Why I LOVE Kindergarten Assessments! Don't Hate Me! - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

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Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

Why I LOVE Kindergarten Assessments! Don’t Hate Me!

August 1 Deedee 3 min read

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.

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

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?

  1. Collect Data
  2. Analyze Data
  3. Interpret Data and Establish a Goal
  4. 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.

Running Records

When students read to us, this is a perfect opportunity to take a running record.

http://amzn.to/2aptNBD

This informs me of what the student is doing as a reader and well as some of his instructional needs.

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

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!

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

You can find this reading unit with rubrics HERE.

You can find JUST the rubrics HERE.

Writing Rubrics

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.

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

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.

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

At a glance you know how your crew is doing.Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

Print flash cards to send home with students for practice.Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

The parent letter is fantastic!

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

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.  

 

 

Pre-Kindergarten – 1st Grade Classroom Tools

Why I LOVE kindergarten assessments. Assessments are meant to focus your instruction. See how I use assessments to focus my teaching WITHOUT losing instructional time.

9 Comments

  • Dianne Wolfenbarger August 5 at 9:40 am

    We are “amping up” our RTI plans this year and this book will be a great tool, especially for the lower grades.

  • Lauren August 7 at 8:19 am

    First year kindergarten teacher here…I appreciate assessment although it can be hard to find the time while the rest of your kiddos are independently working, especially in the beginning of the year! What do you do to help with this?

    • Deedee August 7 at 8:46 am

      Hi Lauren,

      One thing that I do is establish routines right off the bat. So we have a set routine for morning work. Then because I can assess with the iPad, I can move about the room and assess which helps a TON!

  • Gina Fleegal August 8 at 11:39 am

    Is it possible to buy just the writing rubrics and not the whole writing unit?

  • […] You can grab your 2-month FREE trial HERE.  If you want help in setting up your ESGI assessments, you can read THIS POST. […]

  • Tiffany M Abrahani October 3 at 6:15 pm

    Do you know how much of a discount you get if you decide to sign up after the 60 day trial?

    • Deedee October 8 at 9:38 am

      Yes! You get $40 off!

  • Lori November 10 at 9:09 am

    Could I get the link to your journaling rubric?

    • Deedee November 28 at 4:29 pm

      Sorry Lori! I just saw this! The rubric is in the units that are linked in the blog post 🙂

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    My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching to different age groups and in different classroom environments. My heart belongs to early childhood education and I love working with other teachers who share this same love as me. Read More

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