Oh the joys of assessments...
It's hard enough to fit in all the instruction, but then we have to use ample amounts of time to check in with kiddos one at a time in order to assure they are mastering the skills we are teaching. I actually really enjoy those 1:1 check-ins, yet of course working with one child at a time means finding something for the rest of the kiddos to do that they can do independently and quietly...
My team uses a Kindergarten Assessment to check in with kiddos with regards to what we are teaching and we also do assessments that go along with our phonics program.
Now, the state of OR is going to add a Kindergarten assessment to evaluate incoming Kindergarten students with the aim or improving Kindergarten readiness skills in pre-K programs. We received an email a few weeks ago about an information session that is going on this evening so Mrs. Bee and I are going to check it out. Apparently the assessment will be piloted next school year in 10 or 15 schools and then it will be state wide in 2013.
I am not really sure what info we'll get tonight, but I really like the idea of assessing the kids prior to placing them in classes as a way to ensure that there is a mixture of academic levels in each class. I am not sure if the intention is to assess prior to placement or not, so I am really interested to listen at this session tonight and find out the plan.
I'm curious...how do you assess your incoming Kindergarten students and when?
I can't imagine having to complete a required assessment in the fall as one of the first tasks in Kindergarten. That time should be spent teaching routines and procedures and getting into the groove with the class. I can't imagine having to pull kids one at a time and leave the others to work on something else when expectations and routines are not yet in place. I like the idea of somehow conducing the assessments prior to the start of the school year and it seems like that would be a great way to meet kids and their parents on a more individual basis. Our supply drop can be so crazy (especially with two classes) that I never feel like I get to have an actual conversation with anyone, yet that is the first time we get to meet each other.
I will be sure to fill you in on what I learn tonight!