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9.4MRW Ability to support a licensed teacher in the gathering and recording of data regarding student performance in the area of math, reading, and writing.
There are two basic types of observations that can be made: naturalistic observations and structured observations.
Conducting naturalistic observations is one way to collect data about student performance. It has been used as a method of assessment since the establishment of the first formal classrooms. Doing these types of observations involves watching a student in his or her natural classroom setting and taking either written or mental notes about the classroom environment and the behaviors and characteristics of the student being assessed. It is also important to note what types of interactions take place between the student and others in the classroom. The process of conducting naturalistic observations allows teachers to quickly determine the state of learning in the classroom, thus making it possible to quickly draw conclusions from these observations and adjust instruction while it occurs.
Another way to collect data about student
performance is to conduct a structured observation. Conducting a structured
observation is somewhat
different than doing a naturalistic observation. With a structured
observation you would enter the classroom with a predetermined plan
of what exactly
to look for, whereas with a naturalistic observation you would simply
note anything of importance going on in the classroom. Structured observations
typically measure the frequency, duration, or magnitude of certain
behaviors exhibited by a child. For example, with a structured observation
gather data about how often a student engaged in off-task behaviors
such as staring into space or talking out-of-turn in the classroom.
Structured observations often involve using rubrics or checklists in
Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using both naturalistic and structured observations as a way to gather and record data about student performance.
Information in this lesson in used with permission from:
Sattler, J. M. (2001). Assessment of Children: Cognitive Applications (4th ed.). San Diego, CA: Jerome Sattler
Salvia, J., & Ysseldyke, J. E. (2001). Assessment (8th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin.