes means it takes her longer to finish her
assignments. However, her work is always very well done when she completes it. Ls creative
energy and calm, focused demeanor brings so much to our classroom. I look forward to
providing her with the support she needs to flourish academically and in all other domains.

Reference Page
Bredekamp, S. & Copple, C. (2009). Developmentally appropriate practice in early childhood
programs (3rd ed.). Washington DC: NAEYC.
Cherry, K. Erik Erikson's Stages of Development. Retrieved February 1, 2015
Martin, Carrie. 2015. Personal Interview.
McDevitt, T. M., & Ormrod, J. E. (2013).Child development and education (5th ed.). Boston: