Ugh. I can't believe I typed out this long, lengthy journal article, only to be timed out by blackboard so I lost it. So aggravating.

Well, on day 5, I learned that I should ask the teachers about the past behaviors of the children, allowing me to discern whether or not an event was novel or not, and also giving me a better background of the child, for the teacher will usually drag on about the child and all the things that he/she has done in the past.

I worked with the preschool group on day 5, and they were about 2-3 years of age. In comparison to the older children, these children were slightly more hesitant to accept me into their groups, and I noticed the cognitive phenomenons in these children that were typical of early childhood. When the teacher asked "Who knows the twinkle twinkle little star song?" everyone's face was blank, but when she turned on a CD recording of the song, many of the children's lightbulbs went off in their heads and after the first line started (cognitive cue) singing along, and by the end of the song, every child was singing along, demonstrating a superior recognition memory in comparison to recall memory. The teachers also pointed out to me (what they thought) their extremely short attention span. "If you ask one of the younger ones if ice cream is cold or hot, they won't think about the question but rather just reply back with whatever the second choice was." We then tested this on several of the children, and this very true. Although I would attribute this more to a developing system of sensory registry and short-term memory. when we asked the older kids the same question, I could see them actually stop what they were doing and think about the question for a couple seconds before replying, while the younger kids didn't display the same level of attention to the question and instead just replied immediately. Within the familiarity of the WCCC atmosphere, the children developed small scripts to daily events, such as upon waking up, they would go potty, wash their hands, and then go play. However, this script was very rudimentary, and without the teachers, it is unlikely that the children would be able to do this on their own, especially when many of them immediately rush to the toys/books after naptime.

Socially, there was one child, Ernie, who kept on asking for his friend Bert, who was in the same class as he was but was absent that day for whatever reason, (doctor's appointment maybe?) and this child seemed to be absolutely lost. According to the teachers, Bert and Ernie were best friends, and unfortunately, Ernie wasn't very developed language-wise, and most of the words that came out of his mouth were "Wheres Bert?". Which was actually pretty endearing, but when his reply to every question is "Bert," it gets awfully repetitive (and yes, he did reply "Bert" to the question "Is ice cream cold or hot?" which gave the teachers and I a good laugh). Even though Ernie was one of the older children, all children develop at their own individual pace, and I guess that Ernie is no exception.

Gender-wise, boys overall seemed to have better spatial navigation and movement. For one, Linda was playing with 3 blocks, shaped in a quarter circle and when you put them together in a certain way, the 4 blocks would come together and make a circle (the 4th block was in the box of other blocks, and she had no trouble finding that). However, this thought process was lost on her, as she tried to put the blocks together upside down, in which the "teeth" of the blocks wouldn't fit together properly. And even though I showed her how the blocks should be arranged, she kept on trying to arrange the blocks in her own way, displaying the lack of development in her frontal cortex or simply a small attention span (but I can't imagine it could be the latter, because it took me all of 5 seconds to show her how to put the blocks together). After trying to piece the blocks together, an onlooker, a boy named Jimmy, got fed up and said "this is how you do it," and pieced the remaining 2 pieces perfectly. Now it is possible that hes very familiar with these 4 quarter-circle blocks, giving him an unfair advantage over Linda, but that wasn't a guarantee, and since they were about the same age, it seemed that boys overall had (at least this boy) better myelination of the frontal cortex than girls. Also, on the playground, they were playing on a playset that had thin steps you had to climb in order to reach the top (you could've taken the stairs as well, but these thin steps were apparently much more fun) and I noticed that the boys had a much easier time on these steps than the girls. Of course with all flash observational data, there are many many confounding variables, but just based upon these two events, it seemed that the boys had a better developed frontal cortex. At this point, gender segregation hasn't really set in, and although these children know their gender, it plays a very negligible role. More boys played with the power tools/cars than girls, and the girls played dress up with the skirts and ballet items while the boys didn't really play dress up, although both groups displayed a significant level of pretend play. I didn't really fully connect with any one of the children, and if I had to choose a child that connected with me the most, would have to be a girl named Abby, suggesting that her sense of identification hasn't come to fruition (nice vocabulary word there Albert).

*all of these names were made up