psy 421 observation paper

psy 421 observation paper - Observation Project: Cognitive...

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Observation Project: Cognitive Development in Children Hannah Bauss PSY 421: Cognitive Development California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
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Classroom Observation Paper Village Preschool I observed a group of 3 year olds on October 20 th for about an hour in the morning. When I arrived it was snack time where they were eating pretzels, cheese sticks, and juice. During snack time I noted that all of the children were able to pour juice into their cups from the small jug but were unable to open their bags of pretzels or cheese sticks on their own. This is an example of brain maturation because they are gaining more control of gross motor movements, like pouring juice into a cup. But it also shows that they have not yet refined their fine motor movements because opening wrappers requires smaller, more intricate or complex hand and finger movements which they struggled with. Also, during snack time, when the children needed help opening their snack, they differed in their requests for help. A few of them were able to verbalize what they needed help with and a few simply sat with the packages in front of them waiting for one of their teachers to notice that they needed help. But a majority of the preschoolers held out whatever they needed help with (either the pretzels or the cheese) in front of themselves where the teachers could see it so that they would help the kids open it. The choice of these youngsters to either verbally or nonverbally ask for help is an indication of the maturation of their right and left hemispheres. Because comprehension precedes production we can guess that most (if not all) of these 3 year olds can understand what adults say to them. However, they may not yet be able to actually produce a verbal reply as a response or a request, causing them to use gestures like holding their pretzel bag out in front of themselves. This also illustrates the difference in developmental levels even among children of the same age because some – albeit very few – of these three year olds were able to verbally ask for help, indicating that they may have a more mature left hemisphere
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to allow speech production compared to their peers. I also noted that throughout the class, the teachers continued to remind the children to “use their words” to indicate or explain what they wanted. This is important to help them increase their ability to vocalize their needs and helps their brain develop as well. I also observed the preschoolers while they were playing on the playground. Here, it was very easy to spot differences in coordination and fine motor control. Two boys were running around and playing with soccer balls. One of the boys was able to bounce the ball once and kick it in the air off the bounce while the other boy had to set the ball on the ground in front of him before he could kick it. This is an indication in the differences of the motor cortex between the two boys.
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This note was uploaded on 01/06/2012 for the course PSY 421 taught by Professor Josephholifield during the Fall '10 term at Cal Poly.

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psy 421 observation paper - Observation Project: Cognitive...

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