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School Age Observation

Melinda Dwyer
Ivy Tech Community College


I observed a 3rd grade class of 22 students on November 7, 2014. I observed them for
about 2 hours that day. I observed their fine motor skills and gross motor skills. I also observed
their behaviors and actions according to Erik Eriksons Theory. I found the group activity they
did to clear their minds and transition to another test fascinating. I will implement this technique
when I teach in the future. Most of the students enjoyed this activity. I also observed the
students relationships with each other and with their teacher and how they follow rules.
I observed their fine motor skills during a science lesson. They cut out the given shape
on their paper, glued the shape inside their notebook, folded the paper where indicated and wrote
the rock cycles inside the flap. All this directed by the teacher. Only a few students struggled
and I walked around helping the children catch up when needed. There was only one student
that had to start over because they glued the wrong side. Overall, I thought these students used
their fine motor skills very well. Some of the handwriting could use a little help, but overall they
did very well.
Before, during and after a language arts test I observed the students being very
responsible, good and trying to do right. According to Erik Erikson, students at this age strive to
be industrious. During this stage Erik Erikson said the challenge the student works through is to
learn basic skills and to work with others (Kail, 2012). They began by gathering their supplies
for the test. Since I was taking them in the hallway to take their test they needed a clip board, 2
pencils and the test itself. One child failed to bring the test itself and I had to provide one in the
hallway. Once we began to take the test, they tried to communicate that they knew the answers,
but I had to ask them not to share their thoughts because others needed to concentrate. Once
they finished we returned to the rest of the class. They quietly returned the clip boards got out a
snack and joined the class.


The class participated in a large-motor group project in between their tests. The teacher
called this a Brain Break. She found a dancing video online to the song What Did the Fox
Say? The students have done this before and insisted on this particular song and dance. Once
the video was playing the students were to stand, dance and or sing. The teacher said, this helps
them transition to the next test and has shown to help improve grades. Most students
participated, but some did not. The excited students tried to verbally encourage participation
from all their peers. Some of the students had a lot of fun with this and knew every verse and
every move. Even when the teacher requested the participation (standing) of all, a few refused
and did not stand. Overall, most students followed the rules and enjoyed the activity.
I noticed that these students depend on their teacher to set the rules, enforce the rules and
hand out the consequences of following or not following the rules. She has a ticket system.
When a student misbehaves or does not follow a rule she has them get a ticket. If they get 3
tickets they lose recess time. If they behave well or do something good they get to choose a
sticker from the sticker chest.
Finally, their friendships I noticed are first formed based on genders and then on interests.
Even the teacher separates them by gender in line during transitions. The teacher told them
several times not to talk while in line, but the students were obviously bonding over the book one
was reading. The boys were all grouped together and the girls were coupled here and there. I
really enjoyed my time observing these students and would love to see them daily. One boy
asked, Why cant you come every day? Hopefully soon I will be in a class room every day.


Kail, Robert V. (2012). Children and Their Development- sixth Edition. Upper Saddle River,
New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc.

This book introduces child development in all stages. There are chapters focusing on the
science of child development, the effects of nature and nurture on a child, well known theories
and studies on child development, and the many stages of child development.