Posted on 04/01/2011 at 09:23 AM by Global Reach
How important is it that preschool teachers and childcare providers focus on research-based curriculum objectives that are predictive of children’s future school success? Very important! And how important is it that we know where individual children are in all areas of development so that we can meet them where they’re at and scaffold their learning? Also, very important! That’s why Northwest Area Education Agency supports the use of the newly created Teaching Strategies GOLD child assessment system.
GOLD can be used with any developmentally appropriate curriculum. It is a seamless system that spans birth through kindergarten and has color-coded progressions for the 38 objectives that enable teachers to work with children at all levels, even those with disabilities. GOLD has a variety of tools that help teachers gather assessment data and includes strategies for promoting development in each objective.
The purpose of GOLD is to help teachers (1) observe and document children’s development over time, (2) guide their planning and instruction, (3) identify children who might benefit from special help and (4) communicate with family members and others.
GOLD takes teachers through the steps of (1) observing and collecting facts, (2) analyzing and responding to children based on the facts, (3) evaluating children’s skills by comparing them to research-based indicators and (4) planning experiences for children based on collected information and sharing that information with others. Linking curriculum and assessment is a natural flow when teachers appropriately use GOLD.
Full implementation of GOLD takes time and patience, but the results prove valuable for children, teachers, families and programs. As preschool programs must strive for meeting Iowa’s Quality Preschool Program Standards they find that having GOLD in place helps, and that’s why the early childhood staff at Northwest Area Education Agency assists programs by providing both group and individual support in this research-based assessment system. Contact them for training and coaching opportunities and visit http://teachingstrategies.com/page/GOLD.cfm to learn more about this “good as gold” teaching tool.