Thursday, July 6, 2017

What Do You Know?

We give our incoming Kinders a screening in the spring to get a little glimpse of what they know & to make dividing them into classes a little easier. But, while it is helpful for making up the class lists, the spring screening doesn't give me an up-to-date picture of just what my little newbies know. I wanted a quick way to check on some key skills as early in the school year as possible. Because beginning of the year kindergarten is so calm and orderly crazy and hectic, I created a set of quick checks that were quick & easy to do. Really, each quick check only takes a minute or two per student & can be done while the other kiddos are working independently. (Stuff like playdoh, manipulatives, coloring ~ simple activities that will keep them engaged for a little while.) If you are lucky enough to have an aide enlist her to  help! Our teaching assistant is super fast & gets so much done while I am working with the rest of the kids. This year I will have a student teacher from day one. Guess what she is going to help me do! 


Because incoming Kinders are all over the place as far as exposure and what they can do I like to  do some simple checks after the first few days of school. We are still getting to know each other & naming colors, drawing a person, and sorting are usually pretty low-stress for the students. They generally are able to fly through these checks. The only things I laminated were the pages with color because I wanted to protect my "toner investment" ~ everything else is printed onto card stock or regular copy paper.


I like to keep a check list of the students' developmental skills. Most of the time they are right on target, but it gives good data if you need to seek RtI for anyone.



Pick whichever format works best for you ~ pages or cards. Some children are easily overwhelmed by a page full of numbers, so looking at one card at a time might help them to be successful ~ or at least a little less nervous. 


If you want to see how high they can count you can write it in the corner of the top record sheets. Once I've heard a kid count to 100 a couple of times, I declare them able to count to 100, so I like to  keep track of how high they can count. Time saver at the end of the year!


Use the page as is, cut apart for cards, or give your students little picture cards to count. 


I do check the kids on solid shapes just to see if anyone know what they are. I usually get one or two who know some of the 3D shapes. **Even though my set includes a picture page for solid shapes I usually use actual solid shapes.


Some kids know all their letters, and others, well not so much. Like counting to 100, once a student has correctly named all the uppercase & lowercase letters I declare that they know all of them. As the year goes on & the skills get harder it saves time when testing my kiddos if I don't have to listen to everyone name letters.


If you find that your students get overwhelmed by a sheet full of letters, you can use these letter cards. The cards are also great for a quick review ~ keep them handy & pull them out to review with all of your students, a small group, or one little cutie.


Technically you could use the same pages from above, but I like to have a separate set for each skill. When I'm ready to do a quick check it's handy to be able to grab everything I need. 


Each quick check is clipped together as a set, making your life easier! Be sure to attach a master copy of each record sheet. That way if you need to progress monitor students you can quickly make some more sheets as needed. 


I happened to have this Rubbermaid storage container. (I tried to find a link to purchase it, but couldn't. Maybe it's no longer available. This container from Sterilite might be a good alternative.) Anyway, I have this container that fits all of the quick check materials AND, my clipboard. It's sooo difficult (at least for me) to keep everything organized at the beginning of the year ~ and maybe later in the year... Knowing that everything I need for BOY quick checks is all in one place makes me happy. 




When I'm ready to check my kids on their skills, I grab the materials from my bin and get started. This data sheet is included with my set. The name fields are editable, but I couldn't figure out how to rotate the editable fields for the top part. Maybe it's not possible (does anyone know if you can rotate editable fields with Adobe?) 


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