It’s the beginning of the year, and you have a whole new class that is sitting in front of you. You don’t know them besides the information you got on the student information card. You know the first few weeks are getting to know them. Both personally and academically. You also know the first few weeks are going to be full of assessments. Assessments can be a intimidating word, but assessments are essential in providing appropriate instruction for your little learners. By using a beginning literacy assessment with your pre-k or kindergarten students you are able to determine what skills each child has developed and still needs to practice.
The Benefits of Assessments
Although you feel like you test them so much, assessments really do have a lot of good information. This assessment can be completed at various times throughout the school year. In my district, we assessed at the beginning, middle and end of the year. This gave me the opportunity to compare the same assessment over the entire year. And do you know another great thing about these assessments? They could help create and guide your small group instruction! It’s pretty amazing to see the improvements they make over the year. I also used this assessment during parent-teacher conferences. If I am not pleased with the growth of a student, I always have this assessment to show parents. Documentation is key!
How To Use This Assessment
I start with the right side of the page before completing the alphabet knowledge assessment side. The right side assesses: sentence segmentation, syllables, rhyming, onset and rime, initial sound, and oral language.
I use the teacher guide to help direct me through assessment, so that I can easily and quickly determine which skills my students know and which skills we will work on during small or whole group instruction.
For sentence segmentation, the learners use counters or other manipultatives to show how many words there are in each sentence. They are asked to clap and count the syllables, determine if words rhyme, as well as, make up new rhyming words.
The learners can show if they are able to blend sounds together and manipulate sounds to create a new word, as well as, listen to common sounds in different words. This assessment also helps you document if a learner is able to listen and respond appropriately in conversations.
Finally, I use the alphabet pages to assess the learner’s knowledge of alphabet letters and sounds.
Having a quick literacy assessment for pre-k and kindergarten students can help guide your instruction throughout the school year. If you are able to determine that all except three students in your class are able to count syllables, but 18 do not know how to produce new rhyming words, you can focus on rhyming during whole group instruction while working with those three learners in a small group to work on syllables.
I like to start the year off with this assessment, but again, you can use it at anytime during the year. If you would like a copy of this assessment for FREE, click on the download button at the bottom of this post!
Need some other resources to help guide your instruction? Check out these links from my store!
Before you can even think about assessments, you need to get your small group instruction planned out! My Guided Reading Materials and Forms is full of all the resources you need to plan and organize your guided reading instruction!
Writer’s Workshop is another component of your classroom that can’t be ignored! Have it ready to go even before the school year starts with my Writer’s Workshop: Getting Started Pack!
Your students will feel like scientists when they create their own Science Notebook! So many printables are already included, but your own work is encouraged too!