Teaching Strategies Gold

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Preschool0929, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Oct 25, 2013

    As I sit here on a Friday night trying to figure out how I'm going to get all my TSG data entered by Monday, our district deadline for Fall data, I realize that I need to develop a much better system for this.

    I have 38 students (AM and PM session). Although I feel like I do a good job with lesson planning and assessing student skills, I just don't have the time to have 1 observation for every single student, for every single objective. I used to try to enter data every afternoon, but then there's IEP meetings or home visits or staff meetings and it doesn't get done.

    So....in general, I guess I need help with 2 things:
    1)How do you plan out your observations so that you have an observation for every objective?

    2)How do you organize your observations and data? If I plan to do an observation and assessment on rhyming on monday, and 5 students are gone on monday, how do I find the time in 2.5 hours to not only assess them on that skill, but on the skill that i've planned to assess on tuesday?

    Frazzled :dizzy: Help!
     
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  3. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Nov 15, 2013

    I know I'm late to your post. I feel your pain. I've found it's actually literally impossible to meet the standard. I do not have two classes. I have one of 20 children. We are to have an observation in every area by the time checkpoints are due. They tell us to get 35 observations in a week. They also tell us to do two observations per child per week. But it doesn't work out. Can you use the group observation feature? Virtually every teacher I meet tells me the same story as you, and it's the same for me also. You'd think the Teaching Strategies people would figure out a way to streamline and simplify it.
     
  4. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Nov 16, 2013

    I was a Head Start trainer. How long are your observations?

    Here is what we did. Using a post it note, be ready to jot down a note on each child ---whatever it takes for you to get to all of them. In our center, all staff were required to take notes.

    Divide a paper into 4 sections. Head each with a skill you need to observe. At the end of each day, add notes to the pages.
     
  5. Alesia

    Alesia Companion

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    Nov 16, 2013

    Do you have an assistant or someone to help you to complete observations?

    The on the spot observation tool is also a great help.It only covers physical development, literacy and math I think. I think that it really saves time with entering that data because all you need to enter is the data the particular skill was observed. I usually print on the tool (which should already have the children's names on it) at the beginning of the quarter, and try to complete those right away.

    I try really have to enter data once a week, and midway through the quarter I print out the observation report and focus my observations on anything that is missing.


    I also take lots of pictures and add a short note about what was going on when I upload the photos to Gold.
     
  6. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Nov 16, 2013

    Thanks for the advice! I've just started taking pictures, and that has really helped, as it's a lot quicker to do and I can upload it quickly with an observation after school. I do have an assistant, and she helps when she can (although the teacher she used to be with for 13 years did not let her take observations, so it's taken time to teach that....and we're still not really there).

    I think the hardest part is that I'm also a special education teacher, so I manage around 10 IEPS in my classroom. So, in 2.5 hours, I not only do circle time and small group to assess my typical kiddos, but I'm also providing spec. ed. services, which range from 10min/day to 30 min/day. My assistant is also spending this time with students who are using visual work schedules, needing g-tube feedings, or positioning students in and out of wheelchairs, feeder seats, etc... Even though my classroom is ages 3-5, I have some students who are learning sight words and addition, and some students who are just starting to crawl. Sometimes finding time to write down an observation seems impossible :dizzy: But I do think that using the on the spot observation tool would help, and probably planning out my observations for each week so that I know what I need to get done.
     
  7. Miss84

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    Nov 23, 2013

    I have one class of about 20 students. I use the group observation feature, type-up the documentation about the activity and attach ALL of my students and about 5-6 standards in a domain to it. Then I just set the levels of each student individually. We have to have at least 1 piece of data per student by the checkpoint.
    I'm new to GOLD and it's the only way I've been able to get documentation in for every child, in each domain, by the checkpoint due date.
     
  8. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Nov 23, 2013

    This is exactly what I do too. I think all the teachers in my district do it this way because it's really impossible to get 1 piece of data per student for 38 students. We got word a few days ago that the district is most likely switching over to AEPS next year...so I'm hoping that will be easier.
     
  9. jbrinkm

    jbrinkm Companion

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    Nov 24, 2013

    Video helps a lot too, if you have a feature on your phone or another way of capturing video easily. Even if you are not able to upload it, you can videotape a student in another area and go back to watch later. In a short video, I might be able to check off 4-5 different objectives (uses fingers and hands, speaks clearly, interacts with peers, engages in sociodramatic play and follows limits) for 2-3 different students, depending on which area and what they are doing.

    Oh, did I mention I do most of this at home, at night?

    We've recently gotten iPads and once I get used to the app, I should be able to upload short video and pics quickly, but I still have to go to the main website to select the progression. And I know we are really fortunate to have those. I definitely think my district provided them because of all the complaints about how tedious and time-consuming the data entry was.
     
  10. wyvern

    wyvern Companion

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    Nov 26, 2013

    Perhaps I'm wrong, but this sounds like what we used to do a long time ago when we kept creative curriculum folders on each child. We'd write a note in a specific area and then paste that note physically into that objective in the book. But teaching strategies is a computer program. There are many a day when I wish for the old system because the computer system is always slow and crashing and frustrating me to pieces.


    I notice that some people here say that they are only required to do one check point per objective. Where I am each and every objective box must be filled. Class size is 20. We are NOT allowed to do any work at home period. Group observations work, but unless you individualize it won't check mark each box, so it's not much good. But if you use the "On the spot" area and mark off, say, all the children who can catch a ball, you can check each of those and it will fill each box. I still put in 40 observations a week with no help. I really don't have time to mess around with uploading pictures or videos, simply because that would take MORE time on already slow clunky computers. So, for me it's notes in the classroom that are transcribed to the computer later.
     

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