Inside a kindergarten classroom with Augustana students

Assessments, Assessments, Assessments.

This week we continued the practice assessments with Mrs. Peterson’s class that we conducted last week in the other room. This time I pulled students out one by one to give them the practice acuity assessments that they will soon be completing on the iPads. Though watching these students complete this standard assessment, I could see that there was not a very accurate picture being protrayed of the students. There were multiple questions that caused students to struggle. For example the last question of the assessment had eight roses drawn on the paper. The question asked something along the lines of “if John planted these eight roses in his garden and planted one more, how many would he have all together?” Almost every student simply counted the flowers on the paper and said the answer was eight. Even after repeating the question for the students, they counted the roses drawn and selected the answer eight. Granted, some of my students do not understand fully the concept of addition, but many would have been able to correctly answer if a different visual was available. Another source of error was on a shape question. The question asked students to pick the answer the best described the shape of the top of the house. (triangle). The answer options were different types of shapes in written form. Not one of my students was able to correctly select the word ‘triangle’ on their own. The response i heard from students was ‘its a triangle, which one says triangle’. After talking to Mrs. Carmack about this issue, she informed us that they iPad form of the assessment did read out the options for the students, but still I felt that this was unfair to the students. For my research, I have decided to look into the best way to accurately assess kindergarteners of what they know about a given subject. From what I have read so far, the best answer that I can conclude is to have more informal assessments and ‘learning stories’ to show what and how the student understands.
Now we have a few weeks away from the students due to spring breaks, but I am excited to see what they come back understanding that they did not before break. Over Christmas there was some huge jumps! Lets hope spring brings the same!

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