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Serving as Advocates for Families and Engaging Families in the Assessment Process Ashley Melendez Walden University Dr. Donna Brackin EDSD-7083 Assessment Practices to Promote Healthy Development and Learning August 12, 2017
The Importance of Assessment at the Kindergarten Level Assessment in any grade is important but I think that it is especially important in Kindergarten which is generally 5 years old. While assessment allows educators to determine what a student knows, it also can detect any developmental delays as well. School readiness assessments can often detect developmental delays that often hinder healthy development. Being fully ready for school at age five is a key developmental milestone that gets children off to a good start for academic success. Both foundational academic skills and nonacademic skills including physical, social and emotional development influence children’s readiness to master reading, writing, math and other skills to grade level proficiency (Le, Kirby, Barney, Setodji, & Gershwin, 2013). Identifying these barriers are why assessment at this level is extremely important.
Involving Families in the Assessment Process Like with all aspects of a student’s education, parental involvement is important in the assessment process. Involving families in the assessment process enables them to share their expertise about their children (Caspe, Seltzer, Kennedy, Cappio & De. Lorenzo, 2013). Assessments should include multiple measurements and parent reports and input can be a valuable source of information when it comes to assessing children. Assessment results should be shared with parents as part of an ongoing process that involves parents in their child’s education (Shepard, Kagan, & Wurtz, 2014). Parent collaboration during the assessment process can provide a better picture of what a child is able to do (Ntuli, Nyarambi, & Traore, 2014).
Information Families can Provide about their Children A child’s first teacher is their parents. Children learn best through their everyday experiences with the people they love and trust, and when the learning is fun (Shonkoff, 2010). These interactions serve as modeling behaviors and create the basis for learning over the course of a child’s life. Parents are the ones that know their child the best. They see sides of their children that educators don’t often get to see. They can provide so much information on their child that could often take an educator all year to learn. I always begin the school year by having parents fill out an interest inventory on their child. This gives me so much insight on the student before I even get to know them good. I can see what a child likes and dislikes and can try to incorporate learning experiences based on these inventories. Today’s classrooms consist of a diverse population of students. Often the educator and students come from different backgrounds and cultures. This can make it hard to know what to expect from each other. Parents can tell their child's teacher what they do at home to help their child learn (Kreider, 1998).
Communicating Results According to a recent survey conducted by Measures of Academic Progress (Bobowski, 2016) parents value assessment as a tool providing information about their child’s learning, but the majority say that their child’s teachers rarely discuss assessment results with them. There is a tremendous opportunity for teachers and students to involve parents in the assessment process. There are many ways to communicate assessment results with parents. You could have a parent night or parent/teacher conference. Whatever means you decide on to communicate the results always begin with a positive manner. Discuss areas where the student performed well and then discuss the areas that the student struggled with (Clark & Smitherman, 2013).
Supporting Diversity and Multiculturalism Curriculum and assessment should be relevant to the lives of students and their experiences. This may require the educator to select illustrations or create activities that will connect new information to the experiences of the students. For this reason, teachers will need to develop their knowledge about the backgrounds of their students. Assessment in a multiculturally and diverse classroom must be reflective of the same appreciation of diversity that curriculum, climate, and instructional strategies show (Scott, 2001). It is important that assessments are done through a variety of techniques including both written and oral forms. It is also important to use a variety of assessments like portfolios and observations.
References Le, V. , Kirby, S. , Barney, H. , Setodji, C. , & Gershwin, D. (2013). School Readiness Full-Day Kindergarten and Student Achievement: An Empirical Investigation. Retrieved from https: //www. rand. org/pubs/monographs/MG 558. html Caspe, M. , Seltzer, A. , Kennedy, J. L. , Cappio, M. , & De. Lorenzo, C. (2013). Engaging families in the child assessment process. Young Children, 68(3), 8 -14. Retrieved from http: //www. naeyc. org/yc/pastissues/2013/july Shepard, L. , Kagan, S. , & Wurtz, E. (2014). Principles and Recommendations for Early Childhood Assessments. Retrieved from https: //www. education. com/reference/article/why-assessment-important/ Ntuli, E. , Nyarambi, A. , & Traore, M. (2014). Assessment in early childhood education: Threats and challenges to effective assessment of immigrant children. Journal of Research in Special Education Needs, 14(4), 221 -228. Retrieved from http: //onlinelibrary. wiley. com/doi/10. 1111/j. 1471 -3802. 2012. 01256. x/full Clark, M. & Smitherman, D. (2013). Communicating Achievement Test Results with Parents. Retrieved from https: //pdp. acsi. org/PDP/images/contentpageimages/TN%20 Fall%202013%20 Infor mation/CSE 16. 3_Communicating. Achievement. Test. Results. pdf
References Continued Shonkoff, J. P. (2010). Building a new bio developmental framework guide to the future of early childhood policy. Child Development. 81, 357 -376. Retrieved from http: //www. urbanchildinstitute. org/articles/research-topolicy/practice/parents-are-a-childs-first-teacher Kreider, H. (1998). Families and Teachers as Partners. Retrieved from http: //www. hfrp. org/publications-resources/publications-series/earlychildhood-digests/families-and-teachers-as-partners Bobowski, K. (2016). Teacher Resources for Communicating Assessment Results with Parents. https: //www. nwea. org/blog/2016/teacher-resourcescommunicating-assessment-results-parents/ Scott, J. (2001). Meeting the Diverse Needs of all Students. Retrieved from https: //www. eduplace. com/science/profdev/articles/