Looking for an easy & effective way to assess your students in math & literacy? Keep reading to learn more about how to use assessments for preschool & pre-k in your classroom or homeschool.
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THE IMPORTANCE OF PRESCHOOL & PRE-K ASSESSMENTS
Learning through play is SO important in our preschool & pre-k classrooms.
But…how do you know your play-based lessons are actually effective?
Do you take time to administer assessments to track your students’ progress in main academic areas?
Effective teachers are intentional in everything they do, including how they:
- set up their classroom
- plan lessons based on preschool & pre-k standards
- use a variety of play-based teaching strategies
- assess skills
- interact with students and parents
And if you’re reading this, I know your goal is to be an effective teacher!
I’m sure you informally assess your little ones every day, just by noting what skills they’ve mastered and what they’re still working towards.
But completing more formal assessments is a crucial piece to the puzzle. Teachers need to assess students to identify what they already know and support what they need to learn.
Assessments also allow you to reflect on your teaching strategies and lesson plans. Are your teaching strategies effective, or does something need to change?
Trust me, you do NOT want to skip assessments!
HOW OFTEN TO ADMINISTER PRESCHOOL & PRE-K ASSESSMENTS
I like to complete assessments three times a year. I use the same data collection sheet for each assessment, but I change the color of my pen to help me keep track of the skills they’ve gained from one assessment to the next.
The three times I administer assessments are:
- Beginning of the Year
- Middle of the Year
- End of the Year
That may seem like a lot, but assessments aren’t meant to be stressful for the kids, their parents, or for you!
Preschoolers’ skills and knowledge change SO fast from one day to the next…so tracking that growth and planning lessons based on the data is so important.
Plus it’s fun to look back on how far they’ve come!
For each of my students, I create an “Assessment & Portfolio Binder.” I either use a 3-ring binder or folder with brads, and I keep all of their assessment data inside using plastic sheet protectors. I also use it to hold work samples and anything else that will be helpful during parent-teacher conferences.
This system allows me to stay organized and on-track during the year with my assessments.
PRESCHOOL & PRE-K MATH & LITERACY ASSESSMENTS
Although there is SO much more to preschool than just math and literacy, these two areas are very important for kindergarten readiness.
Having a strong foundation in math and literacy will set our students up for success in ALL the other areas of school.
That’s why I’ve created an Assessment Pack that focuses specifically on math and literacy. This pack assesses students on the most important preschool & pre-k standards and includes everything you need to stay organized.
This Preschool & Pre-K Assessment Pack assesses the following skills:
- Rote counts to…
- Writes numerals
- Compares two sets of objects
- Identifies numerals
- One-to-one correspondence
- Matches numerals to quantities
- 2D & 3D shapes
- Writes name
- Writes letters
- Identifies letter names
- Identifies letter sounds
- Phonemic awareness
- Writes to convey meaning
- Pencil grasp
While administering assessments, I like to write anecdotal notes in the different sections to help me remember where each child felt confident or where they struggled. That’s why I’ve included space for notes on the data collection sheet.
When I homeschooled my son for preschool, here were a few notes I wrote during his Beginning of the Year assessment:
- “I broke down the CVC words so he could isolate the middle sound; he can’t break down the word on his own yet but can identify vowel sounds in isolation.”
- “Tried syllable substitution, but only got rainstorm & football correct.”
- “Called octagon & pentagon ”hexagons.” Need to work on shape identification.”
These notes were SO helpful to refer back to during his Middle of the Year assessment. I was blown away by how he was able to isolate the middle sound in CVC words without any help. Plus he breezed through syllable substitution & shape identification.
PRESCHOOL & PRE-K WRITING PORTFOLIO
The Assessment Pack also comes with one more feature that I think is so important to track progress…a monthly Name Writing & Self-Portrait page.
Each month (or every other month depending on your schedule), have your preschoolers write their name and draw their self-portrait. Then add these pages to the “Portfolio” section of their Assessment Binder.
You’ll be amazed at how much their skills improve in just this one small area…plus it makes a great keepsake for parents at the end of the year!
This section is also where I keep any work samples I want to share with parents during parent-teacher conferences.
Below is an example of my son’s self-portraits from when I homeschooled him. He improved leaps and bounds with his pencil grip and fine motor skills in just two months!
I’m passionate about assessments because I know effective teachers use data to plan lessons for their students, and I believe ALL students deserve to learn from effective teachers.
I’d love to know what you think about assessments! Are you already administering assessments to your preschool & pre-k students? Do they help you plan your lessons & interventions? Comment below or find me on Instagram[@littleslovelearningblog] to share your feedback!