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Child Observation: Child and Adolescent Psychology

This time, I decided to observe children between the ages of five and six in a kindergarten class room at Maddock Public School.Maddock is a smaller school and there were only five children in the class, all of them were boys.I knew this would be an interesting day, because we learned in class that boys tend to be a little bit more active and disobedient, but I was definitely looking forward to it.

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I went in about fifteen minutes before the school day started so I could observe the boys from the time their mom dropped them off, until the time I left.

The first boy came in; he was a smaller boy, who is known to have special needs. I’m not exactly sure what is wrong with him, but his disabilities definitely showed during my observation. While his mother was dropping him off, I could tell that he didn’t want to leave her. He kept holding onto her legs, and whining, mumbling things to her that I could not understand but she could. She got down on one knee and told him that she would be back soon, and that he would have lots of fun with his friends. Right after she told him this, another child walked in with his older sister.

The first little boy almost immediately forgot that his mother was there, and walked over to the other child. When the second boy got dropped off, he was immediately distracted by the other boy, and leaving his sister was not a problem at all. I guess that day was show and tell day, because they were each excited to show off what they had brought to each other. They didn’t want to wait until the designated time to show things off. The other three boys came in at the same time. I’m assuming they rode the bus together, because they came in talking about one of the older kids that must have been picking on one of them.

As soon as they walked through the door, they ran and told Mrs. Maddock, their teacher. Of course the event wasn’t as serious as they made it seem, Mrs. Maddock explained to them that they were fine, and that if it happened again to let her know. About five minutes later, it seemed as though they had completely forgotten that it had even happened. The bell rung and the boys went and say down in their seats. While Mrs. Maddock was trying to talk to them a couple of them were listening to her, but the others were playing with their pencils and animal-shaped erasers.

She would pause mid-sentence and look at them until they realized that she wanted them to stop. They would then slowly put their items down, and give her their undivided attention. She asked them to all sit by the calendar, and they all jumped up and ran to it, trying to get the closest spot. Their pictures were on the wall. One was by the weather station, the other by the line leader station, and so on. They each had their own little duty for that day. The one whose picture was by the weather stood up and told the rest of the class what the weather was supposed to be like that day.

Mrs. Maddock had pictures with thunder clouds and lighting and rain. With those pictures, the little boy told them all that the weather was going to be bad, and it was going to storm. All of a sudden, one of the boys passed gas, and the room went from being quiet to loud in less than a second. All the boys started making farting noises and couldn’t stop giggling. Mrs. Maddock went along with it for about a minute or so, and made the little boy who passed gas say “excuse me. ” They had finally gotten over it, and seemed as though they’d forgotten it.

It’s pretty amazing how short their attention spans are! Mrs. Maddock walked to the front of the classroom, and all the boys followed to their seats. She did this a couple times throughout the time I was observing, and every time the boys knew exactly where to go. It was like that most of the day. She had those boys in line, and even at the age of five and six, they respected her. She pulled out a big ruler, and started pointing to the alphabet above the chalk board. One by one, the boys would name out the letter she was pointing to. As they called out the letter, they also wrote it down on a sheet of aper, and then spelled out a word that began with that letter. It was amazing to me that even the boy with special needs knew each letter, and knew how to spell a word using those letters. Of course the words were short, usually no more than four letters long, but they had these words perfected and had fun writing them too. Their reward for knowing all of the letters in the alphabet was free time. During this time, they ran to the toy box and pulled out the dinosaurs and cars, and played. They were all getting along until one of the boys grabbed the other’s car, and wouldn’t give it back.

One boy immediately sided with the one that stole, and the other two sided with the one who got his car stolen. It was mass chaos. Screaming at each other, and pointing fingers seemed to be the only way they knew how to settle this situation. Mrs. Maddock walked over and separated the kindergarten fight and asked the two main boys what had happened. Of course each of them had different stories, and it was funny to me to see how they reacted. The one who was lying kept looking away, and pausing his sentences with “um…” while he tried to make up more lies.

Mrs. Maddock knew right away of course which one was telling the truth, but because they were all yelling at each other she put both of the main boys in time out. The other three went back to playing, and nobody seemed to fight anymore. Everyone got along, because they didn’t want to get put in time out either. About five minutes later, she asked the boys to line up by the door. The line leader of the day ran as fast as he could, just to get to the front, and started to tell the other boys to be quiet so they could leave.

He was more than excited to show off his leadership to the other school as they walked through the halls to their Physical Education class. It was around this time that I left. After the boys left to go to the gym, I walked around and looked at their alphabet papers. One of the boys had exceptionally well handwriting. Three of the others were about average and of course the one with special needs was very hard to read. They also had art projects on their desks. It was fun to see that all the boys art revolved around sports and trucks or cars.

While I was looking at these things, it made me wonder how different the class would have been if there would have been at least one girls. The classroom I observed in was my kindergarten class room, and Mrs. Maddock was my kindergarten teacher. Being in that classroom with her brought back so many memories. Of course our class was quite a bit bigger, I observed many things that could have been observed while I was in kindergarten. While classroom sizes might get smaller by the year, the level of energy and excitement between the classmates stay the same.

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