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Using Different Assessments in the Classroom

The participant is a pre-K teacher who works at the same Elementary School that I do. She works with the Pre-K children who ages range from 4 and 5-year-old. She has been working at our school for over 20 years.
Interview Questions.
1. What assessments do you use in your classroom? I use checklist, because they are easy and handy, they get the job done. Timetables and Teaching Strategies Gold.
2. Explain how you use checklists in your classroom?
Checklists can help identify just about anything that happens. I use checklist for number and letter identification and how they are hitting their major milestones. Are the children able to draw a shape or write their name. Another test is to see if they can identify all of the primary colors. It’s a check and balance. I also use it for goal setting.
3. How do you use tables in your observations? I use timetables to measure the growth that the student will make over time. Timetables show the starting point of the child’s education journey that will cover the end points of their pre k achievements. Or it may not show an incline, it could show a decrease in learning.
4. What is Teaching Strategies Gold- This is an early childhood curriculum that our county uses. The system has an on-spot observation recording tool that I use from time to time. This tool helps access the child’s development in physical, literacy and mathematics.
5. What are some everyday activities that you provide for your students? I try to give them the ability to work with a partner, in small groups or they can work individually. I only allow 3 children to a small group. I will try to incorporate sensory development in math and science.
6. How do you observe large motor skills? I will use an outdoor space to perform the assessment. Which allows for plenty of room and allows the child to explore their natural space of the outdoors. I also use the on the spot observation recording tool, which is a checklist that is predesigned for the assessment. This is found in the Gold System.
7. Do you use any other forms of observations? I use Anecdotal Records for social and emotional issues. I find that it gives a clear view of what is going on and happing.
8. What is your process if you notice a child that is not meeting any of the major milestones? I will first use my checklist and compare the items with the standard milestone timeline in the Gold system. I will also have several different observations done. Next I will
also have the school psychologist and the behavior coach run an observation on the child. Next would be getting the parents involved.
9. What are the academics that you touch on throughout the school year? I will hit on the fundamentals, which are reading, science, math and language arts. I use creative activities to spark the interest of the children.
10. Can you tell me more about the Gold program tools? When observing gross motor skills, I will use a preprinted checklist from the Gold system. It will have categories from how the child catches a ball, to how they kick the ball and how they use their hands in a small motor skill activity.
The preschool years are where children will experience growth through their major milestones. It is important that Preschool Assessments take place on the young child. One reason is to see if the child is Kindergarten ready. Or to see if the child has developed in a certain area. There are many different types of assessment tools to use for children. They range from checklists, rubrics, rating scales and timetables. The teacher that I interviewed used checklists a lot for her assessments. Checklists allow the teachers to note an individual’s achievement or they can assess a group of students. The checklist only requires a simple check mark to indicate the skill or behavior has been observed. Some assessments require a tally mark. This can be used when a child is displaying aggressive behaviors with other classmates. For example, they are hitting, biting and kicking other children. The teacher will use a time frame and use tally marks next to how many times the child displayed these aggressive interactions
with the other children. Rubrics are scoring tools that clearly define and observable criteria to articulate gradations of quality from excellent to poor or high to low. “Rubrics are especially useful in assessment for learning because they contain qualitative descriptions of performance criteria that actually guide children’s performance during the process of learning.” (Moskal, 2003).
A developmental checklist is used to, understand the development of the child, it also can serve as the framework for curriculum and it is a way to assess learning and development. Checklist are designed to organize different areas of growth which will include social, motor and cognitive development. Checklist are a way for teachers to be able to track development and also be able to give realistic expectations for their students. Developmental checklists help determine when to use the correct level of complexity in the curriculum that the teacher may choose.
Timetables and Time sampling. Timetables are used to track the child’s gains that they will make over time. By creating a checklist of what they can do now and setting goals that they can try to accomplish over time. Time sampling is to record the frequency of a behavior for a designated period of time. The observer will set a time that they will began, and they will document how many times the child performed that action. This is a great method to use when the child is behaving inappropriately. Anecdotal records are also used to help track a child s behavior. They are very useful because the teacher can take quick notes. It is important to document the date, the time and the place of when the incident happen. One advantage of this type of documentation is that the teacher can gather the information and then they are able to show a concreate reflection on the child. The teacher stated that she used the “Teaching Strategies Gold System”. This system is used to assess the child’s knowledge, behavior and skills. This system helps teachers know exactly how ready the child is. If the child is ready to move to Kindergarten. It also helps with the end of the year expectations that need to be met. Studies have showed that “Extensive research conducted by the center for Educational Measurement and Evaluation at UNC Charlotte shows that Teaching Strategies Gold is highly valid and reliable for children
from diverse cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds.” (Education Letter, 2013).
Rating Scale, a rating scale is used when the child exhibits a behavior and the scale is used to determine how bad that behavior is. These scales are helpful when you need to rate a few behaviors at one time. A study was done by FACES, the study was conducted with in five years and it collected data from 3 and 4 years old. “Researchers gathered comprehensive data through direct child assessments in multiple domains and observations of Head Start Classrooms.” (Head Start, 2019). The researchers found the best way to asses’ a child one on one, was using a set of rating scales to evaluate the child’s behavior. The best program that they found to work was the Leiter-R examiner rating scales. The Leiter-R is a test that is administered individually, it is used to assess cognitive functions in children. This test measures the nonverbal intelligence on fluid reasoning and visualization. It also measures attention and memory of the child. This test would work to help a child who is showing signs of a learning disability.
Moskal, B. M. (2003). Recommendations for developing classroom performance assessments and scoring rubrics. Practical Assessment, Research, and Evaluation, 8(14).
Teaching strategies, llc; teaching strategies announces expansion of teaching strategies GOLD(R). (2013, Jul 17). Education Letter Retrieved from
Head Start: The Family and Child Experiences Survey (FACES). Retrieved from

Geoscience in Education

Geoscience is a significant field of science and provides individuals with important knowledge on Earth’s systems and the resources and hazards that they bring, but it is not equally focused on in education as compared to other sciences, therefore, to have a better-informed public, geoscience needs to be emphasized in education.
Geoscience covers a wide range of subjects that fall into the groupings of geology, environmental science, astronomy, atmospheric science, and oceanography. With recent hurricanes striking the east coast, the current state of global climate change, and the worsening state of our environment, it is more important now than ever that the public understands the natural world and the powerful working relationship we have with it. With such a large effect on our lives, it is concerning as to why geoscience is not emphasized to the same degree as chemistry, biology, and physics in schools. Earth science education needs to be equally emphasized as other sciences for students to obtain a strong foundation in science and make educated decisions on the major environmental issues that are facing the world.
In the past 26 years, the percentage of high school students taking courses in Earth Science has never surpassed 25% (Betzner