Remember that time I told you about how I set out to make my own assessment program? If not, you can read it here.
It wasn’t the most fun I have ever had… it was time intensive and not easy. And you can bet your bottom I learned a lot.
Teachers work hard and teachers need more love!
So, I wanted to share with you what I have learned in this Assessment Edition of….’Do this, Not That’ (read that with a gameshow host voice!).
When getting your assessments in order….
DO plan ahead: planning ahead can make sure that you are ready for year in regards to assessments. You don’t want to be spending your weekends during the school year figuring it out!
DON’T wait until the second week of school (like I did one year). Not wise, I don’t recommend it. It leaves you feeling ‘off’ and unprepared.
DO be intentional: Don’t just create assessments and/or goals because they seem like what a preschool teacher should be doing. Be intentional. Ask yourself why you are assessing each and every skill.
DON’T wing it: it only leads to time-wasting
DO map out how parts of your assessment plan relate to one another: this was a big way that I got my assessments in order. I had to see a birds-eye view of how it all fit together.
DON’T let your assessments separate into pieces that lead to a non-cohesive plan: that will for sure equal more work and/or insufficient data.
DO consider how you plan on assessing students: is a whole group, small group, 1-1 setting best for your students? Instead of drill and practice, would playing games to observe skills be the best choice for your students?
DON’T assume all assessment processes are the same: Some use drill and practice and worksheets which can be unappealing to young children and in turn alter your results.
DO take into consideration how you want to report the assessment results: Does a report card work for your situation, or would a portfolio be best? Do you plan on having conferences with parents? If so, how often?
DON’T leave parents in the dark: reporting to parents is huge. Many parents are quite concerned with Kindergarten readiness. Therefore, it is important for you to show them how ready their kiddo is!
There you have it! I hope you can learn from some of the mis-planning that I did when I tired to get my assessments in order.