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Early Childhood Observation / Reflection

Narrative Recording

Tonya Carline

HD 450 Reflective Teaching

Chiquita L. Waters, M.A.


Early Childhood Center: KinderCare Learning Center

Children: Ages 3-4

Observation: Children Exploring a Pumpkin

Date: 10-27-17

Time: 2 hours 10am-12noon

It is 10:00 am on Friday morning October 27, 2017 in the Pre-Kindergarten classroom at

KinderCare Learning Center. Jayda, a four-year-old, is sitting at the small group table waiting for

her napkin, along with 5 other children. Jayda is wiggling in her chair the most out of all of the

children in her group, but it appears that she is trying her best to wait patiently for the teacher’s

instructions she says, “I can’t wait to touch the pumpkin.” The children are sitting at a table

that has a small pumpkin placed in the center with the top part cut out in the shape of a circle.

The children at this time are only allowed to visually explore the pumpkin for a few minutes

while waiting for the teacher. “It looks small like a baby pumpkin.” “It’s orange like an


The children are expressing excitement about the activity they are about to engage in,

discussing with each other about what they think they are going to do with the pumpkin- Jayda

says, “I think the teacher is going to cut the pumpkin up and give us all a piece.” Jayda is

watching the girl sitting to the right of her very closely while she is speaking...all of a sudden, the

girl reaches out to touch the pumpkin and Jayda grabs her hand and says, “no don’t touch it, it’s

going to bite you!” Jayda’s scare tactic appeared to work because the other child stopped

touching the pumpkin and quietly continued waiting for the teacher’s instructions.

The teacher is now explaining to the children saying, “what you all will be doing is

taking your hand and digging into the pumpkin and scooping out the seeds then placing them on

your napkin.” The children began whispering to each other at this small group activity table and

smiling and giggling. One by one the children took turns digging their little hands inside of the

pumpkin, scooping out the seeds and placing them on their napkin. Here are some of their

comments: “It feels slimy,” “no it feels wet,” “It feels slimy and wet,” “I found the most

seeds!” “It smells like an apple.”

After the children had scrapped as many seeds as they could out of the pumpkin and

placed them on their napkins, the teacher explained to them what they would do next she says,

“now that you all have collected all of the seeds from inside of your group’s pumpkin, you are

each going to count your seeds and I’m going to come by with a chart for your group and you all

will log on the chart how many seeds you found inside the pumpkin.”

After the children successfully completed part one of the Pumpkin activity she excused

them to go wash their hands and return to the table to log the amount of seeds they found next to

their name that was already pre-written on the group chart. The children were able to follow the

instructions provided by the teacher and complete this activity (12:00pm).


I observed so many teachable moments within the context of this activity; although it was

a wonderful engaging activity for the children, the activity could have easily expanded to discuss

the concept of their five senses- the children were guiding the teacher into that topic as they were

communicating their desire for that conversation: “It smells like an apple,” “It looks orange,” “It

feels wet and slimy.” Basically, sensory processing...focusing on the way the children are

processing what they are experiencing, exploring further the way the brain responds to sensory


Another way that this activity could have been expanded is by turning it into a weeklong

activity, the teacher could have extended the concept of math and science a little further later

exploring how pumpkins grow, measuring the pumpkin with yarn to see how much string it

would take to wrap around the pumpkin; handwriting skills, had the children to create their own

little documentation pads to write one word statements on how they describe the pumpkin,

document the seed counts on their own little tablets, allowed them to take ownership of the

activity become little explorers.

I recognized an important skill taking place throughout this activity, that reminded me of

a passage I read in a book called, “Cognitive Development” by Lisa Oakley it says, “A child’s

participation in a teacher directed activity may reveal a child’s level of interest and functioning

in the activity itself.” The children followed the direction of the teacher very well which was also

a very important skill to watch for.

In Piaget’s model of cognitive development he breaks down cognitive processing into

stages; the stage that children of this age are in is called: “Preoperational stage age 2-7 in this

stage he says, ‘Egocentrism is a key characteristic for viewing the world from the child’s

perspective and the inability to use the perspective of others.” (Oakley, 2004). The children were

expressing their own interpretation of what they thought about the pumpkin before the teacher

began communicating with them you saw that dialogue while they were waiting for instructions,

the children had beliefs about this pumpkin long before they explored anything through the

lenses of the teacher.


I really enjoyed observing the children as they explored this activity it was a learning

experience for me as well, discovering how to focus in on other types of teachable moments that

the children may guide us into if we truly listen. Thanks