Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Testing in Kindergarten

Last week was an assessment week for the kindergartners. For this assessment they were given a written test where they were asked to circle the biggest number between two numbers, the smallest number between two numbers, fill in the missing number in a number line, write the numbers 1-20, complete a pattern, and read a bar graph. On Tuesday, I graded these tests and I was rather surprised by the results. Students who I had thought were in the higher ability group got really low scores and students who were in the lower group made some progression. It further emphasized the idea that one test can not tell a teacher everything about a student. After I looked over the grades of the tests I was curious to see if the test scores were accurate. I wondered if maybe I had thought some the students understood more than they really did. In order to figure this out, we began pulling some of the students who really struggled on the test. We planned to go over the same concepts that were on the test and see how they did. Sure enough, most of the students who did not score well on the test, but were typically in the higher ability group did better while working with us than on the test. For some students there was not much of a difference between the test and the work we did with him or her on Tuesday. This experience has really showed me the importance of various types of assessments. It helps when students are given other opportunities to show what they have learned other than just a written test, especially in kindergarten. Although the tests did not go as well as we would have hoped, they did give us a good idea of where to start next. The downside, however, is that with this week being our last week of the term we won’t be working with the students for 3 weeks. Once we get back the students only have a week left before their 2 week spring break. So we now face the challenge of trying to keep the students progressing at the same pace.

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