Hey ya’ll! I hope you are ready for The Daily 5: Chapter 2 of this amazing book study. I loved the intro chapter, but I really loved reading all the posts from you guys about the chapter. It really brings it to life and makes it real!
My Take Aways
I HATE assessments and I think sometimes… a lot of the time… we over do it. We work ourselves too hard for no reason. I don’t mind assessments that are valid, that are done for a reason, and that are USED, not stored in a data base somewhere. And I like to make assessments fun for my kids.
I think we need assessments that actually HELP our students and ourselves. Otherwise, we are assessing to assess. Things to think about…
What do you use for your assessments:
I start each year with a baseline assessment my county provides. It gives me a snapshot of my students and gives them a score that is used to determine if they need additional assistance in K. EIP (Early Intervention Program) is our term. I love it because it is quick, simple, and most importantly allows me to talk with each child one on one. I ask them SO MUCH more than the questions on the assessment. I want to know their parents names, their siblings’ names, if they have pets, who they live with, what they did last night, you know… I want to have a conversation with each one.
I assess letters, numbers, shapes, counting, etc… within the first 10 days… and those scores help me to generate small groups for reading. I also start doing pull out for students who do not have the basic skills in math. You can check out this baseline assessment here.
Report Card Assessments
I have to assess students every 4.5 weeks for progress reports and report cards, but I actually assess students informally ALL THE TIME. I look for them to show me what they know in small groups, during math stations, at calendar time, and esp. at center time. I use these moments to assess, even though they may not be aware.
All my assessments are kept in a big binder. Each student is numbered and their information is kept behind their number tab. BUT… I also keep a grid of student info in my lesson plan book to glance at when I am making plans. I need to know if the class know shapes, how many of them still need assistance building shapes, etc. I don’t’ want to pull out the BIG binder for all that, so a glancing grid is perfect for that. I use ESGI for assessment and data collection.
When you finish your assessments, how will you use that info to group students?
My grouping in the beginning of the year is pot luck, mix and mingle, let’s learn each other. After baselines are done, I love to ability group my kids. BUT the groups are flexible and are subject to change. I never make a group of just my low babies, I like to mix them up and pair them with a higher, helpful child. I also have to separate behavior problems AND put together students who help each other soar. I like to group students based on their need and their level as well… so it is always a work in progress until the actual student choice aspect of Daily 5 comes into play.
Will you use comprehension interviews? If not, then how will you check for understanding?
Since I use the reading comprehension games and activities to assess understanding, I do not use comprehension interviews. I am interested in reading about if and how you guys use reading comprehension interviews in Kindergarten.