Preschool Assessments

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Miss J. Pre-K, Jan 18, 2010.

  1. Miss J. Pre-K

    Miss J. Pre-K Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2010

    I've used the Creative Curriculum assessment and am now using the High Scope assessment, and I've got to be honest, I don't see the point!

    I know, I should be observing the students, but I find it really hard. I'm either leading an art project, leading a small reading group (yep, I'm supposed to start early readers), playing in a center with the kids, solving squabbles/problems, or setting up the next activity during center time. And how am I supposed to write down observations during circle time when I'm leading the class?

    And since the observations/assessments are done over about 3 months, I feel like the things I have observed early on are no longer where the child is at. But I don't have time to assess them again.

    I wish I had assessments like the kindergarten classes, like you do these 10 math objectives with the individual child in Sept., Jan., and May. Same for reading and writing.

    If you feel like you've got this ongoing assessment thing down, I'd love to hear how you do it. Do you divide into groups, assess certain objectives once throughout the time period, etc.? I'm finishing writing up my second period of assessments, and I'm having to guess where some of the students are and make up antedotes, which is so not helpful to me or the kids.
     
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  3. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jan 18, 2010

    In addition to all of the observations and anecdotals, I sit each kid down, 1-1 and do a drill-type assessment right before progress sheet time. I look at the expectation on the progress sheet (can count to 31, knows 3D shapes, etc) and then quiz them. It takes 10-15 minute per kid, so I start a month ahead of the time I need to do the progress reports.

    Otherwise, like you said, if I assess a skill right after teaching it (say, in January), by May that assessment is really not valid any more. I have to see what they know at the point of progress sheet time, and I feel like individual testing is the only way to figure that out.

    I don't do writing that way, though. I just do a quick journal review.

    Kim
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 18, 2010

    Gosh, I feel like you need some help. I have lots of experience with CC, and all that observation stuff is difficult to keep on top of. The purpose of it is to help you assess where the child is and to compile a picture of the child for parents and other staff. Is this a Head Start program?

    Here is how we did the anedotal observations. Fold a paper into 4 equal squares. Label each box with the title of the anedote you are looking for. I can't remember what they are--it has been some time since I was in the classroom. But, for example, if they are social skills, math skills, reading skills, and language.

    So, as you are going about the day, you see Johnny looking at a book and trying to sound out a couple words. You quickly jot that down on a sticky note you have close by. At the end of the day, you file that on the reading skill box of his file.

    At the assessment time, you will have documentation as to his skill level. Without documentation, it is hard to prove that a child has skills.
     
  5. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2010

    I use CC as well. Here's what I do. I have a binder and each child has a section. I color coded the 4 areas of development and put papers by that color into each child's section. So each child has a blue paper for Social/emotional dev, a green paper for cognitive dev, a pink paper for lang dev, and a white paper for physical dev. Then I have a clipboard with white labels on it that I keep within reach at all times. When I notice a child saying or doing something throughout the day, I jot it down with the child's name and date. At the end of the week, I look them over, write down the objectives on the labels (and the level) and stick them on the appropriate pages. Also, when planning my lessons, I write down which objectives they meet on the lesson plan. During center time, I usually sit with small groups of children or work one on one for a specific skill and use a checklist. I look ahead of time at what forerunners, level I, level II and level III are for that objective and use these levels for my checklist. Then I just pop the completed checklist into the front of the binder. I also use portfolios for each child. I put various items in them, such as handwriting samples, drawing samples, scissor cutting samples, pictures of them building with blocks or playing dress-up, etc. I date everything so that I can see if they are progressing. When it comes time for the profile to be completed, I pull the portfolio and binder out and I have a complete story. I hope this makes sense and it helps at all. I don't write something down on every child every day, and I do also do the formal assessing for each child (letter recognition, number recognition, etc) so I use that as well. Good luck!
     
  6. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 18, 2010

    teacher36, very nicely explained.
     
  7. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 18, 2010

    From observing teachers, I think you have to develop your own system. Otherwise, the notes just don't get taken, and you end up with an empty porfolio.
     
  8. Miller59

    Miller59 Companion

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    Jan 18, 2010

    teacher36 that is a great system! In the end you have this nicely organized and very useful information. Very nice!

    I have a less effective way of taking notes -- I simply have a piece of copier paper marked off into 7 spaces (I have 7 students) with a child's name in each space. I keep it on a clip board with my weekly plans and I take notes as things happen or as soon after as I can. I have my own wacky short hand. When I need to I fold the page up and write on the back.

    When it's report card time I plan activities that allow to assess specific areas. These I usually do one on one during Centers Time. When I know that I need to do that I make other parts of the day less demanding of my time. No big art project or new concepts introduced on those days.

    You really do have to try some things to find something that will work for you. I'll be trying some version of teacher36's idea.
     
  9. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jan 18, 2010

    The CC documentation I have isn't anything I feel that would go out of date at the end of the 3 months. If the child can cut with scissors the first week-he should build on that skill not loose it for the remaining 9 weeks. Is the child using language to solve problems---again----that is a way to solve problems that sticks. I do asses for the ABC retention and 123's and to see if a child can tell me a story with a beginning-middle and end-but those aren't on the CC form I have (written as plainly as that).

    I actually liked the anecdotal way of keeping up with the children's progress once I understood how to compile it.
     
  10. teacher36

    teacher36 Comrade

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    Jan 19, 2010

    Thanks guys. It definitely makes my life easier when it comes time to document their progress on the profile sheet. I do agree with Blue that you need to find something that works for you, otherwise you'll never take notes.
     
  11. kimrandy1

    kimrandy1 Enthusiast

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    Jan 19, 2010

    I think for me, it's more of the things that the chlid cannot do that could change over 3 months. If they cannot cut with scissors the first week, I feel I have to reassess that before progress report time - he could have learned! Once a child masters a skill, I don't feel the need to reasses that skill.

    And, it's probably important to note that I do not use cc. The levels of expected skill change from Fall progress sheet to Spring. To get the check for number recognition in the Fall, they have to recognize only 1-3, but in the Spring, it's 1-10. So, even if they have accomplished that "goal" in the Fall assessment cycle, I do need to reassess in the Spring. It's like that for each and every indicator, not just #s. For example, letter recognition - in the Fall, they have to recognize only the letters in their name, but in the Spring, they are expected to do all 52 letter shapes.
     
  12. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    Jan 19, 2010

    I'm a big fan of stickys, too... and sometimes it means that I have my stickies right there by our small group activity, or circle, or whatever... especially if it's a skill I'm planning to get notes on. Or I go and write them down at the next free moment I have. I've also been known to ask my assistant to take notes on something if I'm needing specifics... it's really helpful to have a second pair of eyes sometimes, especially at somewhere like circle.

    My mom's ECSE program used high/scope, and here's how they do their stickies:

    One BIG poster on the b-board for each class AM/PM, divided vertically into the different assessment areas. Everyone jots stickies down during the day about whatever observation they were making (child's symbol, date, time/area, and the observation), then at the end of the day (or two days, depending), one of the staff members puts them up on the appropriate section of the chart. When one part is full (or, again, when they have time), the stickies are transferred to individual portfolios... stuck on the appropriate page for that skill. When the PAGE is full, it gets photocopied and the stickies are then tossed. When it's time to do new goals or updates, it's a pretty clear picture of what the child is consistently, or inconsistently, doing or not doing. Sounds confusing, but it works.

    I have a smaller class, so I just keep the stickies on pieces of colored paper in a notebook. I'm also known to do checklists of skills, especially when it's something easy like color or shape ID.
     

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