COUNTRY FUN

an early education learning space ~ where play equals learning

“You Do Assessments?”

As part of Quality of ME I have to do assessments to document progress of the children developmentally. When parents become aware of this the following conversation is common.

  • “What kind of tests do you do?”
  • “I don’t test.”
  • “How do you do assessments then?”
  • “Daily observations. Developmental checklists. Samples of coloring, writing. Video/photos of speech and play.”
  • “What do you do with this information?”

At that time I explain about the private eportfolios I have for each family of children not yet in school.

Collecting samples and checklists are easy to understand, but the daily observations is less clear. Here is what I consider daily observations:

Daily observations are just me watching, listening and internally comparing what I see happening within the space, between children, in different situations and gaining individual skills. To support what I’m witnessing I also take many photos and videos. (You see just a small amount shared through posts on the blog or on Facebook.) I also specifically look for skills that I expect to see developing and/or we have been working on.

What I love doing is taking what I think of as snapshots of a moment. It’s as simple as just snapping a view of the space at one time, seeing what everyone is engaged in at the same time/same place. I can then make notes about what was seen and heard.

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Why are assessments like this important?

  1. They support the choice in routine, rules and equipment available for the child directed play.
  2. It helps direct materials I might add in or remove from the space.
  3. It leads me to research areas where I need more knowledge or want current information.
  4. It supports the communication between myself and parents to best provide for each child.
  5. It guides lessons that occur throughout our daily activities.

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