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Evaluating children

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Introduction

TMA 02 E230 Evaluating Children's Knowledge In this assignment I will endeavour to pinpoint two well-established areas of knowledge and two emerging areas of knowledge from watching two short observations of two different groups of children playing with blocks. I am aware that it would be 'unfair, from one activity with such little evidence, to draw firm conclusions about what these children actually know.' (Block 2, Part 2, Pg. 85) and therefore these are my opinions regarding the children's level of knowledge taken from two very brief observation. The first incident that I believe significantly demonstrates well-established knowledge is in the area of mathematical development and takes place during the observation of three girls. During this observation Girl 2 is sorting some building blocks with a friend and as she's doing this she tells her friend, "I do the big ones 'cos I'm allowed the big ones. That, yeah, you can do that one 'cos that's even smaller, that's even smaller as well.' (The Open University, 2005, CD 2, 0:39) This observation shows that she is confident in sorting the blocks by size, in terms of big and small and is also showing ability to correctly 'use mathematical size language such as big, small, little, smallest, heavy'. ...read more.

Middle

(The Open University, 2005, Block 2, Part1, Pg 41) This form of play is providing girl 2 with concrete experience, which will lay the foundations for future learning, which will enable her to make sense of the effect gravity and force have on everyday objects. A second incident that also demonstrates emerging knowledge takes place during the first observation of the three girls playing with the construction blocks and is in the area of mathematical development. Girl 3 (the non-speaker) is quietly comparing two blocks to discover it they are the same size and shape. She quietly takes one block and holds it next to another and views if from all angles, by doing this is 'starting to show an awareness of similarities in shapes of objects in her environment' (QCA, 2000, Pg.78) Once she is satisfied that both of the blocks are the same size and shape she returns to the box to search for more blocks which are also the same size and shape as the first and continues building her wall. This shows that she is also beginning 'to order items by length or height.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Stimuli such as books, photographs with different pictures of vehicles and buildings would all aide Boy 1's imagination and by talking and reading to him about his interests (the parts of cars, truck or other vehicles in this case) will help to extend his vocabulary the next time he plays with these vehicles. The stratagy of scaffolding children development can also aide in children's language development, scaffolding is "support that is contingent upon the learners need for assistance." (Devereux and Miller, 2004, p.10) Practitioners also need to value and understand the importance of well resourced play. Through play, children are given the opportunity to imagine and recreate past experiences, as they explore situations, events and ideas, for example, making a journey with a toy car they improve their competence with language through social interaction and repertition within a safe environment. The Open Univesity states that children often 'use adult discourses when playing, experimenting with and expanding their language use in a way that society does not yet require of them'. (The Open University, 2005, Block 2, Part 2, Pg. 97) Therefore play is an important learning tool. The Open University states that the more a child is able to use language, 'the greater his or her success in the education system'. (The Open University, 2004, Block 2, Part 2, Pg. ...read more.

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