Observer not working

I'm trying to observer a field (or form as in my example) and keep
getting a 'Form is not defined' error. Near as I can tell everything is
in place

In the layout file, I've got the default javascript files as one post
mentioned they forgot

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01//EN">
<html>
<head>
  <link href="/stylesheets/sharedScreen.css" rel="stylesheet"
type="text/css">
  <title>test site</title>
</head>
<body>
<div id="main">
     <%= @content_for_layout %>
</div>
  <!-- START_HIGHLIGHT -->
  <%= javascript_include_tag :defaults %>
  <!-- END_HIGHLIGHT -->
</body>
</html>

and in the demo.rhtml file

<form id="daily_notes" action="" method="post">
<table>
<tr><td>Mon </td>
    <td><%= text_field("noteExpanded", "monday",:value => "")
%></td></tr>
<tr><td>Tue </td>
    <td><%= text_field("noteExpanded", "tuesday", :value => "")
%></td></tr>
<tr><td>Wed </td>
    <td><%= text_field("noteExpanded", "wednesday", :value => "")
%></td></tr>
<tr><td>Thu </td>
    <td><%= text_field("noteExpanded", "thursday", :value => "")
%></td></tr>
<tr><td>Fri </td>
    <td><%= text_field("noteExpanded", "friday", :value => "")
%></td></tr>
</table>
</form>

<%= observe_form "daily_notes", :frequency => 2.0,
   :url => {:controller => 'assignments', :action => 'saveNotes'},
   :update => ""
%>

I've been playing around and have got the following code will work in a
specific scenario, but other attempts just fail.

<form action ="" id ="daily_notes" method="post">
  <input id='test1' name='test1' type='text' value=''>
</form>
<%= observe_field "test1", :frequency => 2.0,
:url => {:controller => 'assignments', :action => 'test'}, :update => ""
%>

If I drop that into a page, it fails, if I have it as a partial and have
the page include it on load, it also fails.

BUT if I have it as a partial, have a link that calls back to the
controller and does a
page.insert_html :bottom, "main", :partial => '/assignments/testNote'

then it works. Anyone have any idea why it only works in such a limited
fashion? I