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Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment

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2 Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment
3 Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment

3 Key Concepts Assessment is observing and documenting a child’s behavior. Anecdotal records, checklists, rating scales, technology, and portfolios can all be used as assessment tools.

4 Objectives List purposes of assessment.
Contrast initial and ongoing assessment. List the factors to consider in choosing a method of assessment. List the advantages and disadvantages of various assessment tools. continued

5 Objectives Compile a list of contents for a child’s portfolio.
Summarize guidelines for observing children.

6 Assessment Assessment is observing, recording, and documenting growth and behavior over time Purposes of assessment Plan developmentally appropriate curriculum Keep the teachers and the curriculum responsive to the children’s needs Individual and classroom problems identified Useful in parent conferences continued

7 Assessment When to do assessments
Initial assessments at the beginning of the school year Ongoing assessments throughout the year during classroom activities continued

8 Assessment Formal and informal methods of observation
Formal observation uses standardized tests and research instruments to identify developmental milestones or emerging competencies Informal involves observing children in the classroom, collecting samples of their work, interviewing parents, and talking with children continued

9 Assessment When choosing a method of assessment, consider
the type of behavior to be assessed and amount of detail needed whether assessing one child or an entire group the amount of focused attention required by the observer

10 Brainstorm Why is it important to do an initial assessment and ongoing assessments of the children?

11 Assessment Tools There are several assessment tools used in early childhood programs Anecdotal records Checklists Participation chart Rating scales Collecting samples of children’s products continued

12 Assessment Tools Anecdotal records are brief narratives of specific incidents Records must be objective The behavior must be interpreted Advantages and disadvantages Easiest method Can show evidence of growth and development Incomplete picture of a child Potential for inaccuracy continued

13 Did You Know? The best way to observe young children is to sit in and try to blend into their environment.

14 Assessment Tools Checklists record the presence or absence of specific traits or behaviors Advantages Information can be quickly recorded Easy to use, efficient, and adaptable Disadvantages Lack of detailed information Important aspects or behaviors may be missed continued

15 Assessment Tools Participation charts detail specific aspects of children’s behavior Activity preferences can be determined Can reveal that children’s preferences may not match needs continued

16 Assessment Tools Rating scales record the degree to which a quality or trait is present Advantages Short and easy to use Disadvantages Only fragments of actions are included Observer needs a good understanding of the behavior being rated continued

17 Assessment Tools Collecting samples of children’s products over time
Provides valuable information about the child’s developmental status and growth Artwork Dictated or written stories Photographs Records of conversations

18 Reflect If you were working in an early childhood program, which methods of assessment would you use? Why?

19 Using Technology for Assessment
Video children telling or acting out stories and dramatic play explaining projects in music experiences Use camera for visual documentation of artwork and building-block structures dramatic play infant and self-help skills

20 Discuss Which types of activities can you capture through video?
What assessment data can you extract from those activities?

21 Portfolios The materials collected during ongoing assessments is a child’s portfolio Items showing the child’s growth and development Work samples of art projects and stories Teacher observations Summaries of parent conferences

22 Discuss Provide examples of some types of work that can be included in a child’s portfolio.

23 Guidelines for Observing Children
When studying young children, keep information confidential remove items that may be distracting avoid talking to the children, other observers, and staff make note of their behaviors share observations with the class

24 Reflect What are some strategies you can use to keep information confidential?

25 Review Why is assessment an important part of teaching young children?
List the five types of assessment tools. Collecting data through formal and informal observation methods helps teachers to compare and note changes in the growth and development of children using _____. (two words)

26 Glossary anecdotal records. Notes kept by the teacher concerning children’s play. assessment. A process that involves observing, recording, and documenting children’s individual capabilities over time. This information is the basis for curriculum decisions when planning for one child or groups.

27 Glossary checklist. Form of assessment designed to record the presence or absence of specific traits or behaviors. developmental milestones. Characteristics and behaviors considered normal for children in certain age groups.

28 Glossary participation chart. A tool used to gather information on specific aspects of children’s behavior. portfolio. A collection of materials that shows a person’s abilities, accomplishments, and progress over time.

29 Glossary rating scale. Tool used to record the degree to which a quality or trait is present. visual documentation. Collecting or photographing samples of a child’s work that portrays learning and development.

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