Assessment! Report cards! SIGH! Do you feel overwhelmed with them?
NOTE: I have updated this very old post to provide my latest thoughts!
Is this a window into your life.
- Do you feel like you JUST finish assessing and then it is time to start all over again?
- Do you feel like you can’t offer instruction because you are assessing?
- By the end of September, you have killed more trees than you care to admit and you can’t find your desk because assessments are piled high?
- You have so MUCH data, but you can’t seem to turn data into a teaching plan.
- You pass these mountains of assessments off to your admin and never look back?
- When someone says you need to “Progress Monitor” a student, do you want to go screaming from the building?
If that is you above, I don’t blame you. I would not like assessment either.
So why do we assess students
If the answer is because I have to, then we need to have a chat:
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?
So what are the steps?
- We collect data
- We analyze data
- We interpret data and establish a goal
- We create an action plan
(The Literacy Teacher’s Playbook Grades K-2 by Jennifer Serravallo is a fantastic READ on data-driven instruction)
So how do we do this without stopping instruction?
Running records are a perfect opportunity to gather data about students’ reading and fluency. Listen to the students read and gather data!
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
Rubrics should inform me and they inform the student too! This can be powerful!
You can find this reading unit with rubrics HERE.
You can find JUST the rubrics HERE.
Writing rubrics work the same way! We start each unit with a rubric! This pre-assessment 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
“Yes, but Deedee,” you say. “Assessments in kindergarten have to be done one-on-one!” They CAN take a lot of time… but it does not have to. I started using ESGI a few years ago and it was a game changer! 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.
At a glance, you know how your crew is doing.Print flash cards to send home with students for practice.
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!
Here are a few videos on 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 won. 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.