In our last blog post, we highlighted the role that developmentally appropriate formative assessment plays in helping educators set a strong academic foundation that gets early learners ready for elementary school. Now we want to answer the question of what these assessment tasks actually look like.
English Language Arts
Each CenterPoint ELA formative assessment uses an authentic, high-quality text for teachers to read aloud and incorporates opportunities for instruction and formative assessment in reading comprehension, oral language development, active listening, and writing. The kindergarten task excerpted below is a prime example of this: teachers read students an engaging picture book, and then lead them through a series of activities and reflections that help educators gather feedback on students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension skills.
Example ELA Task: George Flies South
CenterPoint’s Mathematics tasks are designed around games students play that strengthen their conceptual understanding of grade and age appropriate concepts and practices. In the kindergarten example below, Breaking Apart Numbers, teachers guide students through an engaging, interactive game that allows them to practice key mathematical concepts in the kindergarten mathematics standards while the teacher uses an observation checklist to make notes about students’ strengths and misconceptions. Each task provides an opportunity for educators to gather information in the moment —rather than using assessment as a standalone experience.
Example Mathematics Task: Breaking Apart Numbers
Use of Technology to Support Teachers
Teachers can access the tasks using a technology-based tool that can be accessed from tablets, laptops, or other devices. With the click of a mouse or a tap to a tablet screen, teachers record their observations using the provided checklists and rubrics, and can upload pictures or record notes linked to the observations. Information can be collated into individual and classroom reports which can be shared with parents during parent-teacher conferences or with IEP or 504 teams where relevant.
Example Teacher Observation Checklist
Formative assessment for early learners is not new. Educators have been incorporating the practice into classroom instruction for many years. However, the advent of new college- and career-ready standards and advances in computer-based assessments provide educators with a new generation of tools to support teaching and learning for our youngest students.
By Lesley Muldoon, Chief of Policy and Advocacy at CenterPoint Education Solutions