* This discussion is your opportunity to take a position about developmentally appropriate assessments. Remember what Jaruszewicz (2013) says about informal assessments: “Informal assessments match curriculum goals, actively involve children and families, focus on change and growth over time, and occur in real time in the classroom or care setting” (section 12,2, para. 11). To prepare for this discussion, review the Week Three Instructor Guidance and review the several commonly used informal assessments noted in Table 12.3 of the text. Initial Post: Select one informal assessment from Table 12.3 of the text and defend why you feel it is an effective form of assessment to use in your future role.
* Formal assessment
* Informal assessment
* Environmental rating scales
* Then, as an educator, imagine you have just administered the assessment and describe how you will specifically use this measurement to make instructional decisions about curriculum. Support your choice using at least two scholarly sources in addition to the text. Guided Response: Read several peers’ responses and choose two peers who selected a different assessment than you. Compare and contrast the assessments. Your responses must address the following questions:
* How are the assessments alike?
* How are the assessments different?
* What are the strengths of your peer’s chosen assessment?
* What are the weaknesses of your peer’s chosen assessment?
* How can both assessments inform instructional decisions?
Though two responses is the basic expectation, for deeper engagement and learning, you are encouraged to provide responses to any comments or questions others have given to you. This continued interaction will further the conversation and provide you with opportunities to demonstrate your content expertise, critical thinking, and real-world experiences with the topics of collaboration and play.
– Give response to listed peer below
White: Peer response 1:
I feel having a checklist with all the milestones that children at that age level “should” be meeting, is the most effective informal assessment. Having the preprinted list takes the guesswork out for the teacher and they can quickly find the activity, and enter the date when a child is showing growth. These can be kept in a binder that is easy to excess, on a computer or iPad. “Assessment information obtained via the direct observation of children can provide valuable data over time, in multiple contexts, in the words of the teacher or child, and during many kinds of activities.” (Jaruszewicz, 2012 Sec.12.2 Para.12) Also, having a checklist allows the teacher to simply observe the children without having to ask questions that may present pressure, causing them to freeze up. This is the most natural, observation based, assessment in my opinion.
I will specifically use this measurement to make instructional decisions about curriculum by “adopting a continuous-improvement perspective with an emphasis on goal setting, measurement and feedback loops so teachers and administrators can reflect on their programs and processes, relate them to student outcomes, and make refinements suggested by the outcome data.” (Means, Padilla, DeBarger, Bakia, 2009) For example, if I see that multiple students are lacking in color recognition, then I would make that a larger focus for a couple of weeks to catch those that are behind, up. If I am noticing that a toy has sat in the same place on a shelf for a couple days, I will remove the toy and replace it with a new one. I will plan small group activities for children, who have similar skill levels, provide a couple different options when creating a lesson plan so I can accommodate different skill or interest levels, and focus one –on-one attention where it’s needed. (Jaruszewicz, 2012) A great example is a child who is unable to use scissors correctly. I may present the activity to a group of students but, place the child who struggles next to me so I can offer my assistance. I feel this is a better option to singling out a child and putting them on the spot.
Jaruszewicz, C. (2012). Curriculum and methods for early childhood educators. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education
National Association of Elementary School Principals (2011) Student Assessment: Using Student Achievement Data to Support Instructional Decision Making. Retrieved from http://www.naesp.org/sites/default/files/Student%20Achievement_blue.pdf
Means, B., Padilla, C., DeBarger, A., Bakia, M. (2009) U.S. Department of Education: No Child Left Behind. Implementing Data-Informed Decision Making in Schools—Teacher Access, Supports and Use. Retrieved from www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html