Looking for a way to make your early childhood assessments easier without hours of extra work? We’ll show you how.
Completing assessments for preschool and early childhood education can feel like a mountain of work.
Early childhood teachers balance so much already. While we are working with the children, teaching them about the weekly theme or study, asking them to keep their hands to themselves during circle time, finding the lost magnet in the science center, and making sure that one specific child (you know who it is) made it to the bathroom in time, there is the daunting task of getting preschool assessments done. All on top of everything else.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Is there a better or easier way to get early childhood assessments done?” you are in the right spot!
This post is sponsored by COR Advantage, an online assessment tool that is transforming the way that schools and teachers are doing early childhood assessments. I have spent years doing ECE assessments and helping my staff with them, so I am always looking for ways to make this process more effective while keeping it simple at the same time.
Early Childhood Assessments Made Simple
Early childhood assessments have many benefits.
- They show us the skills that children are learning.
- Assessment tools help us set goals for our students to meet them along their developmental journey.
- Student assessments help with parent-teacher conferences.
- They give directors insights about progress across an entire school or center.
But how do you find time for assessments so that you don’t have to bring them home or spend hours upon hours working on them?
Or doing them accurately without extra work? We want them to be a true picture of what each child is learning, but completing early childhood assessments for an entire class can seem absolutely daunting.
That’s why I’m sharing three ways to make your assessments a lot easier – giving you or your staff less work to do each day. Having great class assessments doesn’t mean sacrificing lots of extra time when you learn to work smarter and not harder.
Use Assessment Checklists to Plan Your Weekly Lessons
Sometimes we try and go down the Pinterest rabbit hole, finding fun and exciting new activities for our class. And there is a place for that. But if we want to kill two birds with one stone and make lesson plans developmentally appropriate, then there is a smarter way to do all of this.
When I started planning my activities based on the skills that my class needs to learn, it became so much easier to find the right activities that already meet my assessment and teaching goals. Using an infant and toddler assessment checklist or a preschool assessment checklist to plan activities for the week or the month will save lots of time in the long run and help you know what you are teaching each week. Plus, it could even help you avoid the frustration of an unnecessary “Pinterest fail.”
The COR Advantage assessment tool already has early childhood assessment checklists built into their platform and offers them in a way that you can see at a glance what skills each child in your class has without having to dig through paperwork.
Authentic Assessments to Save Time
One of the greatest time-saving tips is to collect assessments throughout the day. This makes assessments a natural part of the day — both for your students and you.
When I need to figure out what letters each child in my classroom knows, I don’t call them over one by one and ask them what each letter is. That takes way too long!
There’s a better way to see what children actually know when we do not put them on the spot. Look at their journals, pay attention to how they write their names, and see which letters they notice in their friend’s names.
The best way to see what children truly know is to “catch them in the moment” of whatever skill we are measuring. So how do we do that without the feeling of assessment overwhelm?
This quote by John Bytheway explains it perfectly:
Inch by inch, life’s a cinch. Yard by yard, life’s hard.
The same principle applies to early childhood assessments. Work on assessment checklists and observations daily. When we do them consistently, there is so much satisfaction in seeing how much progress we’re making.
Plus, we don’t have to hunt down the perfect moment or spend hours collecting observations one by one.
In today’s day and age, I love that there is a way that we can use technology to our advantage for documenting all throughout the day. We can quickly snap a photo or video on a tablet or phone to capture these moments with an assessment program like COR Advantage. It transforms ECE assessments from a giant task to fast and meaningful collections each day.
Use Photos and Videos to Make Documenting a Cinch
As we observe children doing valuable skills all day long, we are finding out great insights about each student. But digging through paperwork is time-consuming! Each minute in the classroom is important, and we all would rather spend more time with the children. Not the paperwork.
My life became so much easier years ago when I started using photos to help with my assessments. In a classroom full of infants, toddlers, or preschoolers, there is so much going on at once that we cannot keep track of or even remember every important detail. A photograph helped me notice the little details that I don’t always see at first. And videos document even more as we can go back and listen to what children are saying.
Using photos and videos feels like having an extra set of eyes in the classroom to observe our students! Plus, I love capturing the special moments and milestones and sharing these with their parents too.
Using photos and videos makes documenting a cinch. It saves our very valuable time and helps so that we can be in the moment with the children!
COR Advantage makes documenting so simple with their assessment tool! You can take a photo or video of a child (in the moment or get it from your camera roll), and quickly connect it to the skill on the assessment checklist. And you can even send it directly to their families. COR Advantage has it already organized in a portfolio with photos, videos, and notes to make finding that special part of the day shareable without the extra work. Plus, when you want to go back in and make more notes, it’s so simple to do on whichever device that works best for you.
More About COR Advantage
COR Advantage is an early childhood assessment tool that enables you or your staff to easily weave your assessments into the flow of your day while using the power of technology.
If you’re not a techy person or if your staff has been burned by technology in the past, don’t worry! This doesn’t require learning anything tricky or causing unnecessary frustration. In fact, it is the easiest online and digital assessment tool I’ve ever tried out. As a former school administrator who has completed assessments with several different assessment tools, this was super important to me. COR Advantage has made an incredible assessment program that is simple to use along with tutorials and support to help if you ever get stuck.
COR Advantage is an assessment program that checks all the boxes for quality and ECE expertise for infant assessments, toddler assessments, and preschool assessments. It is built on research by HighScope Educational Research Foundation and follows state standards. Plus, it even aligns with the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework.
Not only is COR Advantage an assessment program, but it is also a family engagement platform to easily send messages and even make simple, beautiful, and professional newsletters. When it comes to parent-teacher conferences, it is so easy to gather all the documentation needed. Create a professional report from the reports section within a matter of clicks, not hours.
To learn more about how to have high-quality assessments and communication tools to take your school or classroom to the next level, visit the COR Advantage website.