Background

Ana (pseudonym) is a seven-year-old first grader. She is a hard worker, always willing to learn, and is very joyful. Ana has an IEP; she has a speech impairment. She is an emergent bilingual and has a paraprofessional that helps her with English. Ana receives pull-out services for speech therapy and ESOL twice a week.

Physical Presence and Gesture — Ana occupies her own space. She sits in a wiggly chair. When she is concentrating, she pushes her chair forward. She commonly does this when doing math or drawing to be closer to the paper. Ana is very expressive. She uses nonverbal and verbal communication to express how she feels and communicate with others. For example, when Ana wants people to go to her, she motions with her hand. When she doesn’t like something, she crosses her arms over her chest and expresses how she is feeling. Ana’s levels of energy vary throughout the day. In the morning, she is very quiet. She usually eats breakfast at school and later becomes more talkative. Once the teacher starts the lesson, she is ready to learn. She usually remains focused until the afternoon. Ana speaks English and Spanish very quickly. Sometimes it is hard to understand her because she does not pronounce some syllables. Ana’s temperament is even; she is able to express her feelings well and even asks for a break in the “break corner” when she needs one. Ana does not have any behavioral issues in the classroom.

Relationships with Children and Adults — Ana is very friendly; she has many friends in the classroom. She has three best friends, and she is very close to them. She always talks to them about dolls and drawings. She plays with them during recess and gym. Her friends are consistent; she has been friends with them throughout the year. She is very recognized within the group. Ana loves showing them her drawings. She is comfortable in the group; she can express herself and play with them. Ana has a good relationship with the teachers. She is also very respectful. Every time Ana needs something, she always says please and thank you. She asks the teachers for help when she needs it. Ana has casual conversations with the teachers. Most of their conversations are about cats since they know she loves them. 

Activities and Interests — Ana loves drawing and coloring. She is very interested in art. She has expressed before that she would like to be an art teacher when she grows up. She is very passionate about it and takes any opportunity to draw. When the teacher gives her worksheets, Ana writes her name and also makes a drawing of herself or cats. Ana loves drawing cats. The teacher gave the students a sketch notebook and gave them opportunities to draw. Ana’s notebook is full of drawings of cats and dolls. She loves hands-on activities and enjoys solving math problems. The product is very important to her. When she doesn’t get something right when drawing, she makes a noise like, “hmmm.” However, she is persistent and tries again until she gets it right. Also, when time is over to complete an activity that she enjoys, she usually makes a comment such as, “no fair,” crosses her arms over her chest, and then makes an angry expression, but she gets over it very quickly. She also loves to paint; an art teacher came to the classroom twice a week, and Ana was always looking forward to it because she knew she could paint. During the class, she was always eager to paint with the different brushes and was not afraid of experimenting with colors and using the strategies the teacher taught her. 

Formal Learning —Ana approaches new subjects with a good attitude. She is always eager to learn. She pays attention when the teacher introduces a new topic; when she doesn’t understand something, she asks the paraprofessional working with her for help or the teachers. In learning, she relies on memory and visuals. She relies more on visuals for literacy as she is an emergent bilingual. Also, when writing, she uses a personal word wall provided by the teacher and a folder that contains the ABCs and sight words. For math, she relies more on memorization. She remembers the steps she needs to take to solve a problem. Ana is very good at math. She solves math problems very quickly. She is the first to answer the math questions most of the time. Ana is a fast thinker and is very creative. Ana’s preferred subjects are art and math; she enjoys both and is really good at them. A subject she doesn’t like so much is literacy. She struggles when it comes to writing. She can write simple sentences and spell some sight words correctly. Most of the time, she writes about real-life scenarios. However, she can also write fictional stories and add different characters when writing. She is in the inventive spelling stage, where the child writes, basing herself on the phonemic understanding she has.

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Claudia
Claudia
August 1, 2022 5:13 pm

Dear Crystal:

I am amazed with your descriptive review of a child. Because of the simple terms but direct and clear key point that you mentioned for the reader to better get to know the child. You used precise and descriptive words relating to your students’ observations and its developmental stages.
One sentence that you wrote that stands out for me is: “Ana is very expressive. She uses nonverbal and verbal communication to express how she feels and communicate with others” I think this is very important to mention because from your statement I can see that Ana is very vocal and is capable of expressing her thoughts and feelings when needs to. Also, a child with such abilities is easier to help when need of your assistance. 
Another sentence that got me was:” Ana loves showing them her drawings. She is comfortable in the group; she can express herself and play with them.” This stood out for me because it says a lot about her social emotional well-being. Her positive interaction with children and adults is necessary for here social emotional skills as she develop ways in how interact with others while also expressing her need.
Have you seen this? https://www.proquest.com/openview/7cc847448d7768c38f3f6a9fd7e1e229/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=27755. I thought that you might be interested in this because of the tools it provides for teachers to promote 
students’ social-emotional development. 
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because the way in how you presented this child was clear, straightforward and with a concise knowledge understanding of what Ana can and cannot do.

Diana
July 30, 2022 7:39 pm

Dear Crystal,
I was drawn to your post, “Description of a Child” as I found it relatable to my post because the child I described was also creative, respectful and eager when it comes to learning. Although, they did have some differences I enjoyed reading their commonalities such as drawing in which the child I described loved drawing as well. One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “For math, she relies more on memorization. She remembers the steps she needs to take to solve a problem. Ana is very good at math”. I think this stood out to me because although my child is good at memorization he is not so great a math and becomes very aggravated when he gets stuck or doesn’t understand. He has a good memorization recall which helps with vocabulary and is great at reading and writing but fails to do so with Math. Another sentence that caught my attention was: “She struggles when it comes to writing. She can write simple sentences and spell some sight words correctly”.This stood out for me because as I mentioned having great memorization skills I would have thought it would benefitted them both when it came to literacy and math. It was amusing to see how similar the two are but different at the same time.Have you seen this video https://youtu.be/IxsOv1j20NE ? I thought you might be interested in this because you spoke about memorization and I thought maybe this can help when it comes to literacy and helping her find easier ways to write better. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because you were very detailed and I feel there we too have common ideas. I would very much enjoy reading your future posts.

Karyn
July 29, 2022 4:39 pm

Dear Crystal:
I am intrigued about Ana in your post, “Description of a child,” because I would assume because Ana is so creative she would really enjoy writing. However, I understand because she is bilingual I can see how it can be very difficult for her. I can imagine with the acquisition of writing skills she can become a great writer.
One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “the teacher gave the students a sketch notebook and gave them opportunities to draw” I think this is clever because it provides Ana with the opportunity to do more of what she loves and strengthen her spark. Incorporating this kind of opportunity sometimes daily can be beneficial to both Ana and the teacher sometimes.
Another sentence that I was interested in was: “ She usually eats breakfast at school and later becomes more talkative.” This stood out for me because food is a great source of energy and I have more energy when I have food, especially breakfast, it’s my favorite meal of the day.  Have you seen this “Waking up to the benefits of breakfast”? eating-right-wake-up-benefits-breakfast2.pdf (hopkinsmedicine.org).I thought you might be interested in this because you noticed the difference a meal can make.
Thanks for your writing. I look forward to seeing what you write next because your descriptions are thorough and I can picture the student in my classroom. You can tell you get to know your students very well.

Alexis
July 29, 2022 5:28 am

Dear Crystal,:
I am very passionate reading to your post about Ana, “Description of a Child,” because is deep and detailed, is like the work we were learning last week.
One sentence you wrote that stands out for me is: “She relies more on visuals for literacy as she is an emergent bilingual. Also, when writing, she uses a personal word wall provided by the teacher and a folder that contains the ABCs and sight words.” I think this is the important part of descriptive reviews, since it provide to us the teachers with specific information, that we can use to be a better teacher for a student.
Another sentence that stood out to me was: “Every time Ana needs something, she always says please and thank you” This stood out for me because you are being so specific of what you explaining, which is very good for the reader, in terms of having a better comprehension a better view of your description.
Have you seen this video called ‘a day in a special education room’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEYs3L1-izQ ? I thought you might be interested in this because it demonstrates how special students are attended and how their needs are getting fulfill, this video also reminds me a bit of Ana, since special students get the chance to do some physical activities to get energy to continue working in their school work. Thanks for your writing. I look forward to reading more from you, I really enjoyed your description of Ana, I liked the details, the explanation in all sense about Ana, as teachers you provide us with the specific information that we need in order for us to help a student better.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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