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FMS Observation & Assessment

Observation and assessment of children’s learning are important as it helps educators understand the progress of children and use the information to adjust or plan new activities that better support and promote children’s learning and development.

Children should be observed in as natural a setting as possible – as they move around throughout the day, at play at the playground and during movement games and activities. Educators may take photographs, video recordings and anecdotal records to capture children’s learning.

To support educators’ process in documenting important aspects of children’s progress in movement competency, five areas observing children’s learning and development of movement skills are suggested. These five areas of observation are related to movement attributes likely to be observed in children when the 5Es Framework is practised. The five areas that educators can look out for when observing a child’s movement competency are Coordination, Consistency, Adaptability, Creativity, and Independence.


What to observe?

Observe a child’s entire body movement coordination pattern in relation to the learning context (instead of examining the movement pattern in segmented body parts).

Guiding Questions:

How does the child move when performing various FMS in a learning environment?

  • Are the child’s movements smooth, fluid and rhythmic (vs rigid and stiff)?
  • Is the child able to move comfortably and effortlessly within a play area or while performing a task?


What to observe?

Observe a child’s movement outcomes in a particular learning environment and context, over a period.

Guiding Questions:

How consistent is the child’s movement performance for various FMS? E.g.,

  • How accurate is the child at rolling/throwing/kicking?
  • How long can the child balance on one foot?
  • How stable is the child when balancing on a line?
  • Is the child able to bounce and control a ball consistently? How many times can the child bounce a ball?


What to observe?

Observe a child’s movement response when changes occur in the learning environment or when the

FMS is carried out in a different learning context.

Guiding Questions:

How does the child respond when task constraints are changed? Is the child able to make appropriate adjustments when:

  • Different ball sizes are introduced?
  • The non-dominant hand is used instead of dominant hand?
  • Target heights are varied?
  • Playing on different surfaces?
  • Rules of the game changed slightly?

How well does the child react to external stimulus in the environment (e.g., an on-coming ball or to other children in the play area)?


What to observe?

Observe a child’s propensity to come up with unique movement solutions when presented with a task or challenge in a particular learning context.

Guiding Questions:

To what extent does the child use new and unique ways to complete the task?

  • Does the child challenge herself to try new ways of moving? (vs prefer to go with a safer option?)
  • Are the unique movement solutions functional?


What to observe?

Observe the child’s confidence to move or complete the task by themselves.

Guiding Questions:

To what extent does the child depend on physical support and/or verbal prompts from others?

  • Is the child able to effectively make use of cues in the environment to complete the task successfully?
  • Is the child able to make decisions independently when given choices?

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