Thursday, July 24, 2014

back 2 school linky party

Thursday is here, and that means that the end of the month is creeping closer and closer!  I know that some of my fellow educators are headed back to school this week, or they have already been back.  I hope that your school year is everything that you want it to be!!  :-)

Today I am linking up with Mrs. D's Corner and Miss V's Busy Bees for Week 2 of their back 2 school weekly linky party.

This week's topic is assessments, and I am SO GLAD I'll be able to get some awesome tips, tricks, and advice from other teachers through this linky!!  You see, in our district, we are going through a whole lot of changes.  We've been doing the Common Core for going on four years now, so that's nothing new.  However, the assessments at the state and county level are changing, so there will be tests that we need to give that we never have before.  The 'big kids' [grades 3-5] will be taking a new test called PARCC (Partnership for the Readiness for Colleges and Careers), prekindergarten is moving away from report cards and giving a new assessment three times a year, and kindergarten is getting a brand new assessment called KRA (Kindergarten Readiness Assessment) and it will be given entirely on an iPad.  We have never had iPads before and I know nothing about this test yet.  I go for training in mid-August, when I will get assigned an iPad and learn all about how to give this test.

As well as the new kindergarten KRA, we are required to give the ELS (Emerging Literacy Survey) three times as a year, as well as a math benchmark twice a year.  Those are the tests we HAVE to give.

In my classroom, I use several different types of assessment.  In kindergarten we use a 2-3-4 grading scale, with a wide percentage range for each score.  I also do a whole lot of observation, including listening to the conversations they have with each other.  Sometimes there is a student product, which ranges from a cut and paste activity to a research report completed on the computer.  I also really enjoy having them keep a writing journal.  Thanks to the awesomeness of Daily 5 last year, every one of my kinders was writing in their journals at least once a week.  This was a GREAT way for me to informally asses their writing progress every week!!!

One of my goals this year is to be more organized, and having a central location for assessing their kindergarten skills is really going to help with that.  Enter this AMAZING freebie from Tammy at Live, Love, Laugh Kindergarten. OH. EM. GEE.  This FREEBIE is an ever-growing packet of kindergarten assessment sheets that can be kept in a binder right at my guided reading area and I can reference them whenever I need to.  These sheets can help me gain a better, and deeper, understanding of what my kinders excel at as well as what they need a bit more practice with. <click on the picture to go to her blog and read all about it, plus get your own!>
So far, Tammy has included uppercase and lowercase assessment sheets as well as a recording sheet for student results.
Tammy is going to be adding to this packet in the coming weeks, so that it will include beginning sounds, colors, shapes, numbers, etc.  Make sure you check back weekly to add a new set of sheets to the notebook!!!

Don't forget that I am having a giveaway for my latest creation!!  It is a great set of alphabet activities to use with a few of my favorite ABC books, and it can be used during the beginning of the year in kindergarten, during the year in pre-k, and for Response to Intervention (RTI) for first grade.  You have until next Wednesday to enter!!!


  1. Hi Erin!
    We are doing the new KRA this year too. I didn't know that you could do it all on the ipads though. Last year I pilot the MAP assessment for kindergarten in our district and we are completing it 3 times during the year. The students will take it on laptops. My kids did great with the technology last year! Just take your time modeling at the beginning of the year and I'm sure your kids will rock it on the ipads!!
    Mrs. Masters’ Kinder Love

    1. Thank you so very much for commenting!! It makes me feel less stressed to know other people have already gone through this process!! I don't know how it will work on the iPads, but after training I'll make sure to share!! Thanks again for stopping by!! :-)