Functions of Assessment
- Identify current knowledge and skills of students
- Address and plan for the strengths and needs of students
- Evaluate student growth over time
- Promote student motivation and objectivity
- Evaluate program effectiveness
- Enlighten parents of student progress
- Promote parent advocates
Components of Assessment
Early Childhood Assessment is composed of three essential, interrelated components:
- Documentation (data collection)
- Evaluation (comparison to a standard)
- Communication with family (sharing both progress and performance)
Early childhood educators have historically valued and promoted child observation and program assessment as being important for highquality programs for children. Assessment is the process of gathering information about students in order to make decisions about their education. To get a well-rounded picture of the student’s understanding and progress, the strategies used for assessment must be comprehensive. Unique talents, interests, knowledge, skills, and progress are documented by observing, collecting, and reviewing children’s work over time. Teachers recognize that uneven development is normal and expected, allowing them to assess children fairly. Assessment must involve observing children regularly and collecting samples of their work. The physical products created can become part of a student portfolio, providing many examples of children’s thinking over time.
In documentation, emphasis is placed on discovering what a child already knows and is able to do. Acknowledging student understanding promotes the child’s sense of competence and provides teachers with clues about what and how to teach. It gives a much more accurate picture than assessing them in a contrived setting. For example, asking a child to write an answer to a math problem may not show whether or not the child has problem solving skills or can add digits. The child may not understand the meaning of the problem, may have stayed up too late, or may be coming down with the flu. In contrast, daily observation as the child solves many kinds of problems enables the teacher to discover what he understands about addition and problem solving as well as other mathematical concepts.
The next step in assessment is comparing the gathered information of each student to the standard. This step enables teachers to guide instruction, evaluate teaching strategies, track student progress, and identify students with special needs that require additional interventions or services. Although standards are designed to provide consistent expectations for all children, instruction must be molded to fit each child’s individual strengths and needs. The insights gained from early assessment can serve as the basis for instruction. As teachers observe students at work, they can modify the learning experiences offered to meet the individual needs of their students.
Since documentation and records on your child are extensive and confidential they can not be shared here. Here is a link to our
parent portal for your childs recent assignments.