Preschool ObservationSetting:I observed Anna, age four years and five months, on March 24, 2006, at St.
Andrew’s Lutheran Church Preschool. I observed for two and one-half hours from 9:15 am to 11:45 am. The preschool has three teachers and a full enrollment of 24 children, ages four and five, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. They also have 24 children, age three, on Tuesday and Thursday. On the Friday that I visited, there were 21 children in attendance. There is a large enclosed play area outside. There is a large covered sandbox area with several toys including large plastic scoops, a large metal spoon, plastic bowls, shovels and buckets, a large play structure with a slide and climbing apparatus, a log cabin play house with several tools; such as plastic hammers, wrenches, and saws.
There is a big sidewalk that goes around the perimeter of the yard where the children ride the tricycles. There are six tricycles but they were not out for use on the day that I observed. Inside there are many areas for playing and learning. There is a small room that has a cradle, dolls, blankets, dress-up clothes and shoes for girls, child size furniture; table, sink, dishes, and other kitchen items. Also kept in this room is a large roll of paper that can be cut to any length for drawing and painting. In this room is where one of the teachers meets for story time with her group of eight children.
The large room is divided into two parts for the other two teachers and their groups when it is story time. The accordion divider is opened when the individual group time is over. In the large room are many different activity stations; easel with two sides for drawing with markers and paints, a fish tank with several fish, papers and crayons, table with small wooden puzzles with numbers on the pieces, small hard rubber birds, owls, and pelicans, a table with a hard plastic surface that lights up, a table with rocks and a magnifying glass, a table with Legos, an area for wooden blocks that are different shapes and sizes, a CD, radio, and record player combination, tambourines and other musical instruments, play dough, two teddy bears and two pillows on a rug area, plastic cars, trucks, finger people, and buildings for a town.
There is also a “Mr. Potato Head”, abacus, paints and a place to hang pictures to dry, a multi-colored wooden puzzle with five pieces in the shape of a cone. There are mats for the children to take a nap if they stay beyond lunch time.
There is a wood board with hooks for jackets and sweaters. Each child has his own cubby hole (plastic container) with his/her name and his/her picture on it. During the time that I observed the schedule was as follows:children played outside from 9:15 to 9:45, the three individual groups met inside from 9:45 to 10:15, hand washing and snack from 10:15 to 10:45 approximately and then self selection activities until 11:45. This preschool fits the description of a “Developmental or child-centered” early-education program (p. 286).
This is a Piaget-inspired model that allows children to discover ideas at their own pace. Physical Characteristics:Anna has black hair, dark brown eyes, and light brown skin. There is nothing unusual about her build or posture; she appears to be a well-nourished little girl. Her activity level is high. She smiles a lot and appears to be a very happy child. She wore purple sweats (pants and top).
The top said “sledding diva” and had a bunny on the sled. Anna wore white socks and her tennis shoes were white and blue. Her hair was fashioned in two pig tails at the top sides tied with lavender heart shaped hair ties, with the rest of her hair hanging down loose in the back. Anna does not appear to have any illnesses or special needs. Physical:(Description) From 9:15 am to 9:30 am, Anna played with three other girls in and around the log cabin play house.
She picked up the plastic hammer with her right hand and hammered the wall. Anna and the other girls exchanged and shared the tools. Anna ran out of the house to a table, picked up a lantern and ran with the lantern in her right hand back to the play house. A few minutes later she came out of the house with the lantern and set it down. She ran off, tripped, fell, got up and climbed on the play structure for less than one minute and then ran back to the house.
Anna and her friends left the play house and went to the sandbox. Anna left the sandbox to do some jumping and hopping on the sidewalk. Then she returned to the sandbox, pinching a few grains of sand between her thumb and index finger, removing a few grains at a time from one container and dropping the grains into another container.At snack time Anna poured her own juice from a small pitcher.