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Observation #3

Class:
FHS 1500
Name:
Emily Johnson
Assignment: Observation 3
Background information
Child's age:
Fictitious name:
Location:

8 years old
Claire
Boys & Girls Club, Murray

Physical Developmental
One of the first things I noticed about Claire was that she is a very fast child. When I first
arrived they were playing freeze tag in the gym. Claire was very speedy, and maneuvered very quickly
around and past the other children. Claire is considered to be in middle childhood. According to the
text, middle childhood is The period between early childhood and early adolescence, approximately
ages 6 to 11.. (Berger 243). It looks like middle childhood children have fully mastered their gross
motor skills and fine motor skills. She appears to be right on track with her friends, they were all
running around all over the gym and having lots of fun.
Middle childhood looks to be a really great part of life. According to Berger, fewer fatal
diseases or accidents occur from ages 6 to 11 than at any other period of life (244). A lot that could
play a role in this fact is immunizations and the recent medical care. Children have better habits than
they use to, they more frequently cover their sneezes and wash their hands. (245). The game Claire was
playing in the gym was freeze tag. This game involves a set of rule- if you get tagged you need to
freeze. You can only move if someone unfreezes you. Games with rules are great for kids, it helps them
improve academically. (245).
During the last part of my observation the kids were outside playing on the playground. Claire
was with her friends in the shade playing jumprope. While jump roping I observed that not only could
she jump over the rope, but she could do tricks (jumping and turning around in the air, hopping on one
foot). These movements not only are an example of how well her motor skills have developed since
infancy, but it also showed she has great balance.. According to the textbook, active play is crucial at
this age, for learning as well as for health. (Berger 252). Claire appears to be a very active child who
looks to be getting enough exercise so I would like to say that she is a very healthy child in this period
of life.
Cognitive Development
The cognition of middle childhood is called concrete operational thought. Concrete operational
thought means to have the ability to reason logically about direct experiences and perceptions
(Berger 253). This stage means that children can think productively, their logic, however is applied to
visible things, not yet abstractions. Unlike in early childhood where children's thought process is
preoperational which keeps them from performing logical operations. One thing I noticed about Claire
was when she was talking to me, she was getting ready to go to the snack shack. She was sorting her
money out- dimes, nickles, pennies all in their own stacks. She was showing classification by doing
this. Classification is the logical principle that things can be organized into groups according to some
characteristics they have in common. (253). I know sorting and grouping things together is very
important in early childhood, and I was impressed by the ease in which she sorted her coins, it was
almost second nature to her. Even more impressive, she counted up her money exactly right. To
understand math operations you need to have concrete operational thinking-so that was a way that she
showed me that she is cognitively developing very well, probably even ahead of other 8 year olds I
would say.

Social/Emotional Development
Claire was definitely very social. The reason I picked her was because she came up to me right
when I walked in the door and so chatty and sweet and she intrigued me. After talking to Claire for a bit
I could see that she has developed her self-concept, which are ideas children have about themselvesincluding their intelligence, personality, abilities, gender, and ethnic background. (Berger 285). Selfconcept becomes more specific and logical in middle childhood. She was talking to me about the things
she can do well, the funny jokes she tells, and I also noticed that some of the things she thought about
herself weren't all positive.
According to Berger, as the self-concept becomes more specific and logical, it also becomes
less optimistic.(285). I definitely saw that that was true. Claire was a little down on herself because
her friends could jump rope and spin around faster than she could do it. She was also showing that she
was comparing herself to her peers, which is also common and normal for this age. Children depend
on social comparison, comparing themselves with other people, as they develop their social concept.
(Berger 286). After leaving the snack shack, Claire was concerned that some of her snow cone dripped
onto her shirt, little kids could care less but Claire being in middle childhood was showing that she was
starting to care about her appearance. According to Berger, because children think concretely during
middle childhood, materialism increases and appearances matter (286).