To ensure a well-run, purposeful program that is responsive to participants needs.
The observation tool that I have provided for Resource V is used to assess the developmental growth in Discovery Preschool children. It is designed to assist teachers in observing, recording and understanding a child’s skills, knowledge, behavior and accomplishments. It allows both parents and teachers to understand what children know and can do. Assessments are completed every fall, winter and spring with parent-teacher conferences to follow. Parents and teachers use these conferences to discuss the assessment.
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Observation and documentation are important parts of program management because it allows parents and teachers to discuss what children are learning and understanding. There are five areas that are assessed; physical and motor development, social and emotional development, approaches toward learning, language and communication skills and cognition/ general knowledge. Teachers use these assessments to record progress over time. It allows them to see how each child is developing which area, if any, parents and teachers need of focus more on. It also helps teachers provide developmentally appropriate lessons and materials for the children.
I ensure that I am accurately and objectively observing and tracking each child’s developmental and learning progress by providing lesson plans that are developmentally appropriate. The assessment is not completed by testing the children. I use my observations and collect classwork don by the children to assess them. I also constantly interact with the children and set up activities that enable the children to demonstrate specific skills and integrate them into everyday activities. For example, while outside with the children, I will play catch with the children. I will observe if they can catch, throw, and kick a ball. I also ask them various questions throughout the day like, “What color is the school bus?” or “Can you tell me what shape this cracker is?” I record all my observations on index cards and place each one in the child’s portfolio. Assessments are a very important tool for both parents and teachers to monitor a child’s knowledge and development. With this documentation parents and teachers can work together to guide children into becoming well- rounded individuals.