Assessing kindergarten students the easy way! Assessments are our friends… REALLY? YES! REALLY!!!!!
I know you may be frustrated with assessments. Tell me if this sounds like you:
- You feel like you spend all of your time in one of these 3 categories: Preparing for assessments, assessing, recovering from assessment.
- You don’t have time to teach because all you do is assess.
- Your desk is covered with data sheets. all. the. time.
- You struggle to turn the data into a teaching plan.
- When someone asks you to “Progress Monitor” a student and collect “data” on a student who is not improving, you feel like your head will pop off.
I was YOU! Sincerely! I felt SO disorganized and quite frankly a bit like I had suffered from ADD (Acute Disorganization Disorder).
Assessing Kindergarten: 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 you collect?
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
If you are looking to learn more about data-driven instruction, I highly recommend, The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook Grades K-2 by Jennifer Serravallo.
Assessing Kindergarten: One on One Assessment
Literally, every assessment we do in kindergarten is one-on-one. Right? This can take a ton 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 a one-on-one assessment, but it is FAST! You can use a tablet or a computer to assess your kindergarteners.
A Peek Inside
Here are a few of my favorite things (channeling my inner Julie Andrews). Once you have added your classroom to the system, you can then create groups. AHH! Such a great way to focus your instruction in small groups. I also love this screen because it reminds me… “Hey! Deedee! It is time to reassess some students!” Things like sight words, letters, sounds, numeral recognition… I assessed continuously. I did it first thing in the morning while students were working on their morning work. I could usually check 3-4 students each morning. Then I could sneak in more throughout the day. Using my iPad really helped me work the room.
Every 2 weeks, I would send this parent letter home. Parents LOVED it! Discussing this report during parent-teacher conferences helped to build a game plan.
Click and print flash cards in seconds!
Assessing Kindergarten: What tests do they have?
Pretty much everything! Anything that you would test one-on-one is included (excluding running records and writing rubrics). These tests were made FOR kindergarten teachers BY kindergarten teachers. WE have used them in our own classrooms. I (along with some friends) have written tests for ESGI. You are welcome to use these tests or make your own.
Sometimes you will see a pre-made test, but you just want to tweak it a little. No problem! You just copy it and edit to make it your own! SWEET!
I love this search feature! Love it! This was recently added to the system and it makes it so much easier to find tests.
Assessing Kindergarten: What does testing look like?
When you test, the system prompts you and asks if you want to retest EVERY test in the set or just those they got incorrect. For most of my class, I just retest the ones they got wrong before. However, for my intervention students, I retest all. These are students who are sometimes inconsistent in what they learn and retain, so I want to be sure to retest them periodically.
Then, I simply ask the students the question. If (in the example below) the word is read correctly, I click Y[es]. If it is read incorrectly, I click N[o].
Did you know?
Deanna Jump and I added simple true/false questions for out Guiding Readers! They are included in the membership!
AND… MATH too!
Here is a test that goes with our Kindergarten Math Units.
Here is a test that goes with our First Grade Math Units.
A Little Video Support!
Adding Students and MORE
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.