CHD-233: Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education Practicum

Health and Human Services
Education & Human Services
Children & Families
Academic Level
Course Subject
Child Care
Course Number
Course Title
Observation and Assessment in Early Childhood Education Practicum
Credit Hours
Instructor Contact Hours Per Semester
15.00 (for 15-week classes)
Student Contact Hours Per Semester
45.00 (for 15-week classes)
Grading Method
ENG-131, CHD-203, and CHD-211 with a grade of C or better
Catalog Course Description

During this practicum experience, students will apply knowledge gained from CHD-232. They will observe and engage with young children individually and in small groups in an early childhood classroom. Students will implement activities approved by the lead teacher and use formal and informal assessment techniques with children. Observation strategies and recording objective anecdotal notes will be emphasized. Students will analyze observations individually, with classroom staff and classmates to build relationships with children, determine children’s strengths, suggest support activities and for assisting the lead teacher in communicating children’s development with families. Students must complete specific requirements before beginning a practicum experience. (see General Course Requirements).

Goals, Topics, and Objectives

Goal Statement
Core Course Topics
  1. Child Observation and Documentation

    a. Observe children's interactions in a preschool setting and thoroughly document their actions and dialogue to assist in future lesson planning.
    b. Engage in discussions, assignments and activities designed to promote theoretical understanding and real life applications of the assessment knowledge gained.

  2. NAEYC Guidelines for Developmentally Appropriate Practice

    a. Select appropriate assessment methods for gathering information on the child using the following;
    *Assessment of children’s progress is ongoing, strategic and purposeful.
    *Assessment and observation data focuses on what children can do and where support can be provided.
    *Information gathered by teachers, input from the family as well as the child are part of the overall assessment.

  3. Child Oriented Curriculum and Environments

    a. Analyze observations individually and with their classmates, identifying children's current level of understanding, interests, misconceptions and questions. b. Develop plans for individual children and the group based on the analysis of observations, anecdotal notes and classmates' ideas. Plans may include changes to the environment, the introduction of new materials or the utilization of new teaching strategies.

  4. Child Study Portfolio

    a. Compile a portfolio of observation and assessment data on one child to communicate the child’s strengths. b. Utilize the information in the portfolio to improve teachers’ and program’s effectiveness in working with the child.

  5. Assessment

    a. Use informal and formal assessment strategies to record students’ growth and development.
    b. Select appropriate tools based on the attributes of individual assessment methods and how data is collected to obtain desired information.
    c. Apply the Information gathered from the observation and assessment results to support children and families within the classroom environment and beyond.

Assessment and Requirements

Assessment of Academic Achievement
  • Documentation from child observations (observation chart & anecdotal notes)
  • Analysis of documentation from the observations
  • Individualized and group plans based on observations and analysis
  • Child study portfolio
  • Standardized test implementation and reflection
General Course Requirements and Recommendations

The following documents must be provided before starting this practicum:
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Clearance
Tuberculosis (TB) test record (must be in the last 12 months)
Identification (valid driver’s license or State ID); and a HFC student ID card
Must pass a criminal background check.
Students are now required to complete fingerprinting before starting their field experience. Some practicum locations may request immunization(s), a physical exam and an ICHAT (Criminal Background Check). Details are provided through the Practicum Coordinator. The student will be informed of any additional documents needed by the child care program.

Students are required to complete all scheduled practicum hours throughout the semester. Documentation of field experience hours and either the program director or coordinating teachers' signature are required.

Note: Grades for CHD-233 (practicum) and CHD-232 (lecture) are separate. It is possible to receive a passing grade in CHD-233 and not in CHD-232 and vice versa. To successfully pass the CHD-234 field experience, students must receive a C or higher.

The following NAEYC Associate Degree Standards are met by this course at the understanding or application level:

1. Promoting Child Development and Learning:

  • 1c: Using developmental knowledge to create healthy, respectful, supportive, and challenging learning environments for young children.

2. Building Family and Community Relationships:

  • 2c: Involving families and communities in young children's development and learning.

3. Observing, Documenting, and Assessing to Support Young Children and Families:

  • 3c: Knowing about and using observation, documentation, and other appropriate assessment tools and approaches
  • 3d: Understanding and practicing responsible assessment to promote positive outcomes for each child, including the use of assistive technology for children with disabilities.

5. Using Content Knowledge to Build Meaningful Curriculum:

  • 5c: Using own knowledge, appropriate early learning standards, and other resources to design, implement, and evaluate developmentally meaningful and challenging curriculum for each child.

7. Early Childhood Field Experiences

  • 7a: Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of three early childhood age groups (birth - age 3, 3-5, 5-8).
  • 7b: Opportunities to observe and practice in at least two of the three main types of early education settings (early school grades, child care centers and homes, Head Start program).

No Text Required.


Satisfies Wellness Requirement

Credit for Prior College-Level Learning

Options for Credit for Prior College-Level Learning
Portfolio Review
Portfolio Review Details

Portfolios must be well organized into sections and should include up-to-date material and information on individual child in an infant and toddler or preschool classroom. Portfolios should include:

  1. A Child Study on an individual child (infant, toddler,or preschool child) which includes the child's background/history.
  2. Implementation of at least three assessment tools (informal and formal)
  3. Evaluation on the use of the assessment tools.
  4. Interpretations and Strategies for an individual child in the developmental areas: Cognitive/Language, Social, Physical, and Intellectual.

Students are also required to provide documentation of 45 hours of early childhood assessment implementation within an infant, toddler, or preschool classroom. To show proof of the field experience or practicum hours, a student must be prepared to provide an official letter (on school or company letter head) showing the hours completed. The letter must also include contact information and the signature of the program director. The Children and Families Program Director will evaluate submitted portfolios and determine satisfactory submissions based on the evaluation rubric. Evaluation rubric and student checklist located in The School of Health and Human Services office.

Effective Term
Fall 2020