Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 27

ASSESSMENT IN KINDERGARTEN BY: GIANNA ULYATT If so, you may wish to make a short comment. If anyone is unsure about whether the student has achieved the outcome, they must discuss it with colleagues. This is essential, especially for less experienced staff. A ssessment on entry is an essential starting point in Kindergarten. Assessing what children understand, know and can do is an onerous and time consuming task. Young children are often insecure and unsure of adult expectation in a new school environment. It therefore often takes time to assess some children and this is where adult expertise comes into play. Children may not always be familiar with the language being used and this can inhibit understanding of adult expectation. The language of very young children may also be limited and so they cannot express their ideas clearly enough. It is because of these language and understanding limitations that adults may well change their initial thoughts about children’s potential. Consequently adults must always be prepared to review their planning in light of new knowledge gained about the children to ensure that all are challenged correctly. Initially adults need to examine the curriculum in all the areas of learning. They then need to have a list of statements for each concept within each area. As a team they must decide the criteria that will indicate whether the child has achieved that particular statement. This will ensure consistency. Adults should then set up a range of relevant practical and play-based activities and observe the children. In role play scenarios, make sure the theme is familiar to the children, so adults can check vocabulary knowledge and speaking skills. Allocating a group of children to one particular adult is a useful strategy because that person gets to know and understand each child well within the group. Devise a grid for each area of learning with the criteria down the side, the children’s names at the top and a space to write a comment if necessary. For example, in the Reading element, ‘Listens attentively to a familiar story?’ If so, tick the box for that child. No comment is needed here. In the Mathematics element, ‘Uses number names in their play?’ If so, tick the box and you may wish to record the numbers s/he uses in the comments box. In the Personal, Social and Emotional element, ‘Express their own preferences, needs and interests?’ By using a grid and having it on hand on a clip board, for example, you can quickly record a great deal of information about each child and you have it all in one place. After a few weeks, a very informative picture will emerge. You will be able to see which aspects most children are achieving well and which aspects they are less familiar with. This information defines the starting point for your planning. The grid also indicates which children are achieving better than most and those who may need additional support. Adults can then provide activities at different levels so that all children make good progress from their individual starting points. When assessment is carried out well and adults make informed use of the information to inform the planning, learning needs of students are then well addressed and progress is accelerated. The Kindergarten classrooms become vibrant and students’ concentration skills develop rapidly because they are enjoying new learning. Checklist 1. Assess children on entry and be aware of language difficulties and lack of confidence. 2. Discuss the success criteria, so all staff are clear about expectations. 3. Provide appropriate and relevant activities to assist with assessment. 4. Use a spreadsheet or grid to record findings. 5. Analyse the outcomes and provide activities to challenge students. Gianna has extensive experience as a teacher, principal and inspector. She is a consultant with expertise in KG and has spoken at conferences in Hong Kong, Spain and the U.K. She sometimes works in the UAE. To connect with her, email giannaulyatt@hotmail.co.uk Class Time Term 3 Apr - Jun 2020 27