Posted on 01/22/2015 at 08:50 AM by Liz Determan
Administrators, parents and teachers themselves are often asking, “Why do we do all this assessing of children’s progress? It takes away from teaching time!” If assessment is done correctly it drives our instruction and helps us determine what specific skills we need to work on with children individually or in small groups.
If Johnny’s assessment information is showing that he is not where he should be with taking care of his own needs independently, then we will implement some strategies to help him with that. If Susie, Carly, Ben and Joey are not in the widely held expectation for identifying letters then we will conduct some small group work to scaffold their learning in that area. Assessing regularly helps teachers to avoid children from getting too far behind by providing them with what they need right when it becomes apparent that they need it.
Preschools should have systems in place for doing both quick screens and ongoing observation-based assessment. The goal is to improve the quality, more so than the quantity, of time teachers spend with children.