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Assessments: Are they necessary for preschoolers?
With the changes in our education system the simple answer is: yes, even young children need to be assessed. When a child begins preschool, their entire development is affected. In order to accurately assess a preschooler, we look at the whole child. Our assessment is broken down into domains including: social/emotional, cognitive, spiritual, and physical. How a child is developing in each of these domains is a key indicator of kindergarten readiness and school success.
So how do we assess young children? Our teachers use a combination of observation and one-on-one time to accurately determine each child’s developmental level. Motor skills are observed on the playground and during art activities. Hands on activities are used to determine many cognitive concepts such as rhyming and patterning.
In closing, assessments are vital and useful tools in high-quality preschool education classrooms as they allow teachers to chart progress and make improvements. In addition, they are a key component for understanding and supporting young children’s development.
Great article! I think it should also be mentioned that preschool assessments conducted by child development experts (read: preschool teachers) help parents understand how their child is developing compared with age appropriate developmental standards. While it’s recognized that growth is individual and uneven, assessments provide an opportunity for a better understanding of children’s needs.