As you many know, I spend weeks and weeks each year talking to teachers about assessment. I am at times a bit timid when I say I LOVE KINDERGARTEN ASSESSMENT. When I broach this subject, I can feel the stress level rise around me.
Tell me if any of this rings true for you:
- You spend weeks and weeks assessing only to turn around and start assessing again.
- You feel like you can’t get to instruction because all you are doing is assessing.
- By October you can’t find your desk because you have mountains of assessments.
- You have so much data, but you can’t seem to turn data into a teaching plan.
- Your administrators ask for assessments, so you hand it in, say a prayer, and move on.
- When someone says you need to “Progress Monitor” a student and gather all your self-control, as you suppress the urge to throat punch them.
If that is you above, I don’t blame you. I would not like assessment either.
Why do we assess?
If the answer is because I have to, then we need to look at a few things…
1) What are you assessing?
2) What do you do with the data.
When we make instructional decisions in our classroom, they should be centered around the evidence we collect. In a nutshell, what do the students know and what do they still need to learn… right?
How do we do this?
- Collect Data
- Analyze Data
- Interpret Data and Establish a Goal
- Create an Action Plan
(The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook Grades K-2 by Jennifer Serravallo is a fantastic READ on data-driven instruction)
Here are just a few ways I collect data ALL DAY LONG without stopping instruction.
When students read to us, this is a perfect opportunity to take a running record.
This informs me of what the student is doing as a reader and well as some of his instructional needs.
You can find these leveled texts and running records HERE.
Rubrics for Responding to Literature
Not only do these rubrics inform me, they also inform the student. Powerful stuff!
You can find this reading unit with rubrics HERE.
You can find JUST the rubrics HERE.
The same is true for writing rubrics. I like to start each unit with a rubric. This helps me make instructional decisions for the individual student and the class.
You can find these rubrics within our writing units HERE.
One on One Assessment
One-on-one assessment CAN take a lot of time… but it does not have to. I started using ESGI a few years ago and it changed my teacher life! I can not say enough about this powerful assessment tool.
It is still one-on-one assessment, but it is FAST! You can use a tablet or your computer to assess your kindergartners.
The parent letter is fantastic!
Report card time is a dream because you can simply log into your ESGI account and see the data. No more hauling binders home! Oh YEAH!
I made a few videos to show you how EASY this program is to set up. You can get your 60 FREE trial by clicking HERE.
This video shows you how to load the pre-written tests. You can select a pre-written one or write your own. I have made a ton and you can load those if you want.
This video will show you how to add students and navigate some of the report features.
I sincerely LOVE kindergarten assessments and if you try ESGI, I bet you will too! Here is my suggestion… start the 60-day trial. THEN show your administration how powerful this tool is. I can’t tell you how many principals I have spoken to who said it was their TEACHERS who wanted this assessment so they purchased it for them. You can snag your 60-day FREE trial below with a BIG discount if you do decide to sign up.