ELORS – The Observation Forms

By Mary Ruth Coleman, Ph.D., Tracey West, Ph.D., & Margaret Gillis, Ph.D.

The purpose of the Early Learning Observation & Rating Scale (ELORS) is to help teachers and parents gather and share information about young children paying specific attention to characteristics that might be early signs of learning disabilities. Through the use of systematic and strategic observations in natural settings, teachers and parents will be better able to:


  • Gather information about children across seven important developmental domains
    • Perceptual and Motor
    • Self-Management
    • Social and Emotional
    • Early Math
    • Early Literacy
    • Receptive Language
    • Expressive Language
  • Determine levels of concern about children’s overall learning progress and their growth in specific areas of learning and behavior
  • Recognize children who might benefit from additional support for learning.

Select and download the form appropriate to your role – either parent or teacher.

    Once all of the forms have been completed, you will have a comprehensive profile of a child’s strengths and needs. You are encouraged to use this profile when sharing information with parents, teachers, specialists, and other professionals.

General Directions for Using the Observation Forms


The Parent-Individual Child Form

  1. Select a 1-2 week period to observe your child in a wide range of routines, activities, and settings.
  2. Use the space provided to write notes about what you see your child doing in each domain as you observe throughout daily routines and activities. Observe the child in a variety of settings and activities, including meals, dressing, playtime with friends, and family and community activities.

The Teacher-Individual Child Form

  1. Observations should begin after the child has had time to become familiar with the classroom routine, at least a month after class enrollment.
  2. Select a 1-2 week period to observe the child in a wide range of routines, activities, and settings.
  3. Use the space provided above each domain to write notes about what you see the child doing in each domain as you observe throughout daily routines and activities. Observe the child in a variety of settings and activities, including transitions, centers, group time, meals and snacks, literacy and math activities, outside, and upon arrival and departure.

The Whole Class Form

  1. Observations should begin after you have become familiar with your class, at least a month after the beginning of the school year.
  2. Over the course of 1-2 weeks, observe the children in a variety of routines, activities, and settings including transitions, at centers, during literacy and math activities, at snack and meals, when arriving and departing, on the playground, and when playing alone and in large and small groups of children.
  3. For each of the domains of learning, do the following:
    1. When a child’s behavior within the domain causes some concern, write down the child’s name in the space provided.
    2. Add tally marks next to the child’s name each time you observe additional behaviors that cause concern within the domain.
    3. You may also want to write some notes about the behavior you observed.
  4. After the observation period, examine class needs and patterns within and cross the domains.
 

Suggested Tip!

Be Ready for Reading

Bring a book to your child’s next doctor’s appointment to ease the wait.  And, leave a book where you keep your reusable shopping bags to make the shopping cart a rolling reading room
separator