Specifically I mean that whether it was leadership skills or lack of, running,climbing and jumping, drawing and writing, or anything that could fall between,it has been seen, done and accounted for in the following observation. First let’s start with the physical and motor development. Please sayhello to Karligh and Bethany, my first volunteers of the observation. Bothgirls are in the four-year olds. The first activities under physical and motordevelopment that I’m going to observe them performing are the largemuscle/gross-motor skills. The large muscle/gross-motor skills include:climbing across the monkey bars, riding bigwheels (or tricycles), and runningthrough a built-in obstacle course on the playground.
Starting with the monkey bars, it’s clearly obvious that Karligh isphysically stronger upperbody-wise than Bethany. With surprising ease, Karlighcrossed the monkey bars using nothing but her arms to perform this task. Bethany on the otherhand was shaky and uncertain from the start. After hangingfrom the first bar, she quickly swung her feet over to the side for leg support.
She was able to cross but only with a great deal of assistance from me. Karligh also showed mastery in riding the big wheel. Her speed andturning ability seemed to surpass anyone else on the playground. Bethany choseto ride only after a piece of candy bribery. Her tricycle skills were somewhatsluggish but more or less average. However, once again Bethany was victorious.
The last large muscle activity was completing the obstacle course. Theobstacle course involved running up a slide, crawling through a tunnel, crossinga shaky bridge and then walking along a balance beam. Karligh ran up the slidewith a considerable amount of effort. She quickly crawled through the tunneland crossed the shaky bridge with little effort. She crossed the balance beammore quickly than I’d seen any child do that whole day.
Bethany climbed up theslide in a time that was a bit quicker than Karligh’s. The crawling through thetunnel was done quickly and she was first stalled on the shaky bridge. Shemanaged to cross the bridge in a modest time but she hit some trouble at thebalance beam. After slowly completing about ten percent of the travel acrossthe beam, she turned her feet sideways for the remainder of the crossing, whichtook about two minutes. The second area in the physical and motor development involves the useof small muscle or fine motor skills.
For the observation, these skillsinclude writing, and playing the drums (the only two fine motor skills I sawboth children perform). These children are four years old so when I say writingI of course am not talking about paragraphs or even sentences. More simply, mywriting section only involved writing their names. Karligh was able to produceher name on paper in a legibility that was impressive for someone four years ofage. Bethany too was able to write her name but just not quite as nice asBethany.
After observing the two children playing the drums, I think it’sunlikely for either girl to win a scholarship for college as a percussionist. Bethany’s playing was sporadic and entirely inconsistent but hey, she’s onlyfour. Karligh’s drumming skills were a bit more impressive since she managed tolay down and keep a beat for a short amount of time. In judging overall competence in gross and fine-motor skills, it’sobvious Karligh was better at both, but for most children competence seemed tolean more on one than the other. The “strong kids” on the playground who werethe fastest tricycle riders, the highest jumping and so on, seemed to shy awayfrom more of the finer fine motor skills. As for the kids that seemedsignificantly dominate in fine-motor skills, they were more likely to be seenplaying in the sand box or just taking it easy as opposed to climbing, jumping,etc.
This didn’t always hold as true. As mentioned before, there wereexceptions such as Karligh. Now we’re on to the second half of the observation, which involvessocial and cognitive development. This section includes sociodramatic play,drawing pictures, counting and identifying leadership skills or the lack of.The first half of this section takes place in the kindergarten’s room where allof the kids are five .