I am a Kindergarten teacher in my 11th year at this grade level. You are correct when you say the one-on-one checking of letters, sounds, sight words, numbers, etc. is a very tedious and cumbersome process, especially in the beginning of the school year. Every year, I always have to beg my family to help me get all of the initial assessments done in a timely manner. In my district, we have no paras, so I am left to try to assess 23/24 5 year-olds, while maintaining crowd control on my own-a very difficult task in August! I feel as though the way that we assess the students is not as effective and efficient as it should be. You are also correct when you speak of the paperwork you try to make sense of. Using a new computer-based system like the one you showed in your video sounds like a wonderful, efficient idea! I especially like how the common areas of concern are graphed and displayed for the educator's use. This makes so much sense, I've just never had the time to sort through and determine what common areas of strengths or weaknesses my class had with over 3,000 bits of information. If I had this data available for my use, it would be used to help drive my instruction right off the bat when the school-year begins instead of spending 2 weeks trying to assess all students and then interpret the large amounts information.
My school has recently adopted the STAR Early Literacy computer-based assessment for Kindergarten. However, we do not find the test reliable or valid for several reasons. First, in order to be successful on the assessment, a Kindergartener must have working knowledge of how a computer and mouse works, and many of them don’t. Especially students who are at-risk and have no prior experience with a computer. Also, at times they are unable to hear and don’t tell an adult until the assessment is over-if at all. At the beginning of the year, many young students are just too shy or intimidated to speak up for themselves. We have also found the reports to be too overwhelming and unclear. Assessments should be used to drive your teaching and this assessment does not. When we used to use DIBELS as an assessment, I knew exactly what I needed to teach and who needed interventions or enrichment.
I am eager to sign up for your free trial this week. I will let you know how it works for me and my class. Thanks so much!
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