Let’s talk about Assessing in Kindergarten. My entire county uses ESGI and I get asked all the time if I like it. Do I REALLY Love ESGI? Many teachers ask me if I really like the assessment platform ESGI. The answer is simple; No. I do not really like ESGI. I really, really, REALLY love ESGI. I honestly and truly use this software daily in my classroom and I honestly and truly love it.
Assessing in Kindergarten Made Easy
A few years ago I heard of ESGI and thought it sounded funny. What does ESGI stand for and why is it going to be different than anything else I have used? I wasn’t sure I truly believed that there was no way to make my assessments go faster. I saw it and thought it looked cool. But would it save me 400+ hours? I was efficient and organized! (Or at least I thought I was!)
Do I REALLY Love ESGI?
I read online that ESGI gave you 60 days for free. Hmmm… That is interesting. Who gives away their bread and butter for 60 days free? As a techie, MOST tech places give you a free day, week, or maybe a month. I do not know anyone who gives you 60 days for free. I admit it. I was interested and it is FREE.
So, let’s break down my own personal questions about ESGI, and let’s see if it covers many of your questions as well. The truth is ESGI assessments made easy is the answer teachers need.
What does ESGI stand for and what does it actually do?
ESGI stands for Educational Software that Guides Instruction and it was made by a true life Kindergarten teacher. I have actually met the real deal Greg Gorman, who is the idea man and creator of this program. He gets it. He knows what we do.
ESGI is an online program that allows YOU to find or create assessments to give your students. This program allows you to assess your students by tracking the data for you with dates, times, and more. It generates graphs to show progress. If you use flashcards to go through the ABCs you have to go back the check the ones your students do and do not get correct. That is wasted time. ESGI eliminates that. There is no downtime to look through data. All your graphs update instantly. So Do I REALLY Love ESGI? YES.
How do I start to use ESGI?
I start the year by adding my students to my roster. This only takes a few minutes. Then I make a tab for the required beginning-of-the-year assessments. I add all the initial assessments for the start of the year such as uppercase letters, lowercase letters, sounds, sight words, number recognition, counting skills, etc. I can add assessments from the program or I can create my own. Here is a list of tests I created and shared (NO ADDITIONAL COST) for all my sight word stations. Let me make sure you get this… once you have ESGI… there are NO ADDITIONAL FEES for any assessments or tools.
I assess my students during any downtime we have. Since the software is web-based, I can pull it up on a computer, iPad, and even my phone. So while I am with the car riders waiting on their parents to get them in, I use the iPad to grab in a few questions. My students usually think it is a fun game and doesn’t feel stressed at all.
Since ESGI keeps the date and time for me, my work is done. I assess with the student in front of me and I DO NOT have to TRANSFER DATA to another platform or chart. More so, I can assess sight words and print out flashcards covering the sight words my students need to learn! It takes two or three clicks. So, Do I REALLY Love ESGI? Yes.
How do I share this data?
When it is time to send home assessments, I click on the parent report. I have the option to edit the paragraph of information for the parent to read, and I can easily check which assessments I want to show on the report. I can also pull up the data for only their child at any conference. Since the information that goes home to parent actually lists what their child got correct and incorrect, it is easier to read and more detailed that most report cards.
Additionally, the EIP teacher can pull up the data if I allow them to assess my information. That teacher can also assess me if needed. I can print out those data charts and graphs to bring to any meeting as well. All the data of assessments are shown so it is literally the EASIEST data collection system you can use. I am also SPED collab teacher. I can not tell you how many times a question about assessment data has come in an IEP meeting and I can instantly tell them data from ESGI that makes me look like a teacher who is on top of it. So, Do I REALLY Love ESGI? Yes.
How can I use the data?
Any good teacher will tell you that data collection is a vital and critical part of teasing. You have to know what your students know. I simply do not want to open a notebook and flip through 24 tabs with data collection information to find which letters my students do not know. With ESGI, I simply log in, click on the whole class, and then look at that specific standard, letter recognition and sound recognition for example. I can see in seconds what letters I need I need to focus on.
I also use the data to fill out my county-required report cards. We use a county-wide program called Infinite Campus to input attendance, assessment information, and more. I simply pull up ESGI on one device or in the open window, then I pull out Infinite Campus in another window. Then I transfer the information into that platform. So, do I REALLY Love ESGI? Yes.
Can I use ESGI for my report cards and other assessments?
You can gather assessment information on your students to cover virtually every skill, including the skills you are required to cover on report card assessments. Previously, report cards use to take me at least one hour a student. I would open my data notebook. I would go by student by student and standard by standard. I would look in the notebook, click on the screen, look in the notebook, and click on the screen. I also have to refer to the assessment guide my county provides to make sure I am assessing the right standard in the right nine weeks with the right information. Times one hour by the number of students in my class. If my students knew all their standards, it may go slightly faster.
Since I using ESGI… I actually timed how long it took me to fill out my report cards this time. Before I timed myself, I did have to fill out art, science, and social studies. We only give the grades of mastered, in progress, or not demonstrated as a whole. I also had to fill out their behavioral standards. I have to use ClassDojo for that. But I timed myself filling out the ELA and Math standards for the 3rd nine weeks report card. Here is what happened.
I really love ESGI and You will too.
Everyone can try ESGI for 60 days free.
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