2 Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment 3Observing Children: A Tool for Assessment
3 Key ConceptsAssessment 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 AssessmentAssessment is observing, recording, and documenting growth and behavior over timePurposes of assessmentPlan developmentally appropriate curriculumKeep the teachers and the curriculum responsive to the children’s needsIndividual and classroom problems identifiedUseful in parent conferencescontinued
7 Assessment When to do assessments Initial assessments at the beginning of the school yearOngoing assessments throughout the year during classroom activitiescontinued
8 Assessment Formal and informal methods of observation Formal observation uses standardized tests and research instruments to identify developmental milestones or emerging competenciesInformal involves observing children in the classroom, collecting samples of their work, interviewing parents, and talking with childrencontinued
9 Assessment When choosing a method of assessment, consider the type of behavior to be assessed and amount of detail neededwhether assessing one child or an entire groupthe amount of focused attention required by the observer
10 BrainstormWhy is it important to do an initial assessment and ongoing assessments of the children?
11 Assessment ToolsThere are several assessment tools used in early childhood programsAnecdotal recordsChecklistsParticipation chartRating scalesCollecting samples of children’s productscontinued
12 Assessment ToolsAnecdotal records are brief narratives of specific incidentsRecords must be objectiveThe behavior must be interpretedAdvantages and disadvantagesEasiest methodCan show evidence of growth and developmentIncomplete picture of a childPotential for inaccuracycontinued
13 Did You Know?The best way to observe young children is to sit in and try to blend into their environment.
14 Assessment ToolsChecklists record the presence or absence of specific traits or behaviorsAdvantagesInformation can be quickly recordedEasy to use, efficient, and adaptableDisadvantagesLack of detailed informationImportant aspects or behaviors may be missedcontinued
15 Assessment ToolsParticipation charts detail specific aspects of children’s behaviorActivity preferences can be determinedCan reveal that children’s preferences may not match needscontinued
16 Assessment ToolsRating scales record the degree to which a quality or trait is presentAdvantagesShort and easy to useDisadvantagesOnly fragments of actions are includedObserver needs a good understanding of the behavior being ratedcontinued
17 Assessment Tools Collecting samples of children’s products over time Provides valuable information about the child’s developmental status and growthArtworkDictated or written storiesPhotographsRecords of conversations
18 ReflectIf you were working in an early childhood program, which methods of assessment would you use? Why?
19 Using Technology for Assessment Video childrentelling or acting out stories and dramatic playexplaining projectsin music experiencesUse camera for visual documentation ofartwork and building-block structuresdramatic playinfant 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 PortfoliosThe materials collected during ongoing assessments is a child’s portfolioItems showing the child’s growth and developmentWork samples of art projects and storiesTeacher observationsSummaries of parent conferences
22 DiscussProvide 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 confidentialremove items that may be distractingavoid talking to the children, other observers, and staffmake note of their behaviorsshare observations with the class
24 ReflectWhat 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 Glossaryanecdotal 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 Glossarychecklist. 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 Glossaryparticipation 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 Glossaryrating 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.