Assessment of Children

Assessment is about looking at the processes children go through during their daily experiences and analyzing each child’s strengths and areas for growth. Assessment is not just planning activities for a specific standard or assessment tool but rather should be viewed as intentionally planning an intriguing, quality experience for children with specific goals in mind. Teachers can stretch children’s thinking through future, connected experiences. It is our belief that assessment is more than a task but is a tool. We believe that the process of assessment is enhanced by the teacher engaging in the cycle of inquiry. There are, in fact, two levels of inquiry taking place in our classrooms on a daily basis. The first is children investigating their questions through planned and responsive activities. The second is teacher’s close observation of children in order to further recognize children’s understanding and learning. When experiences supporting inquiry are encompassed in the classroom assessment becomes a natural component of the day for both children and teachers.

CDL faculty and student teachers contribute to the on-going authentic assessment of children’s abilities. Teachers actively observe and document each child during his/her experiences in play, project work, and daily routines. These observations serve as a basis for the assessment of children’s overall development and progress. These observations are compiled into individual child portfolios. Observations and anecdotal records will be used to complete the following items as a part of on-going assessment: individual portfolio pages, panels of family group project work, booklets, documentation boards or power point presentations and the Developmental Continuum of Creative Curriculum which will be shared with parents, and concept maps. These items document children’s interests and abilities and how teachers have interpreted and scaffolded children’s learning through in-depth project work. Towards the end of each semester the portfolios (including the Developmental Continuum) are reviewed with parents during the parent-teacher conference. During the conferences teachers will discuss with parents the assessment tools used and how the information is interpreted and utilized to plan curriculum. Parents can review specific instruments upon request.

Teaching Strategies GOLD Developmental Continuum

The Teaching Strategies GOLD Assessment tool (Developmental Continuum) will be used by teachers to organize and analyze their anecdotal records/notes. Target teachers will need to update the assessment tool each week with their anecdotal notes. Teachers may need to develop an observation plan to ensure that all developmental domains are observed and that appropriate anecdotal notes are available in each domain in order to accurately and thoroughly complete the assessment tool. Prior to the end of the semester the Head Teacher for each classroom will finalize progress checkpoints. A written report from the assessment tool will be generated at the end of each semester and shared with parents as a part of the parent-teacher conference.

All assessment results and information are kept confidential. Assessment results will not be kept in the child’s portfolio as anyone could have access to this information. Classroom teachers will be responsible for keeping the information in a secure location within their offices where access will be limited to program administration, teachers working directly with that child and the child’s parents. Only with written permission from parents can the information be shared with other individuals.